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A Guide to the Lawsuit Challenging CMS’s Approval of the Kentucky HEALTH Medicaid Waiver

On January 11, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a State Medicaid Director letter announcing a new policy that, for the 1st time, allows states to condition Medicaid on participation in a work or “community engagement” program. The next day, CMS approved a new Medicaid waiver in Kentucky. The waiver includes a program called Kentucky HEALTH, which encompasses a work requirement as well as coverage lockouts of up to 6 months for failure to pay monthly premiums (up to 4% of income), timely renew eligibility, or timely report a change in circumstances, among other provisions. Kentucky HEALTH applies to most nonelderly adults, including low-income parents and expansion adults. The state plans to implement Kentucky HEALTH by July, 2018. On January 24, 2018, 15 Kentucky Medicaid enrollees filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging CMS’s authority to issue the work requirement policy and approve the Kentucky waiver. This issue brief answers 5 key questions about the case.

Why Medicaid Work Requirements Aren’t the Same as Welfare Reform

Drawing on his experience in state welfare reform, Drew Altman, in his Axios column, discusses how new state Medicaid work requirements differ fundamentally from welfare reform, which was built on the idea of a “reciprocal obligation” between both beneficiaries and government to do more.  

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,…

Medicaid and Work Requirements: New Guidance, State Waiver Details and Key Issues

On January 11, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a State Medicaid Director Letter providing new guidance for Section 1115 waiver proposals that would impose work requirements (referred to as community engagement) in Medicaid as a condition of eligibility. This issue brief provides an overview of this CMS guidance and summarizes states with work requirement provisions/requests as part of pending and approved Section 1115 Medicaid waivers.

Understanding the Intersection of Medicaid and Work

Recent state requests for waivers of federal Medicaid law seek to make Medicaid eligibility contingent on work, and the Trump Administration has indicated a willingness to approve such waivers. This issue brief provides data on the work status of the nearly 25 million non-elderly adults without SSI enrolled in Medicaid to understand the potential implications of work requirement proposals in Medicaid. It shows that the majority of adults in this group are already working, and those who are not report major impediments to their ability to work such as illness or care-giving responsibilities.

New KFF Resource Tracks Developments in States’ Section 1115 Medicaid Waivers

A new resource from the Kaiser Family Foundation enables users to keep abreast of Section 1115 Medicaid waivers that are pending or have been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. KFF’s Medicaid waiver tracker includes interactive maps that allow users to view states’ approved and pending waivers…

Medicaid Enrollees and Work Requirements: Lessons From the TANF Experience

This issue brief considers the implications of conditioning Medicaid eligibility on satisfying a work requirement, drawing on state experience with TANF enrollees subject to a work requirement over the past two decades and data about work and the role of health coverage among Medicaid enrollees today.