The approach, however, is drawing criticism from advocates for the poor, who say jobs, volunteer positions and transportation can be hard to come by in rural areas ​with persistent unemployment.

The Wall Street Journal:
After Linking Work To Food Stamps, Maine Seeks Same With Medicaid

Maine wants to do to Medicaid what it did to food stamps: link the health program for low-income people to work requirements in the hope of reducing enrollment, raising incomes and prioritizing resources for children, the elderly and disabled. The state is among several that plan to seek federal approval to apply work rules to able-bodied adults without dependents in its Medicaid program, which serves 270,000 people. To make the case, Maine officials say they will point to their record with food stamps. (Levitz, 4/14)

In other news on Medicaid —

Modern Healthcare:
Low Rates Could Detract Medicaid Managed Care Plans

Several states soon may see an exodus of managed Medicaid plan insurers if they don’t update their rate-setting processes and bake in additional funds [so] companies can pay administrative costs, according to a new report. More than 50 million Medicaid beneficiaries in 39 states receive healthcare through managed care programs, but many states aren’t paying insurers enough money to generate an adequate margin on that business. Unless states increase Medicaid insurance companies’ margins, they may have to rethink managed care altogether, according to a report from The Society of Actuaries. (Dickson, 4/13)

States Moving More Medicaid Patients To Managed Care

Private health insurance companies stand to reap a bigger share of the Medicaid business as states deal with budget shortfalls and increased spending on medical care. Illinois, North Carolina and Oklahoma are among the larger states moving more of their states’ Medicaid beneficiaries under the management of private insurers over the next two years. In addition, Florida and Mississippi are renewing Medicaid managed-care contracts with states, according to Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA). (Japsen, 4/13)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.