Medicaid & Work Requirements
BREAKING NEWS - Early Thursday morning, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services announced new guidance for states, like Wisconsin, seeking waiver approval to impose work requirements as a condition of Medicaid eligibility for adults without disabilities. The new guidance will allow states to deny benefits to adults unless they have jobs or participate in work-related activities. The Washington Post calls the guidance a "tectonic change for the Medicaid program."
In keeping with themes frequently repeated by the agency's director, Seema Verma, the guidelines inform states about permissible conditions for the approval of work requirements. In the agency's press release, Verma says, "Medicaid needs to be more flexible so that states can best address the needs of this population. Our fundamental goal is to make a positive and lasting difference in the health and wellness of our beneficiaries, and today’s announcement is a step in that direction."
Opponents of work requirements and other eligibility restrictions, like drug testing, claim that conditions that exclude otherwise eligible applicants violate federal law because they run contrary to the law’s objective of providing health coverage for low-income individuals. Read our full response.
Birth Cost Recovery: It's Not Child Support
On December 6, HealthWatch Wisconsin, Inc. (HWW), partnered with ABC for Health, Inc., a Wisconsin based public interest law firm, to release a new Pulse Report: Birth Cost Recovery: It's Not Child Support. The report identified that Wisconsin is one of the very few states to require unmarried, absent parents to repay Medicaid related birth costs.
In contrast to traditional child support payments, Birth Cost Recovery (BCR) repayments do not support families or children, but rather support child support offices. Most states abandoned the practice of BCR or never implemented it due to the harmful impact upon children and families.
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