Ten states have requested or plan to implement work requirements for Medicaid recipients, and a new report has shed some light on what kind of human and financial impact those requirements could have.
The Trump administration has been supportive of states that want to enact requirements to mandate that able-bodied Medicaid recipients work or perform other community engagement tasks to continue receiving benefits.
What are the numbers?
A study by the Health Research Institute shows that, if work requirements are approved in all 10 states that have requested them, about 1.7 million Medicaid beneficiaries could be impacted.
That population represents nearly $8 billion in annual medical expenditures, according to the report.
Currently, Indiana, Kentucky and Arkansas are the only three states with work requirements. Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Utah and Wisconsin have applied, and several other states have shown interest.
The work requirements require certain Medicaid beneficiaries to perform 20 hours per week of a paying job or some other form of community engagement, such as volunteering.
The conclusion of the report lists three concerns that should be addressed by states implementing work requirements:
- States will have to devise systems and train employees to evaluate and confirm Medicaid eligibility under the new requirements.
- New requirements will cause significantly more movement of people in and out of Medicaid, which could cause confusion and a dip in services provided to beneficiaries.
- Consumer uncertainty about coverage and eligibility could disrupt Medicaid administration.
A battle in Utah
Utah’s Medicaid future is currently up in the air. On one hand, a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid coverage to people who make up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level will be voted on in November.
Simultaneously, the state is seeking to expand Medicaid, but only to those up to 100 percent of the poverty level, while also instituting the work requirement. Utah is one of 18 states that has not expanded Medicaid under ObamaCare.
(H/T The Hill)