Kentucky is 1st to get OK for Medicaid work requirement


Several others are considering doing so as well. Enrollees can return to the program earlier if they pay two months of missed premiums and make one new premium payment.

Instead, more than 480,000 enrolled, bringing the state's total Medicaid enrollment to almost 1.4 million, adding strain to an already severely constrained state budget. Accordingly, Gov. Bevin has signed an executive order directing the Commissioner of Medicaid to take necessary actions to terminate Kentucky's Medicaid expansion in the event that a court decision prohibits one or more of the components of the Section 1115 waiver from being implemented. Ten states -including IN and Kentucky - have submitted proposals to add a so-called work requirement to their Medicaid plans.

CMS has asked that the state submit, within the next six months, a draft evaluation design and implementation timeline. "New barriers to getting covered and new ways of getting kicked off coverage will hurt working Kentuckians, health care providers and our economy".

Kentucky is the first state to force some Medicaid recipients to work or get job training.

The requirement, modeled after the work requirement for the state's food stamps program, would initially apply to enrollees ages 30-49 and would then be extended to those ages 19-29. States must also create exemptions for people who are "medically frail".

More than 2 million people are on Medicaid in Kentucky, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is almost one quarter of the state's population. Among such enrollees, 90 percent were unemployed because they were ill or disabled, retired, taking care of their home or family, or attending school.

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Poor residents in Kentucky will have to work or do volunteer work if they want to keep their Medicaid benefits after the Trump administration on Friday approved the state's request to add the requirements to its Medicaid program. If state officials think that's going to help move people out of poverty, they don't need Washington telling them otherwise. Heiner. "We look forward to welcoming eligible Kentucky HEALTH members to our Kentucky Career Centers, and helping them gain the skills necessary to fill the hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs that are available in the Commonwealth right now".

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.

In a speech to state Medicaid officials in November, Verma indicated that the Trump administration would be receptive to adding work requirements and considering other conservative policy ideas to reshape Medicaid. History from other programs shows people who are working and those who should be exempt lose benefits. Without employer-sponsored health insurance, you could enroll in a plan through during open enrollment or "special enrollment". But that amount could be unaffordable without a regular income. According to his own administration, the work requirements will result in 95,000 fewer people on Kentucky's Medicaid rolls.

Work requirements could have the biggest impact in states that did not expand Medicaid under the ACA.

The Kentucky Medicaid changes generally mimic those of neighboring IN, which altered its program IN 2015 under then-Gov. "Our fundamental goal is to make a positive and lasting difference in the health and wellness of our beneficiaries, and today's announcement is a step in that direction", said Seema Verma, the agency's administrator. More than 700,000 Mississippians receive Medicaid.