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New Partnership to Help Medicaid Enrollees Meet Work Requirement

350,000 Kentuckians will be impacted by a new Medicaid work requirement. (franchise opportunities/Flickr)
350,000 Kentuckians will be impacted by a new Medicaid work requirement. (franchise opportunities/Flickr)
May 31, 2018

FRANKFORT, Ky. – An initiative was just announced to help eligible Kentuckians maintain their Medicaid coverage.

The governor's office and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky are partnering to work with employers, providers, state leaders and other stakeholders to ensure people understand and are able to meet the requirements of the state's new Kentucky HEALTH Medicaid waiver program.

Adam Meier, secretary for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, explains the goal is to promote good health and financial stability.

"It's all about aligning the resources, the policies, the active entities towards one common end and that's to get people healthier, to get them employed, to help their educational attainment and to improve their quality of life," he states.

Able bodied, working age adults will need to participate in an employment-related activity for 80 hours per month under the new requirement, although there are some exceptions.

Kentucky HEALTH was approved in January, and it will begin to be implemented around the state starting July 1.

Ben Chandler, president and chief executive officer of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, notes the initiative will also help ensure people with substance use disorders can maintain their Medicaid coverage and get the treatment services they need.

"One of the big things that we hear all across the state is that employers have a hard time finding workers who can pass drug tests,” he relates. “We need to try to remedy that. We need to have a productive workforce in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. That's also important."

Meier adds it's important that folks understand there are many ways to comply with the new waiver requirements, beyond just working.

"Work is certainly one of the ways that you can satisfy that particular component however so is job training, so is education, so is volunteering in your community, so is taking care of a family member or a child," he states.

It's estimated that 350,000 Kentuckians will be affected by the work requirement, and Meier says it's crucial they maintain their coverage.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - KY