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Implications of Work Requirements in Medicaid: What Does the Data Say?

As of June 2018, four states have approved waivers to implement Medicaid work requirements, seven states have waiver requests pending with CMS, and other states are considering or developing work requirement programs. This brief builds on previous analyses and provides additional detail to examine work and Medicaid, including the work status and types of jobs held by Medicaid adults, the relationship between work and financial stability among Medicaid adults, and potential challenges in fulfilling work, reporting, or exemption process requirements. Data suggest that the population not working and not eligible for an exemption from the work requirements could be narrow, but new requirements would have implications for a broader scope of Medicaid enrollees due to the nature of their jobs and potential barriers to complying with reporting requirements.

Governors’ Proposed Budgets for FY 2019: Focus on Medicaid and Other Health Priorities

This issue brief provides Medicaid highlights from governors’ proposed budgets for state fiscal year (FY) 2019 (July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 in most states). Proposed budgets reflect the priorities of the governor and are often blueprints for the legislature to consider. In total, we reviewed 39 proposed state budgets and text from 46 state of the state speeches. This review revealed that while state revenue collections improved in 2017 compared to 2016, considerable economic and regional variation persists, many states are facing significant budget challenges unrelated to Medicaid such as unfunded pension liabilities or falling oil prices, and the outlook for 2018 remains uncertain due, in part, to the impacts of the 2017 Federal Tax Reform Act.

How Might Older Nonelderly Medicaid Adults with Disabilities Be Affected By Work Requirements in Section 1115 Waivers?

Most of the states with approved or pending Section 1115 waivers that condition Medicaid eligibility on work would apply those requirements to all or most nonelderly adults (ages 19-64) who are not receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cash assistance, including older nonelderly adults (ages 50-64). Older nonelderly adults may be limited in their ability to satisfy a work requirement due to barriers resulting from age and/or disability. Previous analysis shows that many nonelderly Medicaid adults (ages 19-64) have functional limitations that may interfere with their ability to work but do not rise to the stringent SSI level of disability, making them potentially subject to work requirements. Older nonelderly adults are over twice as likely to have a disability than younger adults (17% vs. 7%). Furthermore, older nonelderly adults account for nearly half (45%) of all nonelderly Medicaid adults with a disability but not SSI who could be affected by a work requirement. This analysis examines the implications of work requirements for Medicaid adults ages 50 to 64 (referred to as “older nonelderly Medicaid adults”) and provides national and state level estimates of their disability, SSI, and work status using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS).

Data Note: Data Do Not Support Relationship Between Medicaid Expansion Status and Home and Community-Based Services Waiver Waiting Lists

Some have said that state choices about whether to adopt the ACA’s Medicaid expansion come at the expense of providing Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS). Since 2002, the Kaiser Family Foundation has surveyed states about their HCBS waiver waiting lists. All states offer at least one HCBS waiver for seniors and people with disabilities today. States choose how many people to serve under these waivers, and their ability to limit enrollment can result in waiting lists when the number of people seeking services exceeds the number of waiver slots. This analysis examines the most recent data available, including HCBS waiver waiting list data for 2015 and 2016. The data do not support a relationship between a state’s Medicaid expansion status, which is primarily financed with federal funds, and changes in its HCBS waiver waiting list.

Red-State Changes Could Strengthen ACA, Medicaid

In an Axios column, Drew Altman discusses how, ironically, efforts by red states to move their ACA marketplaces and their Medicaid programs in  more conservative directions could end up strengthening the ACA and Medicaid politically over the longer term.

Digging Into the Data: What Can We Learn from the State Evaluation of Healthy Indiana (HIP 2.0) Premiums

Indiana initially implemented the ACA’s Medicaid expansion through a Section 1115 waiver in February 2015. Indiana’s waiver included important changes from federal law regarding enrollment and premiums. The initial waiver expired, and Indiana received approval for a waiver extension in February, 2018 which continues most components of HIP 2.0 and adds some new provisions related to enrollment and premiums. This brief looks at available data from the state’s evaluation of premiums prepared by The Lewin Group (as well as other reporting to CMS) to highlight what is known about the impact of these policies to date. We review these data to identify potential implications for changes in the recent Indiana renewal and for other states considering similar provisions.

Medicaid Managed Care Plans and Access to Care: Results from the Kaiser Family Foundation 2017 Survey of Medicaid Managed Care Plans

Managed care organizations (MCOs) cover nearly two-thirds of all Medicaid beneficiaries nationwide, making managed care the nation’s dominant delivery system for Medicaid enrollees. As the entities responsible for providing comprehensive Medicaid benefits to enrollees by contracting with providers, managed care plans play a critical role in shaping access to care for Medicaid enrollees. Many plan actions are dictated by state policy or contracting requirements; however, plans also have some flexibility to design payment and delivery systems and structure enrollees’ experiences using their coverage. To understand how Medicaid managed care plans approach access to care and the challenges they face in ensuring such access, the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a survey of plans in 2017.

Poll: Public Mixed on Whether Medicaid Work Requirements Are More to Cut Spending or to Lift People Up; Most Do Not Support Lifetime Limits on Benefits

Ahead of the Midterms, Voters across Parties See Costs as their Top Health Care Concern At a time when the Trump Administration is encouraging state efforts to revamp their Medicaid programs through waivers, the latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll finds the public splits on whether the reason behind proposals…

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll – February 2018: Health Care and the 2018 Midterms, Attitudes Towards Proposed Changes to Medicaid

At a time when some states are considering changes to their Medicaid programs, the February Kaiser Health Tracking Poll measures Americans’ attitudes toward Medicaid and examines views on work requirements and lifetime limits on benefits. The poll also continues to find the public leaning favorably towards the ACA, with this month marking the highest level of favorability since 2010. When asked to say in their own words what health care issue they most want 2018 midterm candidates to discuss, voters mention health care costs as their top concern.

Implications of Emerging Waivers on Streamlined Medicaid Enrollment and Renewal Processes

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) significantly modernized and streamlined Medicaid enrollment and renewal processes across all states. Through major investments of time, money, and staff, most states have implemented modernized systems that transformed lengthy, paperwork driven enrollment and renewal procedures to a simplified, technology-driven experience that minimizes burdens on individuals and states. Recently approved and proposed waivers and other proposed policies include new eligibility and enrollment requirements and restrictions that run counter to the ACA’s streamlined processes (Figure 1). This fact sheet provides an overview of how enrollment and renewal processes changed under the ACA and the implications of emerging waivers and other proposed changes on streamlined enrollment and renewal.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.