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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Harvard: Coverage Losses, Substantial Confusion in Arkansas Following Implementation of Medicaid Work Requirements

Thousands of adults in Arkansas lost insurance coverage in the first six months after Medicaid work requirements were implemented, with no change in employment, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The study is the first quantitative evidence on the nation’s first-ever work requirements in Medicaid, which started in Arkansas in June 2018.

“The idea of work requirements is to get people into new jobs and private insurance. But in our study that didn’t happen,” said Dr. Benjamin Sommers, lead author of the study and professor of health policy and economics. “We didn’t find any employment changes and instead we see Medicaid coverage rates dropping and more people without health insurance – usually because the process itself was confusing or beneficiaries didn’t even know about the new requirements.”

The study was published online June 19 in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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