Trump Administration Paves Way For Ohio's Medicaid Work Requirement

The Las Vegas Convention Center lost power on January 10 in the middle of CES 2018 the massive annual gathering of technology companies

The Las Vegas Convention Center lost power on January 10 in the middle of CES 2018 the massive annual gathering of technology companies

Wolf is running for re-election this year, meaning that state voters will determine who will be in the governor's office if the Legislature approves another Medicaid work requirement bill next year.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) administrator, Seema Verma, said on Twitter the new effort will "improve Medicaid enrollees health outcomes by incentivizing community engagement".

"While work requirements are meant to promote work among those not working, coverage for those who are working could be at risk if beneficiaries face administrative obstacles in verifying their work status or documenting an exemption", KFF said.

Medicaid is the nation's largest public insurance program, providing health benefits to almost 74 million Americans, chiefly low-income adults.

Requirements could involve forcing recipients to prove they are actively seeking work, volunteer their time to community service if they cannot find work, or undergo job training programs.

The agency is encouraging states to align their Medicaid work requirements with those mandated by other federal safety net programs.

Mandating work requirements has been a long-standing priority for conservatives, and the Trump administration announcement reverses previous policies that prevented states from requiring Medicaid beneficiaries to work to qualify for the program.

More than 1.2 million non-disabled working-age adults receive Medicaid in IL, and most do work.

But advocates said work requirements will become one more hoop for low-income people to jump through, and many could be denied needed coverage because of technicalities and challenging new paperwork.

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According to a recent analysis by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, 6 in 10 of the almost 25 million working-age, nondisabled adults on Medicaid already work full time or part time.

Many recipients do not work because of illness (36 percent) or family obligations (30 percent), the study found.

Republican repeal proposals sought to switch Medicaid to a per capita cap or block grant structure, and would have ended the Medicaid expansion program, which critics said would reduce the number of Americans covered by Medicaid. For example, the guidance suggests that states could "count time spent in treatment toward [the work] requirement, or exempt a person going through inpatient or outpatient treatment from the requirement altogether". The guidance marked a major policy shift in the joint federal-state health program for low-income and disabled Americans. "They just said there are considerations...."

Opponents of the move quickly decried the Trump administration's action, arguing that it represented a gutting of Medicaid and the administration's disregard for the poor (which was a big part of the pushback against the failed effort to replace Obamacare). The Obama administration concluded that making it harder for people to get health insurance does not make them healthier.

In his State of the State address Tuesday, Gov. Phil Bryant of MS, a Republican, said he supported a "workforce requirement" for able-bodied adults on Medicaid. Almost eight in 10 adult beneficiaries who aren't disabled live in working families; most are working themselves. About two-thirds of Medicaid beneficiaries are either seniors, disabled people or children.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced it will support state policies that require people to work for their Medicaid coverage.

Verma said the Trump administration would require states to make "reasonable modifications" of their work requirements for people who are addicted to opioids or have other substance use disorders. Ten states -including IN and Kentucky - have submitted proposals to add a so-called work requirement to their Medicaid plans.

"There are a lot of different ideas, and a lot of ways to go about this", she said.

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