TennCare and SafetyNet

Help Lines:

Family Assistance Service Center

Call  615-743-2000  for general information regarding TennCare, including:

  • Applying for TennCare.
  • Disenrollment & Benefit Changes
  • Reporting a change (such as a new address, or change in jobs).
  • Establishing or changing an appointment with your DHS case worker.

TennCare Solutions

Call 1-800-878-3192  to file an appeal about medical or prescription problems.

TennCare Advocacy Program

Call  1-800-758-1638 if you need help with any other health-related care.

TennCare Partners Advocacy

Call  1-800-758-1638  if you require help with mental health care or alcohol treatment.

TTY or TDD Phone Calls

If you use a TTY or TDD machine, use this number. Call ONLY if you use require this service. 1-800-772-7647

Foreign Language Phone Lines *See Below

Para información acerca de TennCare en español llame
al 1-866-311-4290

  • Arabic/Kurdish Line: 1-877-652-3046
  • Bosnian Line: 1-877-652-3069
  • Somali Line: 1-877-652-3054



NASHVILLE — The State of Tennessee today announced a new service, the Health Options Hotline, for those individuals who are coming off TennCare.

The toll-free hotline, : 1-800-659-3010 primarily will serve as a clearinghouse for information on prescription assistance programs. The hotline also can connect TennCare disenrollees to the Ask-A-Nurse service if they want to discuss a health or medical condition with a registered nurse. Finally, the hotline can provide a list of healthcare resources in each county, including local health departments and nonprofit clinics that may provide free or low-cost services based on ability to pay.

“As we make changes in TennCare, we’re making every effort to inform people of other health options that are available to them,” said Dave Goetz, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Finance & Administration. “The hotline can be a useful service, particularly for those individuals looking for prescription assistance.”

Prescription assistance, the centerpiece service offered on the Health Options Hotline, is being provided by the State under an $11.6 million contract with Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit management company that offers three types of programs:

  • Express Access Discount Card — Provides savings up to 10% on brand-name prescription medicines and up to 50% on generic medicines purchased at participating pharmacies.
  • Rx Outreach — Provides free generic medicines from a list of 55 FDA-approved drugs to help treat problems like diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure and depression. The State will cover the cost of the program — approximately $12 million — through December 31 (or June 30, 2006, for those identified by TennCare as mentally ill). After that, participants will be required to pay a fee of $6 per month per prescription if they choose to continue participating in the program.
  • Additional Prescription Assistance — Provides help getting access to other assistance programs, including those that may be offered by brand-name drug manufacturers.

In addition to these drug programs, the State also is providing $33 million in direct funding to help mentally ill TennCare disenrollees buy prescriptions at their local pharmacies and $8 million in federal funds to help Medicare-eligible individuals until the Medicare drug plan takes effect in January.

For information on these or other programs, call the Health Options Hotline at 1-888-486-9355.

Pharmacy Assistance Programs

Together RX ( an alliance of Drug Companies)

  • Who qualifies: Low- and moderate-income Medicare beneficiaries and the disabled without drug coverage
  • Income restrictions: Annual income must not exceed $28,000/individual, $38,000/couple. (Income ceilings are higher for Alaska and Hawaii residents.)
  • Which drugs: More than 170 drugs from Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Pharmaceutica Products, Novartis and Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical.
  • The deal: Get discounts of approximately 20% to 40%—and sometimes more—off selected medicines.
  • Where you get the drugs: Participating pharmacies
  • Cost to join: None
  • For more details or to apply: Call 800-865-7211, or check out the program’s website – broken link

Partnership for Prescription Assistance

The drug industry’s professional association—the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)—lists dozens of its member companies that provide prescription medicines free of charge to physicians whose patients might not otherwise have access to necessary medicines. The site also links to other drug assistance programs.

Needy Meds

Why NeedyMeds?
Many people are no longer able to afford their medication due to the rising cost of prescription drugs. These people may be eligible for the patient assistance programs and discounts offered by pharmaceutical companies, but these programs are complicated, they are all different, and it’s not easy to get the information you need to use them. NeedyMeds is a one-stop, web-based information source on patient assistance programs, dedicated to making the information available at no cost. The information is presented in an intuitive, user-friendly format. With the help of your prescribing physician, you can apply for these programs yourself.

How You Can Get Started
Go to www.needymeds.com. You can look up the information you need either by program or by drug name. We use the term “program” rather than “company” because some companies have more than one program. The pages give you all the information you need to apply to each program.

Program List – This page lists all the programs and companies in the NeedyMeds system. Each page contains all the information we have about the program: drugs covered, address, phone number,and the specifics of the program.

Drug List – This page has a list of all the drugs currently in the NeedyMeds system. From here you can go directly to the page containing the information about the drug you are interested in.

Applications – Many of the pharmaceutical companies offer applications that can be copied. These applications are available on the site as a PDF which can be downloaded and printed.

The NeedyMeds Manual

In response to requests for printed versions of the data, we began selling the NeedyMeds Manual. It contains the same information as the website and is for those who find it easier to use a printed version of the data rather than accessing the website. The manual can be purchased from the website.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I want to sign up for the NeedyMeds program. How come your site doesn’t tell me how to do that?
A: NeedyMeds is NOT a drug assistance program. We are an information provider. We make this information available so you will know how to get help from patient assistance programs. It’s up to you to use the information to obtain your medications.
Q: Are there any programs for over-thecounter
medications (medications you can buy without a prescription)?
A: None that we know of.
Q: I’m taking a drug that is not listed on
NeedyMeds. Can I still get that drug
through another program?
A: Maybe. If the drug you are taking is a generic version of a brand name drug, find the brand name and check if there’s a program for that drug. If not, there is probably no program covering that drug.
Q: My doctor either isn’t willing to or doesn’t
have time to complete the forms. What
can I do?
A: This is a common problem. Some suggestions:

  • Fill out as much of the form as possible.
  • Bring the form, ready to mail, to a regular doctor’s visit.
  • Be sure your doctor knows your situation.
  • Last resort – change doctors.

Q: Do you know of a program where I can get my syringes and test strips at no or low cost? I have diabetes and these are more expensive than my insulin.
A: Unfortunately, we don’t know any programs that help people purchase these items. If you have diabetes and are on Medicare, you may be able to get supplies through a national or local company that will bill Medicare first and then bill you for the rest of the cost.
Q: Is there a program where I can get durable medical supplies or equipment at no or low cost?
A: We are not aware of any manufacturer programs for these items. You might check with local charities and social services. For instance, if you are a cancer patient, check with the American Cancer Society. Sometimes these organizations can help individuals who are in a bind.

Discount Cards and Discount Pharmacies
AARP MembeRx Choice Program
– Who qualifies: AARP members
– Income restrictions: None
– Which drugs: A wide range of brand and generic drugs
– The deal: Get discounts averaging 19% per prescription, and save up to 47% on top-selling prescriptions. Average first-year savings for new members were $189 in 2000.
– Where you get the drugs: Present your card at more than 53,000 pharmacies nationwide. You can save even more on your prescription purchases when you order through AARP Pharmacy Services.
– Cost to join: $19.95 per year
– For more details or to apply: Call the program at 800-439-4457, or check out the program’s website