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Low-Income Tennesseans Resort To ‘Health Care Lottery’ For Coverage


Twice a year, Tennessee holds a “health care lottery” that gives some hope to the uninsured residents in the state who can’t afford health coverage. Tennesseans who meet certain requirements — in addition to falling below a certain income threshold, they must be elderly, blind, disabled, or a caretaker of a child who qualifies for Medicaid — may call to request an application for the state’s public health insurance program, known as TennCare.

The lottery is part of TennCare’s “spend down” program, which allows a resident’s income to be calculated after subtracting their medical costs from their tot...