For legal and political reasons, the Trump administration has characterized using Medicaid waivers to impose work reporting requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries as experimental, relying on Section 1115 of the Affordable Care Act. Similarly, states proposing Medicaid Section 1115 waivers to add work reporting requirements have hypothesized gains in self-sufficiency, increased employment, and improved health. These are dubious claims, and many observers saw these so-called experimental projects for what they were: an attempt to kick people off Medicaid.
Federal Judge Boasberg struck down work requirements for the Medicaid program in both Arkansas and Kentucky. This March 28th webinar discussed the Judge's ruling and what it means for the future of Medicaid.
Featured speakers include:
- Eliot Fishman, Senior Director of Health Policy, Families USA
- Sophia Tripoli, Director of Health Care Innovations, Families USA
Since July, a grim drumbeat has sounded from Arkansas: thousands of people losing their health insurance every month, disenrolled from Medicaid and “locked out” from rejoining until next year. This past June Arkansas began implementation of a new set of work and community engagement requirements involving new monthly reporting requirements.
NOTE (January 17, 2019): From August through December 2018, Arkansas disenrolled over 18,000 from Medicaid for failure to meet the work hours reporting requirement. Each individual disenrolled was locked out of Medicaid coverage from the point of disenrollment until January 2019, when they can reapply for coverage. At the point individuals re-enroll, the three month “clock” for reporting work hours begins again.
On June 12, Families USA held a webinar that highlighted successful tactics and strategies that could be used in states seeking work requirements. Advocates in Colorado and Minnesota discuss how they successfully stopped work requirements from moving forward in their states. And in Arkansas, advocates discuss how they’re handling a new work requirement that went into effect on June 1, 2018. This webinar reviews successful tactics and strategies that can be used in states seeking Medicaid work requirements, and help advocates prepare for challenges in the year ahead.
On March 5, 2018, CMS approved Arkansas’ request to add a work requirement to its Medicaid program. Equally important, it did not approve the state’s request to roll back Medicaid eligibility to a partial Medicaid expansion. Both tell us a lot about what’s behind CMS’s approach to Medicaid waivers, and what states can expect to have, and not have, approved. View factsheet here.
In 2014, Arkansas accepted federal funds to provide health insurance to more low-income residents through the private option. The private option gives Arkansas residents with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($27,720 for a family of three in 2015) the chance to enroll in affordable health insurance. Our analysis finds that 58 percent of those who stand to gain health coverage through the private option are working.
States that expand Medicaid are making high-quality health coverage available to many hard-working people who would not otherwise have insurance. These individuals don’t qualify for regular Medicaid but cannot afford private health insurance. We looked at data from 11 states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and found that the majority of residents who can benefit from expanded Medicaid are employed.
After expanding Medicaid, eight states (Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia) are expected to achieve budgetary savings and revenue gains exceeding $1.8 billion by the end of 2015, according to a report published yesterday. And that’s even though these states are fairly early into their Medicaid expansion.
States that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act are seeing major budget savings, according to reports released in the past month. These budget savings coupled with new data linking Medicaid expansion to job growth in the health care sector add to the reasons why the program makes good sense for states.