Possible Work Requirement For Alabama’s Medicaid Recipients
There could be big changes ahead for Alabama’s Medicaid recipients. There’s a new proposal to require parents or care taker relatives to get a job or participate in “work- like activities” to continue receiving medicaid benefits.
The proposal has already received backlash from several that attended a public hearing Monday morning, who say the work requirement would do more harm than good.
If approved, parents or caretakers on Medicaid would be required to work at least 35 hours a week, except for those with a child under 6 years old who will be required to work 20 hours. The waiver does exclude anyone required to care for a disabled child or adult.
The work requirement is supposed to “improve health outcomes and economic security” for those on medicaid according to a public notice (read full proposal here). However those that spoke out Monday fear it will do the opposite.
“These jobs will likely not give health insurance coverage” said Don Clemon in opposition to the proposal, “then if you earn enough,you lose your healthcare benefits through Medicaid so I just think it’s a catch 22”.
Kimble Forrister , executive director of Alabama Arise, was also vocal about his opposition of the work requirement “If they make more than $312 a month they don’t qualify for this category of Medicaid, so these are the poorest of the poor in our state” said Forrister, saying that the current proposal is not the only answer.
He is now urging the state to consider other options. “instead of having a punitive program, have a program of incentives where they provide the work supports folks need like child care, health care and transportation to be able to get a job and see what kind of results they get from that” he explained.
There is a formal 30 day comment period where you can submit your concerns to the medicaid agency through email or hard copy to:
Alabama Medicaid Agency
501 Dexter Avenue, P.O. Box 5624
Montgomery Alabama 36103-5624
Comments should be submitted by April, 2nd. Read a full copy of the proposal here.