Medicaid Beneficiaries Won’t Report Hours If They Don’t Know The Requirements Exist
Thousands of people were dropped from Arkansas' Medicaid rolls after failing to report new required work hours, but advocates say that's because people don't realize they have to. The federal government invested millions into getting the word out about the health law, and still it took years for people to understand what it was. States have far fewer resources and time.
The New York Times:
One Big Problem With Medicaid Work Requirement: People Are Unaware It Exists
The Trump administration argues that imposing work requirements for Medicaid is an incentive that can help lift people out of poverty. But a test program in Arkansas shows how hard it is merely to inform people about new incentives, let alone get them to act. In the first month that it was possible for people to lose coverage for failing to comply, more than 4,300 people were kicked out of the program for the rest of the year. Thousands more are on track to lose health benefits in the coming months. You lose coverage if you fail to report three times, and the program, in effect for three months, is slowly phasing in more people. (Sanger-Katz, 9/24)
Trump Administration To Review Alabama Work Requirements For Medicaid.
The Trump administration will review Alabama's proposal to require some Medicaid beneficiaries, including parents of young children, work to continue receiving benefits. The proposal would require beneficiaries work or complete other activities for 35 hours a week. Parents of children younger than six would have to work 20 hours a week. (Hellmann, 9/21)
The Washington Post:
Virginia’s Medicaid Work Requirement Won’t Hit Until Long After Program Expands Next Year
Virginia is gearing up to expand Medicaid eligibility to as many as 400,000 residents in January, but requirements that recipients work and pay premiums could lag two years behind, officials said this week. The gap has infuriated Republican state senators who opposed the expansion effort and viewed work requirements as making it slightly less objectionable. (Schneider, 9/22)
In other news on Medicaid —
Close Governor Races Could Decide Future Of Medicaid
Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams, whose family was uninsured when she was growing up, says she's running to “expand Medicaid and keep hospital doors open.” Accepting the Affordable Care Act expansion would bring in $3 billion in federal funding a year and cover nearly 500,000 Georgians. She's one of several Democratic gubernatorial candidates making a similar pitch in states that have not extended Medicaid to low-income adults as allowed by the ACA. Others are Andrew Gillum in Florida, Laura Kelly in Kansas, and Janet Mills in Maine. All are locked in tight races against Republicans who strongly oppose expansion. (Meyer, 9/22)
Hospitals, Insurers Wage Political War Over Managed-Care Dollars
Medicaid is the foundation and structure of its healthcare system, but there are so many gaps for people to fall through that many don't believe in it. If you are not disabled or pregnant, you can't get coverage unless you have a young child or become pregnant. Even then you have to make less than $5,000 per year as part of a family of three. People increasingly don't trust much else about the system, including the hospitals and doctors who run it. (Luthi, 9/22)