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Feds issue guidance so states can pursue Medicaid work requirement

14 January 2018

Meanwhile, Wisconsin and IN welcomed a letter issued Thursday by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announcing that the agency will support state efforts to test incentives that make participation IN work or other community engagement a requirement for continued Medicaid eligibility.

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

While Verma and the Trump administration claim the change will allow states to support their residents in improving their overall health, citing the longer lifespan of working individuals as an example, state Medicaid agencies will not receive any federal funds to assist in the creation of work support programs.

"Our policy guidance was in response to states that asked us for the flexibility they need to improve their programs", Verma said in a statement.

The Trump administration announced Thursday it would allow states to impose work requirements on "able-bodied" adults who receive Medicaid.

"States have the opportunity to help individuals improve and enhance the skills that employers truly value", Verma said.

But many conservatives believe able-bodied adults should not be permitted to benefit from the coverage without either working, training or actively seeking a job.

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CMS said in a news discharge that abilities preparing or training may have the capacity to fulfill the work prerequisites.

States wouldn't be able to request work requirements for disabled people and children under the new guidance; however, a number of nonpartisan health care think tanks point out that many Americans who rely on Medicaid can not work because they are the primary care providers for much sicker family members or live with other socioeconomic realities that make finding work more hard.

"Medicaid recipients want to get off public assistance; they want to have a better life", Verma said.

The Kaiser Family Foundation has found hat approximately 40% of non-SSI Medicaid adults are not working, and these individuals are most likely to be affected by this policy.

Kentucky is expected to be the first state to get permission, but IN also expects its waiver request to be approved IN the coming days. That leaves plenty of chances to fall through the cracks of a work requirement.

Lead author Renuka Tipirneni, M.D., M.Sc., a U-M assistant professor of internal medicine, is available to discuss the results and how they might inform the national and state-level discussion about requirements such as those laid out by CMS.

It's still unclear when and if Pennsylvania will apply for the federal waiver.

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"I think we're building a country of some people who have gotten to the point they feel very comfortable living off of the government", Moul said.

Welfare reform two decades ago entrenched the idea of a work requirement as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families replaced the cash assistance welfare program.

The CMS guidance indicated it would take some of these factors into account and suggested states should look at how changes would affect areas with high unemployment and large numbers of caregivers in particular.

Even if people in treatment, or with other circumstances that prevent them from working, are legally entitled to an exemption under state rules, another big issue is how many hoops they'll have to jump through to keep getting medical care.

The move opens the entryway for states to apply for waivers to enable them to require Medicaid enrollees to work with a specific end goal to get scope, something that has at no other time occurred in the 50-year history of the program.

Under the new CMS guidelines, states will be required to put "reasonable modifications" in place for those who need them, such as people with disabilities.

The latest Arizona numbers show 1.8 million Arizonans - one in every four state residents - now has health coverage through Medicaid.

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Feds issue guidance so states can pursue Medicaid work requirement