A bill requiring able-bodied recipients of Medicaid to pursue employment, volunteer service or subsistence activities, as a condition of eligibility, was introduced in the Alaska State Senate.

Senate President Pete Kelly (R-Fairbanks) the bill’s sponsor: “Obviously, we need to exempt those who are unable to work due to advanced age or health limitations. However, the opportunity to contribute to one’s community through work or volunteerism should not be denied to any Alaskan. The requirement for work is not a punishment; it’s a privilege.”

SB 193 states that eligible Medicaid recipients should be required to work, enroll in educational or training programs, volunteer, or engage in subsistence activities, for a minimum of 20 hours each

Recipients under 18 or over 65 years of age, those who are unable to work for medical reasons, pregnant women, and other members of vulnerable groups, are exempt from the requirements.

According to a release from Kelly, the bill also ensures that the work requirement does not prevent a recipient with a substance abuse disorder from obtaining appropriate treatment.

SB 193 was referred to the Senate Health and Social Services Committee and the Senate Finance

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Medicaid Work Requirement Bill Introduced In Senate