White House: “States Will Be Allowed to Test Medicaid Work Requirements”

It was announced on Thursday by the Trump administration that states would be allowed to test requiring some Medicaid recipients to work or somehow participate in the community activities as a way to be eligible for health insurance if they are part of the poorer segment of society.

Guidance was issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that made it simpler and easier for states to be able to design their own modified test programs. The changes to the program must first be proposed by states through waivers before receiving federal approval.

Reuters reports that the agency administrator, Seema Verma, said that the policy guidance came in response to requests from at least 10 states that have proposed requiring some Medicaid recipients to work or participate in activities that may include skills training, education, job search, volunteering or caregiving. Those states include Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, Arizona, Indiana, and Utah.

However, some Medicaid parts of the population would be free from the rules, such as those with disabilities, the elderly, children, and pregnant women.

“This gives us a pathway to start approving waivers, this is about helping those individuals rise out of poverty,” Verma said on Wednesday.

On the other hand, Republicans have repeatedly failed to repeal and replace ObamaCare. The Obama administration was also against the efforts of requiring work or volunteering in Medicaid because it results in fewer people having health insurance.

Last year, Kentucky proposed work requirements for able-bodied people in order to get insurance and establish new fees to all members based on income, arguing that the action taken will result in about 86,000 fewer people on Medicaid in the first five years alone, which, in turn, would save more than 330 million dollars.

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