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Behavioral Health Safety Net (BHSN)

Mar 22, 2021 | News

Throughout Northeast Tennessee, many individuals struggle with a variety of behavioral health issues, and the recent pandemic has brought an even greater need. The Covid-19 pandemic has also created lay-offs, furloughs and job loss for many in our region, leaving them without health insurance. Having access to behavioral health services is essential for helping people cope. Many Tennesseans are unaware of a crucial program funded by the TN Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS), which provides various behavioral health services for Tennesseans who lack insurance coverage. The Behavioral Health Safety Net (BHSN) program provides essential outpatient mental health services and is offered to adults 18 and older and, as of September 2020, children 3-17 years old.

“We are grateful to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse and Governor Northam for supporting this need and adding these additional resources for children. Being able to reduce this barrier to seeking care is vital to our communities and allows anyone to receive the care they need. Please do not hesitate to reach out for help!” – Kristie Hammonds, President and CEO, Frontier Health

Frontier Health offers outpatient community based BHSN services at no cost to the qualifying individual through a contract with the TDMHSAS. To apply for Safety Net assistance, contact any Frontier Health mental health center in Northeast Tennessee to make an appointment and let the receptionist know you would like to apply for the safety net program. A full listing of Frontier Health outpatient centers can be found at FrontierHealth.org/locations. Please see the below information regarding the eligibility criteria for the BHSN program.

Adults qualifying for BHSN Services must:

  • Have a qualifying mental health diagnosis
  • Have a household income at or below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level
  • Be a Tennessee resident, 18 or older
  • Be ineligible for VA benefits, TennCare, or have not completed a TennCare application
  • Lack private health insurance which covers the BHSN behavioral health benefits, or all behavioral health benefits have been exhausted for the year
  • Individuals who have Medicare Part B and meet all other eligibility requirements for the BHSN program may be enrolled, and will qualify for several BHSN services.

Children qualifying for BHSN services must:

  • Be a Tennessee resident,age 3 – 17 years old
  • Have a qualifying mental health diagnosis
  • Lack behavioral health insurance coverage for BHSN services
  • Not be in State legal custody

If you or a loved one or in need of mental health services but a lack of insurance is keeping you from getting the help you need, please remember that Frontier Health has the resources of the behavioral health safety net and other grant funded services. Lack of insurance is not a barrier to getting services at frontier health.

Frontier Health is the region’s leading provider of behavioral health, mental health, substance abuse, co-occurring, intellectual and developmental disabilities, recovery and vocational rehabilitation services, and has been providing services since 1957. Its mission is to provide quality services that encourage people to achieve their full potential. For more information, visit www.frontierhealth.org or call 423-467-3600.

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