Federal Government to Implement Work Requirements for Medicaid Recipients

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Before the payment increases, Medicaid fees for primary care services for all age groups were typically 59 percent of the amount paid by Medicare, the USA health program for the elderly, researchers note in Pediatrics. People working 120 hours a month are also exempt. Many of them have jobs that don't provide health insurance.

Milliman, an Indianapolis-based actuarial firm hired by the state to evaluate its program, predicts just under 133,000 Hoosiers on the state's Medicaid expansion HIP 2.0 would be subject to the work requirement.

So what could this new guidance from the Trump administration mean for the 72.5 million Americans receiving Medicaid benefits and the millions more who will need it in the future?

Researchers examined the proportion of pediatricians accepting Medicaid before and after payments increased in 2013 and 2014 - and found gains in participation nationwide as well as in most studied states. "Those days are over".

Ten states - Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin - have already sought waivers. Officials in several other states have said they are interested in the idea.

At times, Bevin has framed the waiver as an attempt to improve the health of a state that consistently shows up near the bottom of national rankings.

Bevin said the waiver will be "transformational".

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services said Thursday that the "policy notice and its implications are under review". He said his group is concerned work requirements could affect how the health plans operate. Or they're caring for a child or family member, or they're sick or disabled. He has said it will inject more personal responsibility into the government health plan and he believes participants should have some "skin in the game".

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Cuello said CMS has it backward, arguing people need to be healthy in order to work. Many governors, including Republican ones, have defended the Medicaid program as being critical to addressing the substance abuse crisis.

Medicaid's chief federal officer is Seema Verma; her home state of IN submitted plans for a work requirement past year, and the approval letter could come any day now.

"This marks the first significant change to a federal entitlement program in more than 20 years". Bevin said he expects the program to be fully implemented at the beginning of next year. Imposing a work requirement as a condition for people to receive public health insurance support could be the sparks that lights a fire and gets someone to decide to make those changes.

CMS Deputy Administrator and Director for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services Brian Neale applauded Kentucky's efforts.

It's not clear how many people in Kentucky will be affected by the new rules. They could also work as volunteers at food pantries and other charitable organizations. If you're not able to meet the work requirement, you could potentially qualify through other activities, such as volunteering.

In addition to the large group of enrollees already working, the federal guidelines excluded children - who make up almost half of Medicaid enrollees.

Medicaid has played a big role in combating the opioid epidemic, paying for a wide range of treatments and medications. "Kentucky HEALTH is a unique program that reflects Kentucky's specific needs, one that will take a new approach to improving people's overall health, stability, and quality of life", Bevin said in a statement. "We don't have childless able-bodied working age adults in our system, so I don't know how that would transpose to us".

Critics say the work requirement proposal - which was repeatedly rejected by the Obama administration on the argument it would interfere with providing health coverage - is a more subtle way to reduce the number of non-disabled adults added to Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

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