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Kentucky is first state to require Medicaid patients to work
Kentucky also has the go-ahead to charge premiums to Medicaid patients for their coverage.
By Delila James
Feb 22, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — Kentucky has become the first state to receive a waiver by the Trump administration to begin imposing work requirements on its Medicaid recipients.

The state will require working-age adults who are not severely ill or disabled to either work a minimum of 80 hours per month or participate in seeking work, going to school, or community service. People who do not provide the significant additional paperwork or meet the program's requirements will be dropped from coverage.

Kentucky also has the go-ahead to charge premiums to Medicaid patients for their coverage.

Governor Matt Bevin expressed satisfaction Friday on receiving federal approval for a waiver, saying it represents "a significant milestone on our journey to lead the nation in transforming Medicaid in a fiscally responsible way," the Los Angeles Times reported.

Healthcare advocates, on the other hand, say the move will cause many poor Kentuckians to suffer.

"Their governor and the Trump administration are maliciously threatening healthcare coverage for a large percentage of Kentucky's own citizens," Eliot Fishman, senior director of health policy at Families USA said Friday, as reported by the Times. "These attacks take the form of an array of cynical paperwork requirements designed to take coverage away from people: new work documentation requirements and unprecedented new 'lockouts' from coverage for people who do not submit reports on income changes or annual eligibility redetermination forms."