Conservatives, however, hailed the change to the federal-state program for low-income people.
CMS also advised states to make work requirements for Medicaid similar than those used with food stamps to "reduce the burden on both states and beneficiaries". And over one-third of working-age Medicaid recipients not working are unemployed because of illness or disability. The Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University, citing the state's own projections, said the waiver provision could disqualify almost 100,00 Kentuckiansfrom Medicaid in the next five years.
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"Kentucky is leading the nation in this reform in ways that are already replicated by well over a dozen states and growing", he said. "While we are still reviewing the details of this approval, we have yet to identify such an experiment, and the action appears created to achieve significant cuts in Medicaid enrollment rather than Medicaid's stated goal of furnishing medical assistance to low-income people", Perkins said. Reuters noted that decision to allow work requirements faces probable legal challenges.
The new requirements apply only to "able-bodied" adults who get their health insurance through Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor. That Medicaid expansion was sharply criticized by conservatives, and Republicans in Congress tried to add work requirements in their unsuccessful bid a year ago to overturn the health law.
Health care in the state has been a hot topic in recent weeks. The report notes that implementing the work requirements "can be error prone", resulting in some people being denied benefits they should get and others receiving benefits they're not really eligible for.
A statewide group of religious leaders urged the General Assembly on Thursday to expand Medicare and Medicaid. Also off the hook are the more than 10 million enrollees who have a disability. That includes getting a job, going to school, taking a job training course and community service. Arizona's proposal has one of the longest lists of exemptions, including people 55 and over, victims of domestic violence, American Indians and individuals who have experienced a death of a family member living in the same household.
Those who are exempted include children and former foster care kids, pregnant women, senior citizens, people who are the primary caretakers for a child or a disabled adult, those who are deemed medically frail or diagnosed with an acute medical condition that would prevent them from working, and full-time students.
Bevin unveiled the demonstration waiver known as Kentucky HEALTH June 22, 2016. The difference this time around is that the federal government will recognize it.
Before coming to Washington past year, Verma was a health consultant who worked with IN and Kentucky to expand Medicaid under the ACA. He called the HELP program a model for the nation.
Some Democratic-leaning states are not expected to make the change. The announcement has sparked outrage among health care advocates.
"I want to publicly thank Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson, Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner, and the countless dedicated state employees who worked tirelessly to develop and secure approval for a program that will positively change Kentucky's health narrative for generations to come".
Most states contract with private health insurers to run much of their Medicaid operations. "They just said there are considerations...."