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NH GOP leaders plan to add Medicaid work requirement

NH GOP leaders plan to add Medicaid work requirement

Those generally include requirements for recipients to be working, be looking for work, volunteering or in school.

Expanding access to health care would help alleviate the opioid crisis and create 15,000 jobs in hospitals and clinics, the center said. If an individual already satisfies a work requirement in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP or "food stamps") or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), then they will automatically satisfy the Medicaid requirement.

The federal government paved the way for the approval on Thursday, when it announced it would allow work requirements as a condition for Medicaid coverage. In addition, Kentucky HEALTH will ensure availability of Medicaid resources to our most vulnerable citizens by saving an initial estimated $2 billion dollars (federal and state) over the waiver demonstration period, allowing these funds to be focused on those most in need and other critical areas.

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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 addition to the large group of enrollees already working, the federal guidelines excluded children - who make up almost half of Medicaid enrollees. That leaves plenty of chances to fall through the cracks of a work requirement. The state must settle basic questions, including whether people would have to meet the new conditions at the time of enrollment, at the annual renewal of their Medicaid coverage or at another time.

"Recipients will be able to attest to it themselves", Hunter said at the Kentucky Primary Care Association Conference in Lexington in November. But many are in the kind of unstable, low-wage jobs in which hours vary from week to week and sporadic layoffs are common.

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"It is not a matter of charity to extend health care to people who do not have access to health care. If you look at our Medicaid population, mostly children, mostly seniors, and single pregnant moms, I don't think that is necessarily something that we would do". 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. Among those looking for work, almost three-quarters reported that Medicaid helped. National evidence suggests that those who are unemployed and have significant health issues find the lack of coverage inhibits searching for or maintaining employment. "We don't have childless able-bodied working age adults in our system, so I don't know how that would transpose to us".

Health & Family Services Secretary Vickie Yates Glisson says the Kentucky HEALTH program will start in July, and that it is not a "one size fits all" solution. Rep. Travis Cummings, R-Orange Park, introduced a bill that would have required all Medicaid beneficiaries who are part of the state's "managed medical assistance" program to adhere to the same work requirements that now apply to families who receive temporary cash assistance. Medicaid expansion is exactly that type of policy.

Elizabeth Lower-Basch is the director of the income and work supports at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).

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