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At least 220,000 Tennessee kids faced loss of health insurance due to lacking paperwork

14 Jul, 2019


Brett Kelman and Mike Reicher  |    Nashville Tennessean    |    July 14, 2019

CHATTANOOGA – When the leukemia was finally gone, Tricia Sewell thought her family’s nightmare was over.

It was October of last year. Sewell’s 5-year-old son, Abel, had just finished three years of chemotherapy, all of which had been covered by Tennessee’s state Medicaid program, known as TennCare. Chemo was successful, but now Abel needed monthly blood tests to check if the cancer ever came back.

At the doctor’s office, something went wrong. The staff discovered Abel’s TennCare had vanished. His mom paid out of pocket for the blood test. Then she realized she'd pay again next month. And the following month. And months and months after that.

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