New KFF Study: Medicaid Work Requirement Hurts Working Enrollees

new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation provides illustrative scenarios of potential Medicaid coverage reductions if all states had work requirements similar to those already approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for Kentucky, Indiana, Arkansas and New Hampshire, and sought by several other states.  As the bar chart below illustrates, the analysis finds that a majority of people who would lose Medicaid coverage are likely to be working or able to qualify for an exemption; they would lose coverage due to administrative difficulty reporting their status. Between 1.4 million and 4 million adults could lose Medicaid coverage nationally, the analysis finds.

 

 

new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation provides illustrative scenarios of potential Medicaid coverage reductions if all states had work requirements similar to those already approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for Kentucky, Indiana, Arkansas and New Hampshire, and sought by several other states.  As the bar chart below illustrates, the analysis finds that a majority of people who would lose Medicaid coverage are likely to be working or able to qualify for an exemption; they would lose coverage due to administrative difficulty reporting their status. Between 1.4 million and 4 million adults could lose Medicaid coverage nationally, the analysis finds.

During the last West Virginia state legislative session, the issue of Medicaid work requirements was debated. West Virginians Together for Medicaid were pleased that the legislature did not move forward a Medicaid work requirement bill, but unfortunately they did pass a harmful bill addressing food stamp benefits - i.e. the Supplemental Food Assistance Program (SNAP).

As a number of states pursue Medicaid waivers to require certain beneficiaries to work in order to receive benefits, the U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee passed a budget resolution this month calling for the enactment of Medicaid work requirements in all states, a goal also advanced in proposed legislation in the U.S. Senate by Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana. 

Earlier analysis shows that most nonelderly Medicaid adults already are working or face significant barriers to work, leaving a very small share of adults to whom these policies are directed.  More than six in ten nonelderly, non-dual, non-SSI Medicaid adults are already working.  Among those who are not working, most are in fair/poor health or report illness or disability, caregiving responsibilities, or going to school as reasons for not working. Many of these reasons would likely qualify as exemptions from work requirement policies.  This would leave 6% of the population to whom work requirement policies could be directed. Some in this group report they are retired (2%), which often is related to ill health, and others in this group report that they are unable to find work (2%); just 1% are not working for another reason.

West Virginians Together for Medicaid