Kentucky Is First State Granted Approval For Medicaid Work Requirements

Kentucky Is First State Granted Approval For Medicaid Work Requirements

Kentucky on Friday became the first US state to require that Medicaid recipients work or get jobs training, after gaining federal approval for the fundamental change to the 50-year-old health insurance program for the poor. Rep. Travis Cummings, R-Orange Park, introduced a bill that would have required all Medicaid beneficiaries who are part of the state's "managed medical assistance" program to adhere to the same work requirements that now apply to families who receive temporary cash assistance.

Republicans have long wanted to add work requirements for Medicaid recipients - which covers almost 75 million low-income children, adults and elderly and disabled Americans.

The red tape associated with work requirements also adds a new burden on the agencies that administer Medicaid benefits, Musumeci noted.

States would have the flexibility to identify activities other than employment that promote health and wellness and could include community service, caregiving or job training. The commonwealth is one of ten states, including IN, that have requested approval from the federal government for such a provision.

New Hampshire is one of the states seeking to employ the new program.

For people in exceptionally vulnerable positions - say, someone who just lost his job after failing a drug test and can't find an available space at a substance abuse program in his area - adding another bureaucratic hurdle could make it even more hard to get back on track. "But we really need to encourage work, and I'm glad to see the Trump administration favor it", Bradley said.

Bevin ran on dismantling that Medicaid expansion before his election in 2015, citing high costs.

Children and non-disabled adults make up most of the enrollees, most spending is on the elderly and people with disabilities.

Even so, the results offer fresh evidence that payment increases can work as intended, particularly in getting physicans who accept Medicaid to take on more patients with this type of coverage, said Judith Solomon, vice president for health policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C.

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Democrats and health advocacy groups blasted the federal policy on Thursday, saying it would make it tougher for the most vulnerable Americans to have access to healthcare. Almost 60 percent work either full time or part time, mainly for employers that don't offer health insurance.

"Medicaid needs to be more flexible so that states can best address the needs of this population".

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.

Medicaid, the government's largest health insurance program, covers more than 70 million people.

But work requirements have strong public backing.

The Illinois Health and Hospital Association also opposes the work requirements. The failed efforts in the House to replace Obamacare included a work requirement for Medicaid. "We don't have childless able-bodied working age adults in our system, so I don't know how that would transpose to us".

The Health and Human Services policy allowing states to create added barriers to Medicaid is the latest attack by the Trump administration on health care.

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service.

Kerri Wyland, a spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Scott, did not directly answer whether Scott would support work requirements or co-payments for the Medicaid program. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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