Trump Administration Approves Indiana Medicaid Work Requirements
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar granted approval to Indiana to incorporate state Medicaid modifications, including work requirements, lockout provisions, and premium increases. Indiana’s waiver now requires able-bodied individuals younger than 60 years of age to work at least 20 hours per week on average, be enrolled in school, or participate in the state’s job training program to remain eligible for coverage. The requirements do not apply to pregnant women, primary caregivers, medically frail individuals, and those receiving substance use disorder treatment.
Beneficiaries not meeting all requirements will be suspended from the program until they comply with the requirements for one full month. The approved plan builds upon lockout provisions which bar beneficiaries from coverage for six months for not meeting certain criteria such as failing to submit or update eligibility documents.
The approved Medicaid plan expands on provisions envisioned and developed by then-Governor Mike Pence and consultant Seema Verma, who is now the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator.
Recall, the Trump Administration last month issued new guidelines encouraging states to implement work requirements for beneficiaries to remain eligible for health care coverage, an unprecedented step in the program’s 53-year history. Indiana is the second state to receive CMS approval for such requirements, with Kentucky being the first state. Several patient advocacy groups have filed federal lawsuits over the new guidelines, arguing that the requirements do not align with the purpose of Medicaid.