3 Medicaid work requirement program updates

Here are three updates on state efforts to expand Medicaid with work requirements: 

1. Legislation to expand Medicaid in Kansas with work requirements was dealt a major blow after the House's Committee on Health and Human Services voted against advancing the bill to the full House, the Kansas Reflector reported March 21. 

The following day, the bill was moved to the Committee on Interstate Cooperation, according to legislative records. The bill faces a challenging road as Republican leaders in both chambers remain opposed to expansion, according to the Reflector. 

Under the plan proposed by Gov. Laura Kelly, residents would have to prove they are employed to sign up for services and renew them each year. The state's health secretary would develop exceptions to allow enrollments for full-time students, caretakers, veterans and those with medical conditions. 

2. Georgia's alternative to expanding Medicaid under the ACA has cost $26.6 million through Dec. 31, with 90% of that money going toward administrative and consulting costs, according to KFF Health News. 

The state's limited Medicaid expansion with work requirements, dubbed Georgia Pathways to Coverage, launched July 1. About 3,500 people have signed up for the program, a far cry from the state's projection that 25,000 residents would enroll in the first year, according to the report. 

Consulting firm Deloitte was paid $2.4 million to prepare and submit the program's application to the federal government and as of Dec. 31, only $2 million was paid to insurers to cover medical care. In the fourth quarter of 2023, administrative costs increased by more than $6 million.

3. The Mississippi Senate unveiled its version of a Medicaid expansion plan with work requirements, Mississippi Today reported March 20. The Senate's version is estimated to cover 49,000 fewer residents than the House's version. 

The Senate's version of the bill mandates that beneficiaries work at least 120 hours per month in a job that does not have health insurance covered by the employer, according to the report. The House's version includes an 80-hour-per-month mandate.

The House passed its version of the bill in a 98-20 vote in February. 

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