One critical issue that will affect the fallout from the Medicaid work requirements is the makeup of the Medicaid program itself, the critics say.
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. Kentucky's request could be approved as soon as this week, according to MSN.
"Medicaid needs to be more flexible so that states can best address the needs of this population", Verma said in a statement.
The Democratic governor said he wants the work requirements to be "reasonable", impacting only able-bodied adult Medicaid recipients, with exceptions for people in school or educational training programs. Under the Affordable Care Act, the program has expanded in more than 30 states to cover residents with somewhat higher incomes.
More than 40 million Americans are covered by Medicaid, although most of the funding goes to children, the elderly and those with disabilities. 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.
Medicaid is a federal-state collaboration covering more than 70 million people, or about 1 in 5 Americans, and that makes it the largest government health insurance program. Programs like the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, which provides cash assistance to persons with modest incomes, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, make work conditional of federal assistance.More news: Kia to unveil new K3 compact sedan at Detroit auto show
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The administration's latest action spells out safeguards that states should consider to obtain federal approval for waivers imposing work requirements on "able-bodied" adults. The program, funded jointly by the federal government and states, provides health coverage to low-income families and individuals, including children, parents, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities. In practical terms, they would represent new requirements for beneficiaries in those states. "Each state is different", the letter says, and such activities "include, but are not limited to, community service, caregiving, education, job training, and substance use disorder treatment".
"This is about helping those individuals rise out of poverty", said Seema Verma, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Sixty percent of Medicaid's non-elderly adults already work, according to a recent analysis of census data by the Kaiser Family Foundation. They won't be affected by the policy changes, but what about those who will?
The report also states that people with a full-time job are less likely to suffer from depression. Demonstrations, which give states additional flexibility to design and improve their programs, are also created to evaluate state-specific policy approaches and better serve Medicaid populations. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is a nonpartisan research organization that focuses on health care, almost 60 percent of Medicaid recipients work either full time or part time, with the majority of the unemployed recipients citing reasons such as illness, attending school or caring for family members.
Verma also had a major role in designing an unorthodox approach to Medicaid in IN, which had asked the Obama administration to approve a work requirement.