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CMS Archives - JUSTICE IN AGING

Medicaid Work Requirement Red Tape Threatens Coverage for Family Caregivers

By | BLOG, Uncategorized
More and more states are moving to restrict Medicaid coverage by requiring low-income adults to report that they are working. In fact, the list of states that are in the process of designing or implementing these so-called “community engagement” or work requirement policies has grown to seventeen. Unfortunately, these harmful policies are especially dangerous for family caregivers because they create so much red tape and ignore the stressful and often complex situations these individuals face.

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How Medicaid Work Requirements Could Hurt Older Americans

By | IN THE NEWS

U.S News and World Report: How Medicaid Work Requirements Could Hurt Older Americans. (April 20, 2018) Since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services opened the door to state waivers that would impose work requirements on many Medicaid recipients, some states have requested and been approved such wages. In this article, Justice in Aging attorney, Eric Carlson talks about the amicus brief we filed to block Kentucky’s waiver.

Justice in Aging’s Statement on CMS’s Guidance Regarding Work Requirements for Medicaid-Eligible Individuals

By | Statements

(January 12, 2018) Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) issued guidance to states that would allow them to condition Medicaid eligibility on fulfilling work and “community engagement” requirements. This represents an unprecedented change to Medicaid eligibility that threatens healthcare for millions of low-income persons, including older adults who are not yet eligible for Medicare, people with disabilities and chronic health conditions, and family caregivers.

Not only have punitive work requirements been proven ineffective at lifting people out of poverty or improving health outcomes, they are also extremely burdensome for beneficiaries to navigate and for states to administer. Requiring people to verify that they are either working or exempt from the requirement will inevitably lead to Medicaid-eligible people falling through the cracks simply because the process is too complicated, onerous or doesn’t work correctly.

CMS intends to allow states broad leeway in determining who would be subject to work requirements and what activities would satisfy those requirements.  For example, while CMS recognizes that Medicaid beneficiaries may be caregiving for elderly family members, there are no required protections for caregivers. As a result, depending on how the state defines “work,” family caregivers, who are more likely to be women, risk losing their health coverage. Similarly, many people with chronic health conditions and disabilities that limit their ability to work could be excluded from coverage or face onerous verification processes to be exempted from a work requirement.

We strongly oppose this change in longstanding policy as defying the objectives of the Medicaid program and endangering the lives and well-being of those who rely on it. We urge CMS to reconsider this policy and call on states to maintain the purpose of Medicaid, protect the health of their residents, and not impose work requirements.

CMS Report Finds Widespread Illegal Billing of Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries

By | BLOG, DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Care, HOMEPAGE
“I don’t want to ‘rock the boat,’” explains a low-income Medicare beneficiary when asked about health services she receives illegal bills for. Despite her $329 a month income, this beneficiary pays $15.27 after every doctor’s appointment:

I know I should not be receiving these, but I don’t want to ‘rock the boat’. The doctor is in walking distance, so I don’t need to take public transportation. That saves me a lot because my income is only $329 a month. I ultimately do not know what I should and shouldn’t pay? I really feel anxious. I do not know what is going to happen with my health care. My food stamps were just cut. So you never know.

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