Kentucky becomes first state to require work for some Medicaid beneficiaries
The Trump administration has approved a proposal from Kentucky that would obligate some Medicaid beneficiaries to work, volunteer or take classes as a condition of being enrolled in the program.
The commonwealth will become the first locality in the country to implement such requirements, a request it initially made under the Obama administration. Under Obama, the government determined that work obligations ran counter to Medicaid’s mission of providing medical assistance to low-income people.
The approval comes only a day after the Trump administration issued guidance for states that want to carry out such programs. Shortly after the federal announced its decision on Thursday, pro-Obamacare groups vowed to take legal action as soon as a waiver was approved.
Kentucky has estimated that the work requirements and other changes it wants to make to its healthcare program will cause about 95,000 Kentuckians to fall from Medicaid rolls and would result in more than $2.2 billion in savings over five years. The waiver application, state officials wrote, “represents our good faith effort to continue Medicaid expansion in a responsible manner.”