Tennessee and Delaware to Offer Free Diapers to Medicaid Families

Tennessee and Delaware to Offer Free Diapers to Medicaid Families

According to state officials, Tennessee and Delaware became the first states in the country to offer free diapers to families enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program.

This initiative comes after receiving federal approval and aims to support Tennessee families in need.

Similarly, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved a pilot program that allows Delaware to provide free diapers and wipes to postpartum parents for the first three months after giving birth.

The need for approval rose as public health advocates highlighted that low-income families can’t afford enough diapers for their children, which is ultimately putting them at risk of their lives.

They also highlighted that due to the lack of diapers, parents are also forced to stop their children from missing work or school because they can’t afford enough diapers required at many childcare centers.

MS wrote in their approval letter to Tennessee on May 17, “For infants and toddlers, a key benefit to adequate diaper supply is preventing diaper dermatitis, otherwise known as diaper rash, and urinary tract infections.”

The statement further added, “Diaper rash is one of the most common medical conditions for infants and toddlers, and changing diapers frequently is the mainstay of recommendations to prevent this condition.”

According to TennCare, Tennessee’s Medicaid program, families will be receiving up to 100 diapers for their children, which will be available at TennCare pharmacies from August.

This initiative was started by Republican Governor Bill Lee, who, in 2023, requested free diapers.

However, lawmakers approved his requests and agreed to allocate $30 million in TennCare funding for the free diapers.

Lee noted a statement on Wednesday that, “Strong families are central to strong communities, and Tennessee is leading the nation in prioritizing resources for families in need.”

“We are the first state in the nation to cover the cost of diapers for mothers in the first two years of a child’s life, and we hope this is a model for others,” he added.

As per the CMS, individuals in Delaware will receive up to 80 diapers and one pack of baby wipes per week in the first twelve weeks of postpartum.

It also agreed that the program could be extended for another five years using Medicaid funding.

Martha Lodge, spokesperson for the Delaware Health and Social Services, shared an email expressing that “Access to sufficient diapers offers health benefits to the parent, as well, as diaper need is associated with maternal depression and stress.”

CMS approved an increase in TennCare’s income limit for parents to 100% of the poverty level, allowing for a significant jump in eligibility.

Additionally, the state opted out of a federal program offering $40 per child per month for food during school breaks, citing alternative food programs.

Tennessee has also declined roughly $9 million in federal funding for HIV prevention and treatment.

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William Smith

William Smith is a dynamic editor at World-Wire, covering a wide range of topics including health, technology, travel, and events. Known for his ability to simplify complex subjects, he engages readers with his insightful FAQs and articles. His diverse expertise has earned him accolades, including the "Excellence in Diverse Journalism" award in 2022.

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