Tennessee Justice Center on healthcare rundowns

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BLOUNT COUNTY, TENNESSEE – Tennessee can expand public policy through Tennessee Justice Center. The nonprofit organization includes resources like healthcare eligibility rundowns, service appeals, and nutrition programs like Pandemic EBT and WICK.

In 2021 alone, they served more than 1,800 clients across the state throughout all 95 counties.

Public Health Declaration

According to a TJC Webinar from Kinika Young,

The first public health emergency declaration was issued to state governments on January 30, 2022.

Following, the public health declaration is a technical arrangement that allows faster healthcare services and provides flexibility to state agencies so they can ensure more resources to people like telehealth.

The public health declaration has been renewed and since there are high rates of cases then the public health declaration will continue to renew right now.

If the declaration ends, then there could be terminations to people not eligible for TN Care outside of the emergency declaration.

Maintenace of Eligibility

Continuing, Tennessee Justice Center’s goal is to expand Medicaid healthcare. The organization hopes to expand Medicaid for families already enrolled during the last quarter of the public health declaration.

In fact, Tennessee did not experience large revenue declines with healthcare budgeting at the beginning of the pandemic. The state had budget surpluses because of more tax revenues collected; this means more people were working in Tennessee than other states during COVID-19.

With this surplus in budgeting, Medicaid could be distributed quickly, and this could potentially free up funds to fill more coverage gaps.

Additional funding for Medicaid would lower premiums and keep pandemic enrollees from being terminated.

Concluding, there are concerns around termination of eligibility and renewal processes. Expansion could help the Tennessee Justice Center continue to provide resources to more families in the state.

Mentioning, the Rural Health Association echoes a lot of these concerns because their vision is for Tennessee to be among the healthiest of states. They are promoting a rural health safety net in hospitals for families in need as well.


FetchYourNews has interviewed Kinika Young, the Senior Director of Health Policy and Equity for the Justice Center.

  1. What does a successful support system look like to you?

“Our focus is allowing people to live with dignity and giving people all the resources that they depend on such as housing and education. equity is really about people getting exactly what they need and supporting people in various life events such as paid sick leaves or paid maternity leaves. When people have a support system; they are better and heathier, and they give back to society. There is a lot of mis-opportunity when we write people’s needs off because our greatest attribute is people. People need to stay connected and invest into preventive efforts. We are all impacted by our neighbors, we are all living in community and one person in need impacts everyone.”

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