Kentucky First to Set Medicaid Work Requirements


The work requirement is one of the biggest changes in the history of Medicaid, which covers more than 74 million people, or about 1 in 5 Americans.

On Friday, Kentucky became the first state with federal approval to implement a so-called work requirement for Medicaid recipients.

Ironically, the first waiver request the Trump administration is likely to approve is from Kentucky, a state that has benefited enormously from Medicaid coverage for people facing opioid addiction.

But the state today doesn't know how many of its enrollees are already employed, said Snyder.

"The idea that we should keep doing what we're doing is an insult to the people of Kentucky".

Bevin is calling the waiver "Kentucky HEALTH".

Former President Obama, under the Affordable Care Act, allowed states to expand the program to include low-income adults who have jobs that don't provide health insurance.

Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner says the program will help citizens find a faster path to better health, but Rep. John Yarmuth (D-03) called it irresponsible.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 60 percent of the non-disabled, adult Medicaid population works either part- or full-time.

The administration said states must fully comply with federal disability and civil rights laws, to accommodate disabled people and prevent those who are medically frail from being denied coverage. People working 120 hours a month are also exempt.

Pregnant women and children won't have premiums, won't have a change in benefits and won't have to complete the community engagement requirement. If they don't, they'll have until a state-determined date to make up those hours. And if they haven't done any of those things by that predetermined date, they'll get kicked out of Medicaid for six months and have to reapply.

However, Bevin has said he would support for the state's Medicaid expansion with limitations, such as a work requirement.

Bevin says to not include an expectation for able-bodied people receiving Medicaid to work is a form of "soft bigotry". In the remaining, only a small number of people will be subject to the requirements.

Ten states have applied for a federal waiver to add a work requirement - Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin.

In the data, there is a positive correlation between work and both physical and mental health; states that impose the work requirement will be required to show improvements in order to continue their programs.

"By approving Governor Bevin's unsafe and irresponsible Medicaid waiver, the Trump administration has agreed to end health coverage for 95,000 Kentuckians". There are other exemptions for groups of people, as well. Make no mistake: people will die because of this. Either you value life or you don't.

Many people insured through Medicaid are working low-income jobs with unpredictable and irregular hours. "Instead, this is an effort to transform Medicaid into a work program for low-income adults with healthcare as the prize". For example, the federal law only authorizes the secretary to allow states to ignore Medicaid's consumer protections when a state is implementing an experimental project created to promote the objectives of the Medicaid Act.

"We're exploring a lot of different opportunities for where those funds can come from", Sununu said. The policy change should help people find jobs that offer health coverage or make enough money to afford private plans, she said. The state must settle basic questions, including whether people would have to meet the new conditions at the time of enrollment, at the annual renewal of their Medicaid coverage or at another time.