Ohio Asks To Impose Work Requirements On Medicaid Recipients

May 1, 2018

Ohio has submitted its application to the federal government for permission to impose work requirements on 36,000 Medicaid recipients. That represents about 5 percent of people covered under Medicaid expansion.

The plan requires Medicaid expansion enrollees to work 20 hours a week or be in a job search or education or training program. People over the age of 55, undergoing drug treatment, with serious health needs, students, or those who are parents or caregivers would be exempt.

The state says most of the 709,000 people in Medicaid expansion are working or would be exempt, but estimates 18,000 people won’t comply with the requirements and will lose their coverage. The waiver application was required by the current state budget, though the state had been denied permission to impose work requirements under the Obama administration.

The Universal Health Care Network, Policy Matters Ohio, and the Center for Community Solutions are among the groups that oppose work requirements, arguing it will mean more paperwork and hurdles for those seeking health coverage. One think tank estimated the move would cost counties more than $378 million over five years.

But the conservative Buckeye Institute says work requirements would bring Medicaid more in line with other programs like SNAP.

While 93 percent of those who submitted comment to the state about the waiver oppose it, President Trump has signaled that his administration is likely to approve the waiver. The state wants to start the requirements on July 1, but the process could take two or three years.

So far, Indiana and Kentucky have gotten work requirement waivers approved by the Trump administration. Another 10 or so states have applied for the waiver.