Michigan Requests Medicaid Work Requirements Waiver, Just As Analysis Raises Questions About Effectiveness Of Policy
If the Trump administration doesn't approve the program, Michigan will end its expansion of Medicaid, which currently covers 655,000 individuals. Meanwhile, two new studies raise doubts about the rationale behind the requirements because the vast majority of beneficiaries already work or would be exempt for other reasons.
Michigan Asks Trump Administration To Approve Medicaid Work Requirements
Michigan is asking the Trump administration to approve work requirements for thousands of low-income adults who gained health care under ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion. Under the proposal, beneficiaries between the ages of 19 to 62 will have to work, volunteer or attend job training for at least 80 hours a month to keep their benefits. (Hellmann, 9/10)
Medicaid Work Requirements Will Cause 'More Harm Than Good': Researchers
Medicaid work requirements could promote “better mental, physical and emotional health” and “help individuals and families rise out of poverty and attain independence,” Brian Neale, a top Medicaid official for the administration who has since left his post, wrote in a letter to state directors of the health program. But two new studies published today in JAMA Internal Medicine question the effectiveness of and rationale for such work requirements, finding that the vast majority of Medicaid recipients already work or would be exempt for reasons such as pregnancy or disability. Because only a small number of beneficiaries would be affected, budgetary savings through any reduction in the rolls would be minimal. (Mehtani, 9/10)
Medicaid Work Requirements Would Net 1% In Savings
"Community engagement" policies -- or work requirements -- for Medicaid would result in narrow savings if correctly applied, but would likely lead to eligible beneficiaries losing insurance due to challenges in navigating the red tape, researchers reported. If work requirements were instituted nationwide, 2.8% of enrollees would no longer be eligible for coverage, representing roughly 0.7% in total Medicaid spending, according to Anna Goldman, MD, MPH, of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues. (Ingram, 9/10)