Medicaid New Guidelines: Get A Job Or Volunteer If You Want Medicaid
Medicaid has just issued new guidelines to the States indicating that only those employed or doing volunteer work will be eligible for benefits.
Medicaid: New Guidelines
The new guidelines would allow states to require that some Medicaid enrollees hold a job, participate in volunteer work, or enroll in classes or work training for a certain number of hours each week. States could choose to include caregiving for a disabled child or elderly adult as meeting the requirement.
The guidance contains numerous exemptions, and states cannot enact programs until they are approved through a waiver by CMS. Medicaid recipients would have to abide by the stipulations if they are elderly, disabled, children, or pregnant. It also allows states to determine that specific populations are medically frail, such as providing exemptions for people who are undergoing treatment for an opioid addiction.
Medicaid: Resistance To The New Guidelines
Medicaid has been a politically charged program. Obamacare was written to have all states expand Medicaid to anyone making less than about $16,000 a year, but a Supreme Court decision made the provision optional for states. As a result, 18 states have not expanded the program. (Maine voters expanded the program under a ballot measure, but it is being held up by Republican Gov. Paul LePage over concerns about funding.)
Currently, ten states, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin, have asked to implement the requirement.
States would be required to track what happens as a result of implementing conditions on Medicaid, including information about how many people lose coverage as a result of the programs, and to make the information public.
Medicaid now covers 43 million Americans, with 15 percent of Medicaid dollars going toward people who can be described as “able-bodied” and “working-age” adults. Most funding goes toward children, older Americans, and people who are disabled.