Capitol Correspondence - 08.27.18

ANCOR Sends HHS Secretary Letter on Medicaid Workforce Requirements

Share this page

On August 21, 2018, ANCOR sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Alex Azar and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma to express concern with the potential impact of Medicaid work requirements on people with I/DD. With several states having enacted or currently considering Medicaid work requirements at the encouragement of HHS and CMS,. ANCOR felt it necessary compelled to bring attention to how such proposals could affect people with I/DD and the DSP workforce.

Key highlights from our comments are available here :

  • Even proposals containing exemptions for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients do not exempt the full population of Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities in the state. In fact, 57 percent of Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities nationally do not receive SSI.
  • “Medically fragile” exemptions do not fully cover the I/DD population because the screening process might not correctly identify a person’s disability, or the individual might not know how to successfully navigate an exemptions process.
  • Overlooking how people with I/DD could fall into work requirements has consequences for their ability to live independently. If people with I/DD’s health deteriorates because they do not receive Medicaid benefits, they could find themselves placed back into state-run institutions because that will be the only way they can afford to receive care.
  • 1 out of every 4 direct care workers (which include DSPs) are Medicaid beneficiaries – even if they are already working, they could lose benefits if they do not know how to comply with the reporting process. As shared in our comments, “A recent analysis of the national coverage impacts of work requirements concluded, ‘most people losing coverage are disenrolled due to lack of reporting rather than not complying with the work requirement.’”
  • With the DSP workforce already strained because of the labor shortage, additional paperwork burdens could worsen the already very high turnover rate. ANCOR concluded this point by asking for a dialogue with CMS on reporting requirements and how it impacts the workforce.

If you have questions about our federal comments or want to learn more about this topic, please reach out to Esme Grant Grewal, Vice President of Government Relations, at [email protected].

Also on Medicaid Work Requirements:

On August 22, 2018, U.S. Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and U.S. Senator Ron Wyden wrote a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar expressing concerns with Medicaid work requirements. U.S. Representative Pallone is the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and U.S. Senator Wyden is the Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, which both have jurisdiction over Medicaid issues. Their letter states: “waivers with ideologically driven policies like those proposed by the Kentucky HEALTH demonstration exceed the statutory authority provided to you under Section 1115 and contravene longstanding Congressional intent.”