Trump administration will allow states to test Medicaid work requirements

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Soon, the administration will likely approve "waiver" proposals, starting with Kentucky and IN and followed by other states, to end Medicaid coverage not only for people who aren't working, but also for those who didn't pay premiums - or renew their coverage - on time. Critics say the plan violates federal law.

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

Sixty percent of Medicaid's non-elderly adults already work, according to a recent analysis of census data by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Those who have a job, are in school or care for young children will need to document to their state's Medicaid agency that they are in compliance - or risk losing their benefits.

In California, 13 million people - about a third of the state's population - are enrolled in Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program. Aligning requirements across these programs may streamline eligibility and reduce the burden on both states and beneficiaries and help beneficiaries succeed in meeting their work and community engagement responsibilities.

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If work requirements have the same impact in Medicaid, that will weaken the Medicaid expansion, furthering a key administration goal.

"This action by the Trump administration goes after people who are just trying to get by", Democratic U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of OR said. To achieve the objectives of Medicaid, state programs should be created to promote better physical and mental health.

Section 1115 of the Social Security Act gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services authority to approve experimental, pilot, or demonstration projects determined by the Secretary to be likely to assist in promoting the objectives of the Medicaid program. The broadening of Medicaid to low-income adults under Obamacare - roughly 11 million have gained coverage under the health reform law's Medicaid expansion provision - further spurred GOP efforts. "While high-quality health care is important for an individual's health and well-being, there are many other determinants of health".

Sununu said Thursday that work requirements offer opportunities to lifting individuals out of poverty and empower them with the dignity of work and self-reliability while also allowing states to control the costs of their Medicaid programs. Bullard said she has epilepsy and other medical conditions that make working long hours impossible. "We want to give states as much flexibility as possible because that's where we'll be able to evaluate what actually works best".

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"Access to Medicaid makes it easier for people to look for work and obtain employment", Wikle said. States should take these issues - as well as recipients' employability - into consideration and allow for modifications or exemptions, the agency said.

The guidance specifies only that pregnant women and "medically frail" people be exempt - though frailty is not defined - and that people with opioid addiction be either exempted or allowed to count time in drug treatment toward work activities.

The administration, by encouraging states to impose changes that will eliminate coverage for large numbers of low-income residents, threatens to reverse these gains.

"This policy move does not include a single penny to job training, does not add a penny to job placement, does not add a penny to job creation", Berg remarked.

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