The Trump administration has approved a request by the state of Indiana to require able-bodied Medicaid recipients to either work or volunteer at least twenty hours a week in order to receive benefits, it was announced yesterday.
The Trump administration recently announced that they would permit states that wanted to institute work requirements to do so. The administration classified them as “community engagement.”
States would have to apply for a waiver from the federal government before instituting any programs and would have to track the results of how many people, for example, lost coverage because of them. That information would be required to be made public.
Indiana is the second state to get a Medicaid work requirement waiver approved. Kentucky, the first, got a waiver approved last month. The approval letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) says the work requirements are designed, in part, to test whether they will “lead to improved health outcomes.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, while making the announcement in Indiana, said Medicaid can be a pathway out of poverty. “Indiana’s vision and ours goes beyond the provision of quality health care. Work is a key component of well-being,” he said.