Georgia's Medicaid work requirement program starts July 1: 5 things to know

Georgia's Medicaid work requirement program is set to begin July 1. Here are five things to know about the program:

1. The new requirements will partially expand Medicaid coverage to low income-adults, but enrollees — with some exceptions — must complete 80 hours of work, job training, education or community service per month to receive coverage. 

2. Enrollees will need to certify their employment each month. Those earning more than 50 percent of the federal poverty line will be required to pay a monthly premium between $7 and $11. Those who use tobacco products will have to pay an additional surcharge.

3. It is unclear how many Georgia residents will be covered by the program, according to Politico. Gov. Brian Kemp said in January that 345,000 could enroll, but the coverage for the first year does not cover that number. The state's health department estimated that 100,000 would sign up in the first year. The nonprofit Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, however, said there is enough funding for only 47,500 people.

4. Lawmakers told Politico they are watching how the implementation goes as the national debate on work requirements continues. Georgia Rep. Barry Loudermilk told the outlet if Georgia can successfully navigate this expansion, "it could be a great opportunity for other states." Nationally, House Republicans included Medicaid work requirements in a bill to raise the debt ceiling, but those requirements did not make the final deal.  

5. Critics of the program, including the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, have said more residents would gain health insurance at a lower cost to the state if it expanded Medicaid instead of implementing the work requirements, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle 

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