Arkansas gains approval for Medicaid work requirements, CMS delays decision on expansion cutback: 7 things to know

Arkansas is the latest state to impose work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries.

Here are seven things to know.

1. CMS approved the state's request to implement the requirements March 5, according to The New York Times. However, federal officials delayed a decision on whether Arkansas may set a new limit for Medicaid expansion.

2. Arkansas' work requirements mandate people under age 50 spend at least 80 hours each month working, training or job searching; going to school full time or volunteering, according to the report.

3. There are consequences for noncompliance. NYT reports Arkansas residents who fail to meet the work requirement three months out of a year will be locked out of Medicaid for a period of time.

4. Arkansas' Medicaid work requirements do not apply to certain people including individuals with opioid addiction and parents with dependent children, according to Kaiser Health News.

5. Arkansas joins Kentucky and Indiana as the only states to impose Medicaid work requirements thus far. The state plans to begin ushering in its work requirements in June.

6. While CMS approved Arkansas' request to implement the requirements, it delayed granting permission for the state to cut back its Medicaid expansion. According to NYT, Arkansas has sought to change its income threshold for Medicaid from 138 percent of the federal poverty level to below the poverty level. The move would kick about 60,000 people off Medicaid.

7. CMS Administrator Seema Verma did not provide details as far as the reasoning behind the delay, except to say, "We are still working through some issues in that particular area," according to NYT.

Read the full NYT report here. Read the full KHN report here.


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