Arkansas 1115 Waiver Update – Work Requirement Implementation and Lawsuit
We have continually provided updates on the application and approvals of Medicaid 1115 waivers that include work requirements. One such approved waiver is the Arkansas Works Program. As we previously noted, Arkansas became the first state to implement work requirements for Medicaid eligibility. A July 2018 report found that just over 46,000 Medicaid enrollees were subject to the requirement at that time. Of those enrollees, 30,228 were exempt from reporting because they were already employed or in school, had met the work requirement for SNAP eligibility, were disabled, or had at least one dependent child. 12,722 enrollees did not satisfy the reporting requirement, 1,571 reported an exemption, and 844 satisfied the reporting requirements.
As of early August, 5,426 individuals who were required to meet the work requirement had two months of non-compliance. As of September 1, 2018, those with three months of incomplete reporting will lose Medicaid coverage for the remainder of the calendar year (until January 1, 2019). (There is a five day grace period in which a beneficiary can retroactively report work activities, so beneficiaries had until 9:00 p.m. yesterday, September 5th, to report work activities.) As of this time, the exact number of those dropped from Medicaid coverage is unknown. But we will be watching and reporting out that number when it is released.
Finally, three consumer groups are suing the Trump administration in an effort to halt the program’s implementation, following on the heels of the successful stoppage of the waiver in Kentucky that also included a work requirement. The same judge that ruled against the Medicaid work requirement in Kentucky is also assigned to the Arkansas case. CMS is seeking to have the lawsuit transferred to a different judge.
Stay tuned. Much more to come.