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IL evaluating Medicaid work requirement

14 January 2018
IL evaluating Medicaid work requirement

Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham sent the following letter to Governor Martinez requesting that she refrain from filing a request with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) to impose work requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries throughout New Mexico. Another 37 percent are either pregnant women, elderly or disabled. Many of them have jobs that don't provide health insurance. One of those states was Arkansas.

The Trump administration took a significant step Thursday toward letting states set up work requirements for people on Medicaid, the program that covers health care for millions of Americans. "We owe them the opportunity and resources to connect with job skills, training and employment so they can rise out of poverty". "Those days are over".

"I'm a little anxious that we are going to not be able to hold all of the people because so many people want to come and be a part of this", Bobo said. Are they likely to do it, and how soon could we see actual work requirements go into effect?

The Department of Healthcare and Family Services, which runs Medicaid in IL, says it is looking at the rule change implications in the state. "Such programs should be created to promote better mental, physical, and emotional health in furtherance of Medicaid program objectives". States should try to align their Medicaid work requirements with similar conditions in other programs, such as food stamps and cash assistance. Some who miss a payment or fail to re-enroll in the program will be locked out of health coverage for six months. About half of that number are either working or already in some sort of activity that qualifies, officials said.

While the Trump administration's new guidance on Medicaid work requirements sparked outrage from some, the head of a trade group for managed care plans saw reasons for optimism in the fine print. "For example, higher earnings are positively correlated with longer life span".

However some IL patient advocates said they hope the state doesn't submit a proposal to make having a job a condition of Medicaid eligibility, citing fears it would leave people without health insurance.

MCEVERS: States have to apply for a waiver if they want to impose these work rules. If a suspended beneficiary hasn't met the work or volunteering requirement by their redetermination date, their Medicaid enrollment will be terminated and they will have to submit a new application to rejoin Medicaid.

In its May 2017 budget proposal, the Trump administration stated its intention to allow states to manage how they administer Medicaid programs.

The agency specifically calls out the opioid epidemic, saying that time spent in treatment can count towards the mandate and those in intensive recovery programs can be excused. Right now about 60 percent of people on Medicaid who aren't deemed disabled have jobs. And you know, the dollars and cents, you know - people know this is going to take money to build this out, to track work requirements.

Liberal-leaning groups had already hinted at challenging Medicaid work requirements in court before the Kentucky waiver was approved, and some of those same groups harshly criticized at the policies in the state's demonstration project. It also encourages an exemption for people who are deemed "medically frail". Between 2014 and 2015, almost 6,900 adults lost food stamps after work requirements took effect in that benefit program.

Gov. Bevin added that Kentucky's Medicaid waivers serve as the terms under which the state can continue to maintain expanded Medicaid.

But the new policy is exactly what some Republican governors were seeking.

Yesterday, health care advocates in North Carolina and across the US were officially alerted to yet another fight to ensure that people retain health coverage and access to care. Those newly eligible beneficiaries are the biggest drivers of health spending in the state, officials said, so the work requirements are primarily aimed at them.

"I don't think our approach is punitive, nor should it be".