Tennessee Code Annotated

Title 71: Welfare

Chapter 2: Programs and Services for Elderly Persons

Part 1: Commission on Aging and Disability

TCA 71-2-105: Powers and duties of commission.

(a) The commission shall:

(1) Meet as necessary to transact business; provided, that meetings shall be held at least quarterly;

(2) Promulgate bylaws to provide for the election of officers, establishment of committees, meetings, and other matters relating to commission functions;

(3) Elect a chair, a vice chair, and three (3) representatives, one (1) from each of the three (3) grand divisions, who shall comprise the executive committee to function between quarterly meetings;

(4) Allocate funds for projects and programs for older persons and disabled adults, subject to the limits of the appropriation by the general assembly and funds available or received from the federal government for such projects and programs. The commission is authorized to accept funds from the federal government and private sources and to administer such funds to achieve its purposes pursuant to § 71-2-104(a);

(5) Serve as an advocate within government and in the community for older persons and disabled adults in Tennessee;

(6) Designate planning and service areas and area agencies on aging in accordance with the Older Americans Act, compiled in 42 U.S.C. § 3001 et seq., and federal regulations promulgated under the Older Americans Act. The commission shall review the boundaries of the planning and service areas from time to time and shall change them as necessary to comply with the Older Americans Act or to reflect changes in governmental boundaries or major changes in population distribution;

(7) Adopt the provisions of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5, for the purpose of administrative hearings and rulemaking as required under this part;

(8) Receive the cooperation of other state departments and agencies in carrying out the policies and objectives of this part;

(9) [Deleted by 2012 amendment.]

(10) Enter into such contracts and make such grants within the limits of appropriated funds, as are necessary or appropriate under this part, and in a manner consistent with state or federal law;

(11) Make available to older persons information concerning the nutritional benefits of eating garden produce to promote participation by older persons in community gardens, as defined in § 43-24-102; and

(12) Provide to the general assembly, no later than January 15 of each year, an updated report and analysis of the waiting list for the state options program.

(b) In addition to the powers, responsibilities or duties granted to the commission elsewhere in this part, the commission may:

(1) Promulgate, amend, revise, and rescind such rules as are necessary and appropriate to carry out the purposes of this part in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, including rules necessary for the proper management and oversight of the home and community based options program;

(2) Notwithstanding § 71-5-1419(c), promulgate rules and regulations allocating resources between urban and rural areas to program components that provide services to elderly and disabled individuals in need of assistance who do not qualify for long-term care services under the Medical Assistance Act of 1968, compiled in chapter 5, part 1 of this title;

(3) Create subcommittees to undertake such special studies as it shall authorize and include in such subcommittees persons qualified in any field of activity relating to aging or disability, or both;

(4) Advise the governor and the heads of state departments and agencies regarding policies, programs, services, allocation of funds, and the needs of older persons and disabled adults in Tennessee and make recommendations for legislative action to the governor and to the general assembly;

(5) Hold hearings, conduct research and other appropriate activities to determine the needs of older persons and disabled adults in the state, including particularly, but not limited to, their needs for health and social services, and to determine the existing services and facilities, private and public, available to meet those needs;

(6) Develop and conduct, alone or in coordination with other agencies, research and demonstration projects and programs that provide training, education, and services to advance the interests of older persons and disabled adults;

(7) Stimulate more effective use of existing resources and services for older persons and disabled adults and develop programs, opportunities and services that are not otherwise provided for older persons and disabled adults, with the aim of developing a comprehensive and coordinated system for the delivery of health and social services; and

(8) Conduct, develop, and implement, alone or in coordination with other agencies, research, pilot projects, and programs designed to promote and encourage healthy aging.

(c) (1) In addition to the powers, responsibilities, and duties granted to the commission, the commission shall operate an outreach and counseling program through the state health insurance assistance program (SHIP) to provide state residents with information, education, and counseling relative to:

(A) Medicare;

(B) TennCare;

(C) Medicare supplement insurance;

(D) Enrollment in the medicare prescription drug plan (Part D), and the accompanying low-income subsidy;

(E) Finding help with the cost of prescription drugs during coverage gaps and access to drugs not covered under Part D;

(F) Medicare advantage options;

(G) Long-term care planning and insurance;

(H) Claims and billing problem resolution, information, and referral on public benefit programs;

(I) Employer and retiree health insurance options for those with medicare and veterans benefits; and

(J) Other military health insurance for those with medicare.

(2) Minimally, such outreach shall include:

(A) A program to assist medicare-eligible persons in processing the necessary documents in order to participate in the programs in subdivision (c)(1);

(B) A toll-free number staffed during business hours to provide information regarding the programs in subdivision (c)(1);

(C) A web site or referral to web site links that provide information regarding the programs in subdivision (c)(1); and

(D) Presentations to senior groups regarding the availability of the programs in subdivision (c)(1).

(3) The commission shall implement the outreach program within the commission's available resources.

(4) The commission may delegate any or all such responsibilities to a private or public contractor.

(5) The commission is authorized to make application for grants to fund programs set forth in subdivision (c)(1).

(6) The commission may adopt rules in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5, to implement this subsection (c).

(d) Nothing in this part or the Long-Term Care Community Choices Act of 2008, compiled in chapter 5, part 14 of this title, shall authorize the commission to exercise any control or authority over any aspect of the administration of programs for home and community-based long-term care services that were operating on the basis of federal waivers in effect on June 19, 2001.

History: Acts 1981, ch. 428, § 6; 1982, ch. 834, § 6; 1984, ch. 943, § 3; T.C.A., § 14-6-105; Acts 2001, ch. 397, § 6; 2002, ch. 703, § 1; 2012, ch. 986, § 15; 2013, ch. 236, § 58; 2014, ch. 556, § 5; 2015, ch. 461, § 1; 2016, ch. 690, §§ 1-4.