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Letter issued on January 11, 2018

Note: This brief updates previous entitlement programs briefs. For more information, please see the April 12, 2017 brief on work requirements for Medicaid.

Summary

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a letter on January 11th allowing states to impose work requirements for Medicaid eligibility. Eight states, (AR, AZ, IN, KS, ME, NH, UT, and WI) have pending requests for work requirements as a condition for Medicaid eligibility and CMS has already approved Kentucky’s weaver. Previous administrations did not approve work requirements for Medicaid because the guidelines do not align with the program’s purpose of promoting health care coverage. The letter asserts that the new policy assists “states in their efforts to improve Medicaid enrollee health and well-being through incentivizing work and community engagement.” LEARN MORE 

Analysis

Six in 10 nonelderly adults that receive Medicaid benefits are already working. Most of the remaining recipients are not working due to illness, disability, school, or caregiving responsibility, leaving only 7% of nonelderly, Medicaid eligible adults subject to work requirements. Even so, all recipients would have to verify that they are working, looking for a job, or training for employment. States would need to pay for the staff and administrative processes to enforce work requirements. Some eligible recipients may lose coverage due to miscommunication or paperwork errors. In many states, working at minimum wage to adhere to Medicaid work requirements would cause recipients to lose Medicaid eligibility because they would earn too much to qualify.  LEARN MORE 

Engagement Resources

  • Contact Your State Officials – Voice your opinion on the matter to the people who make these important decisions!
  • Families USA – Learn more about Medicaid and how it affects families. Families USA supports the expansion of Medicaid to boost state economies and strengthen the health care system.

This brief was compiled by Ann Furbush. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief please contact ann@usresistnews.org.


 

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