CMS bypasses Medicaid ruling, approves Utah's work requirements

CMS gave Utah the OK to implement work requirements less than two days after a federal judge struck down the policy in Arkansas and Kentucky, according to Kaiser Health News.

In her March 29 approval letter, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said Utah is structuring its requirement somewhat differently than the other states, and the requirements help make enrollees healthier.

"Therefore we believe an objective of the Medicaid program, in addition to paying for services, is to advance the health and wellness needs of its beneficiaries, and that it is appropriate for the state to structure its demonstration project in a manner that prioritizes meeting those needs," Ms. Verma wrote, according to KHN's reading of the letter.

In a March 27 ruling, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg blocked Kentucky from implementing work requirements for Medicaid recipients and stopped Arkansas from continuing its Medicaid work requirement program.

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