Five States Apply for Waivers from Trump Administration to Apply Lifetime Caps on Medicaid Benefits


Five states have applied for waivers from the Trump administration to put a lifetime cap on the Medicaid benefits individuals can receive.  Maine, Arizona, Utah, Wisconsin and Kansas have asked the Department of Health and Human Services, HHS, to place a limit on how long Medicaid beneficiaries can receive health benefits.

The proposals vary among the states but are generally tied to work requirements.  Utah and Arizona, for example, seek a maximum of five years eligibility, and in Arizona, that five-year window would only apply to when a beneficiary doesn’t meet work requirements.

Utah characterizes the benefits as temporary in nature, helping the recipient get back on their feet.  “This limit frames public healthcare coverage for adults as temporary assistance (similar to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), with the expectation that they do everything they can to help themselves before they lose coverage,” the waiver request reads.

The wavier proposals target only able-bodied recipients.  Children, pregnant women and people with disabilities are exempted from coverage limits in all of the applications.

The Trump administration announced earlier this year that it will allow states to require able-bodied Medicaid enrollees to work, volunteer or enroll in classes to receive benefits.  The administration approved Indiana’s waiver earlier this month.  It was the second state to gain approval after Kentucky did in January.


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