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TennCare point system leaves some seniors fending for themselves

Tom Wilemon, The Tennessean • Feb 16, 2014 at 5:15 PM

After more than a half century of marriage, Joost Koenig and Joann Koenig don’t take care of each other as well as they used to.

She’s a retired nurse who can’t remember her own medicine regimen, let alone keep her husband on his. He’s a former electrical engineer with a debilitating neuromuscular disorder. They both rely on walkers, are prone to falls and have trouble toileting and bathing. He’s 89. She’s 82.

Despite their issues, they don’t qualify for nursing home coverage through TennCare, the state’s insurance program for low-income seniors and residents with disabilities. They didn’t score high enough on a point system that determines the level of long-term care the state’s Medicaid program will provide.

Two years ago, though, the Koenigs would have qualified.

Keep reading with our partners at The Tennessean.

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