New report examines the adverse impact that instituting Medicaid premiums and work requirements would have on beneficiaries and providers, along with lessons learned from mandating these requirements in other poverty-reduction programs
LAKE MARY, FL – Efforts by Florida lawmakers in the 2017 legislative session to implement work requirements and premiums for Medicaid beneficiaries would have ultimately increased the rate of uninsured residents, including children, and added new state costs and uncompensated care burdens for providers, private payors and the overall health care system. In a report released today, Medicaid Premiums & Work Requirements: A Prescription for Higher Costs and Lower Health Insurance Coverage, the Florida Policy Institute (FPI) examines misguided federal and state policies regarding these efforts, along with some of the false stereotypes of Medicaid beneficiaries driving these proposals.
“Under the Affordable Care Act, Florida made substantial progress in reducing its rate of uninsured residents. Lawmakers should work to build on this progress,” said Joseph F. Pennisi, executive director of FPI. “Instituting work requirements and premiums would be a step backward.”
“The report confirms what we see around the state every day,” said Scott Darius, executive director of Florida Voices for Health. “Families that rely on Medicaid are typically made up of hard-working individuals still struggling to make ends meet. Medicaid work requirements and premiums only make it more difficult for Floridians to stay healthy and be productive.”
In the report, FPI notes that:
Likewise, decades of research show that Medicaid premiums for low-income families are unaffordable, deter enrollment and result in loss of coverage. For example:
Pennisi added, “A healthy workforce is a productive workforce. Asking Florida Medicaid beneficiaries, people who are already struggling to make ends meet, to pay a premium will result in substantial disenrollment from the program. Further, research shows that the majority of beneficiaries are already in working families, and of those not working, nearly two-thirds are either ill or disabled, or taking care of the household or family. The administrative cost of implementing work requirements far outweighs any benefit.”
The Florida Policy Institute is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting widespread prosperity through timely, thoughtful and objective analysis of state policy issues affecting economic opportunity.