TennCare expands benefits for pregnant, first-year mothers

Pregnant woman at home
Posted at 8:31 PM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 21:31:04-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Beginning in April, those on TennCare can receive expanded benefits for those who are pregnant or experiencing postpartum symptoms.

The state changed the coverage for women to expand from 60 days to 12 months after pregnancy. Women in both scenarios will also receive comprehensive dental care as part of the new coverage.

“Maternal mortality remains an issue nationwide and we know the late postpartum period remains critically important and a vulnerable period for both the mom and child,” TennCare Director Stephen Smith said. “This initiative is as much about the child as it is the mother. We want to set the child up for success as we know that first year of life has a major impact on childhood development.”

Officials with TennCare said pregnant and postpartum women are at increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, and diabetes, and complications are often experienced from two months through the entire year after delivery.

Gov. Bill Lee proposed the new pregnancy and postpartum benefits in 2021.

"Strong families begin with supported mothers who have access to maternal care," Gov. Lee said. "We believe the increase in care will not only improve health outcomes for mothers but also significantly improve the first year of life for Tennessee children."

To access new pregnancy benefits, TennCare members must update their TennCare Connect account to notify the agency that they are pregnant. Enrollees can update TennCare Connect over the phone at 855-259-0701, online at, or at a local Health Department.