Capitol Correspondence - 09.17.18

Arkansas Drops 4,000 From Medicaid Rolls Over Work Requirements Non-Compliance

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According to The Hill:

“Arkansas has served as a test case of sorts since it was the first state to implement work requirements, and this month it became the first state to kick off beneficiaries for not following them.

The state removed more than 4,000 people from the Medicaid rolls, with some estimates saying that number could climb to 50,000 when the requirements are fully implemented in 2019.

“I think other states should be thinking seriously about the warnings that Arkansas’s experience has for their states,” said Erin Brantley, a senior research associate at George Washington University’s Milken Institute of Public Health.

While many people in Arkansas’s program are exempt from reporting their activities to the state because they’re already working, others are not, meaning they need to file monthly reports through an online portal to show they are meeting the requirements.

Of those who lost coverage this month, about 95 percent didn’t file the necessary documents with the state. That led to their removal from Medicaid, though some may have been working the required 80 hours a month.

It’s unclear why those participants didn’t file reports, especially if they were working, though some say it could be due to confusion, an inability to access a computer or general unawareness about the new requirements.”

ANCOR is following this issue because people with I/DD and the DSPs that support them can be affected by Medicaid work requirements. We wrote a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar that lists these concerns. We have been following the Administration’s approach to work requirements since they were announced by CMS Administrator Seema Verma last fall.