The Independence team works to support the dignity and independence of seniors and individuals with disabilities

Is it hard for you to get a free ride to doctor’s appointments through Tenncare? If so, you can ask TennCare to pay a friend or family member to take you by following the steps below.
  • Call your Managed Care Organization and get prior approval.
  • Fill out the mileage reimbursement form, using the links below.
  • Be sure to take the form with you to the appointment and have your doctor sign off on it.
  • Submit the form promptly after your appointment.
  • United Healthcare
  • Amerigroup
  • BlueCare

1.5 million Tennesseans are eligible for the program, including low-income pregnant women, children, seniors and people with disabilities. For more information, click here.


More than half of Americans over the age of 65 will need long-term care at some point, either at home or in a nursing home. But this care is too expensive for all but the wealthiest older Tennesseans: a nursing home room costs over $90,000 per year and a home health aide over $45,000. For many who can’t afford these services or run out of resources, Tennessee’s Medicaid long-term care program, known as TennCare CHOICES, is the only option. Tens of thousands of people apply for CHOICES each year and 60% of all nursing home residents in Tennessee are covered by it.

But getting, keeping, and navigating CHOICES isn’t easy. Tennessee has some of the most restrictive rules in the nation. Hundreds of people each year call our office because they desperately need long-term care and can’t get it. We’ve seen TennCare deny many people that were actually eligible including:

  • an elderly woman, 98 years old, who had been living in a nursing home for years,
  • a young man in a coma, denied because he was unable to get a copy of his bank statement, and
  • a middle-aged woman who was left quadriplegic and fighting for her life after a tragic car accident that killed her husband.

Older adults and people with disabilities deserve the supports they need to be independent, healthy, and to participate in their communities, without red tape.

Register for our monthly Independence Newsletter to find out more and get involved to make sure every Tennessean can get appropriate long-term care when they need it most.

And if you or a loved one has been denied or cut off from  long-term care simpliy because of red-tape, please fill out the story form. We will follow up with you about how your story can make a difference.  Your voice is powerful and it is the most important tool we have to address these problems.

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We have served older adults and individuals with disabilities since 1995.  TJC’s Independence program aims to ensure seniors and adults with disabilities receive the support they need. Our Independence work includes helping individual clients, providing training sessions to health care and social service providers, and advocating for systemic change related programs that allow seniors and adults with disabilities to live with safety, dignity, and independence.  These programs include:

  • CHOICES Program: TennCare’s long-term supports and services program that helps individuals access home care or nursing home care if needed.

  • Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs)

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, food stamps)

  • Well-being:  protecting seniors and adults with disabilities from abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.

IN 2020…

  • TJC served over 300 seniors and adults with disabilities.
  • Independence secured at least $2,804,213.63 million worth of health care and long-term care benefits.
  • 90% of our closed Independence Cases were closed with with a successful or partially successful resolution.

Pictured: Dr. Bill Halbert and his wife Ms. Barbara Halbert. TJC helped Ms. Halbert secure CHOICES coverage care so that she could receive care in her home.

Your organization was successful in getting my wife Barbara accepted into the CHOICES program. I have been attempting to secure this help from TennCare for approximately three years and unable to be approved. Thanks to Katie’s able leadership, we were successful.

Dr. Bill Halbert, caregiver of previous CHOICES client


Charlie Warfield was a champion for equal justice in the Tennessee legal community, first at Farris Warfield, then at Stites & Harbison. The Charlie Warfield Fellowship was created in 2015 by Charlie’s friends and supporters in his honor. As a Charlie Warfield Fellow, a budding attorney will work with TJC’s Independence Team for twelve months, working to help low-income seniors and adults with disabilities get the nursing home or community-based health services they need through TennCare. Their time will be spent on CHOICES cases, TennCare’s long-term care program.The cases worked on by the Fellows do more than help individuals – they help the system. The individual cases inform our broader policy advocacy on how to improve life for many others.

All funding for this position comes from donations. With your help, we are making the Warfield Fellowship a distinguished opportunity for students ready to launch a career in service to those who are suffering.