Kentucky becomes first state to impose Medicaid work requirements

Federal officials approved Kentucky's request to implement work requirements for Medicaid recipients Friday, according to Reuters.

The request requires adults between the ages of 19 and 64 complete at least 80 hours each month of 'employment activities' including work, job training and community service. Kentucky first submitted the waiver for the new rules in 2016, and CMS announced Thursday it would allow states to institute such requirements.

Medicaid enrollees will also have to pay an income-based premium, and recipients who miss a payment risk being locked out of Medicaid for six months.

"Kentucky will now lead on this issue," said Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, R, according to Reuters. "[Medicaid recipients] want the dignity associated with being able to earn and have engagement in the very things they're receiving."

Former foster care youth, pregnant women, primary caregivers for dependents, full-time students and disabled individuals are exempt from the work requirements. Kentucky expanded Medicaid coverage over 100 percent under the ACA.

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