Not Hitting the Pause Button: CMS Approves Utah’s Work and Work Alternative Requirements after Court Upends Similar Policies in Kentucky and Arkansas
On March 27, a federal court blocked both Arkansas and Kentucky from conditioning Medicaid benefits on work or state-specified work alternative activities. For Kentucky, it was a déjà vu decision: back in June of 2018, the same court blocked the state’s initial attempt to implement a similar policy. We discussed the first Kentucky case in an earlier post.
On March 27, 2019, a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued decisions that are vitally important for Medicaid beneficiaries. The two cases, Gresham v. Azar and Stewart v. Azar, halted efforts in Arkansas and Kentucky to condition receipt of Medicaid benefits on securing work or volunteer activities, as well as other cuts to coverage. The court’s rulings reinforced an earlier decision against Kentucky’s work requirement and extended a similar reasoning to the Arkansas requirement.
Earlier this year, Arkansas became the first state to implement a policy that—with some exemptions, including for people age 50 and older—requires adult Medicaid enrollees to work 80 hours every month at the state’s minimum wage. The policy has serious implementation problems, and is quickly ncreasing the number of uninsured in the state.
As the U.S. population ages and SNAP faces the prospect of changes that could affect the future of the program, it becomes all the more important to examine the dynamics around this large segment of SNAP users. AARP Public Policy Institute’s recently released fact sheet takes a closer look at SNAP households with older adults.
As the month of June winded down, a federal court issued a ruling invalidating Kentucky’s effort to attach work and other community engagement requirements to receive Medicaid benefits.
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