News Release

What Are States Proposing for Work Requirements in Medicaid?

With the approval of Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion waiver, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has for the first time granted a state permission to make Medicaid eligibility conditional on meeting a work requirement. Nine other states have waivers pending at CMS that would impose work requirements, including Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Indiana, Wisconsin, Maine, New Hampshire, Mississippi and Utah.

A new brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation highlights what the work requirements would be in each state, including what would count as work activities (e.g. job search and training, community service), the hours required, and what the common exemptions to the requirements would be (e.g. disability, being in drug treatment, caregiving). The brief also highlights some of the key issues to consider in implementing such requirements, such as administrative costs, potential confusion over documentation requirements and the risk that some people will lose coverage for which they remain eligible.

Also available is our updated Medicaid waiver tracker, which rounds up states’ approved and pending Medicaid waiver requests.

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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.