Recent proposals to impose work and premium requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries pose a significant threat to health coverage for the most vulnerable Floridians. They would also add new costs and uncompensated care burdens for state and local governments, safety net providers and privately insured residents. Lawmakers should instead look to commonsense Medicaid policies with a track record of improving access to care.
During the 2017 state legislative session, proposed legislation would have imposed work and premium requirements as conditions of Medicaid eligibility. Although the bill did not pass, the same or similar proposals are likely to re-emerge in 2018.
Decades of research and experience with other safety net programs show that these requirements, as conditions of Medicaid eligibility, run counter to the overall purpose of the program. Medicaid was created to provide low-income individuals and families access to health care services. Instead, these proposals would likely deter thousands of uninsured Floridians from initial enrollment and terminate eligibility for thousands of participants.
These requirements would also add significant new costs and uncompensated care burdens for state and local governments, safety net providers and privately-insured Floridians.
Proposed Medicaid work requirements are largely driven by false stereotypes. In fact:
Likewise, decades of research show that Medicaid premiums have deterred enrollment and resulted in loss of coverage. For example:
Florida has made great progress reducing the number of uninsured, a steady decline from 20 percent in 2013 to 12.5 percent in 2016. Adding premium and work requirements to Medicaid eligibility would be a step backwards, having the harshest impacts on children in low-income families and their parents.