NASHVILLE, TN (AP) - Tennessee health officials say they are hopeful the state will soon no longer be the only state in the United States that does not have a program offering coverage for children with significant disabilities living at home.

Commissioner Brad Turner, who oversees the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, says the state submitted a waiver in September asking the federal government for approval to launch a $27 million program allowing disabled children to get Medicaid assistance.

Currently, Tennessee only covers "medically eligible" children in households with income 200% below the federal poverty level, disqualifying many families because they have too high an income or assets under the state's Medicaid program.

Turner said Tuesday he believes the program could start as early as January if the idea is approved.

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