FPI Staff
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April 26, 2019

Medicaid Work Requirements Don’t Work for Florida

More than 80 percent of Florida Medicaid enrollees are children, seniors and people with disabilities. The remainder are mostly very low-income parents/caretaker relatives of minor children and young adults, including those aging out of foster care. More than 60 percent of adult Florida Medicaid enrollees are already working.[1] Those who don’t work are primarily people with illnesses or disabilities, students or caretakers for a family member.

Work requirements would hurt Florida families, cost the state more money and add more red tape and paperwork for everyone.

1. They would lead to massive coverage losses.

Arkansas’s recent implementation has resulted in nearly 17,000 people losing coverage, which is almost 22 percent of all beneficiaries who are subject to the new requirements. Thousands more are projected to lose coverage in the coming months. Likewise, Kentucky projects that 100,000 people will lose coverage.

2. When parents lose coverage, their children also suffer.

They are less likely to be covered or go to the doctor for care and the entire family is more likely to be burdened by medical debt and bankruptcy.

3. Losing coverage takes away a critical work support for low wage workers and their families.

Many workers need Medicaid when their earnings aren’t enough to afford health coverage or their low wage jobs don’t offer health coverage, or during periods of joblessness. Additionally, losing coverage hurts workers with chronic health conditions who need access to care that supports their participation in the workforce.

4. People intended to be protected from work requirements — for example, people with disabilities and caregivers — are also likely to lose coverage.[2]

They too will have to jump through bureaucratic hurdles to prove they can’t work.

5. Reporting and paperwork requirements are burdensome and costly for taxpayers.

Research shows that Medicaid work requirements will result in people losing coverage both workers and groups that are supposed to be exempt — simply because of the new layers of red tape and bureaucratic errors related to reporting requirements.[3

State government is already stretched thin. The agencies that administer Florida’s Medicaid program work hard to keep up with new technologies and systems that are constantly changing. Adding new bureaucracy is misguided and will only lead to more problems.

Notes

[1] Kaiser Family Foundation. “Updated State Medicaid Fact Sheets Highlight the Role of Medicaid in the U.S. Health Care System,” September 28, 2018. Accessed via: https://www.kff.org/medicaid/press-release/updated-state-medicaid-fact-sheets-highlight-the-role-of-medicaid-in-the-u-s-health-care-system/

[2] A. Baily and J. Solomon, “Medicaid Work Requirements Don’t Protect People With Disabilities.” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Nov. 14, 2018. Accessed via: https://www.cbpp.org/research/health/medicaid-work-requirements-dont-protect-people-with-disabilities

[3] Katch, Hannah et al. “Taking Medicaid Coverage Away From People Not Meeting Work Requirements Will Reduce Low-Income Families’ Access to Care and Worsen Health Outcomes.” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, August 13, 2018. Accessed via: https://www.cbpp.org/research/health/taking-medicaid-coverage-away-from-people-not-meeting-work-requirements-will-reduce

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