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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Kentucky: Study Concludes Medicaid Work Requirements Must Include Reasonable Accommodations and Exemptions

If work requirements are to be a continued piece of Medicaid policy, policy changes must also be adopted to ensure that Medicaid covers a full continuum of evidence-based behavioral health services and that Medicaid enrollees with work-limiting conditions are given reasonable accommodations and exemptions.”

That’s the conclusion of a new study from the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, examining the impact of behavior and chronic condition on individuals subject to Medicaid work requirements.

Dr. Hefei Wen, assistant professor of health management and policy at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, is the first and corresponding author of “Behavioral And Other Chronic Conditions Among Adult Medicaid Enrollees: Implications For Work Requirements” published in Health Affairs. Co-authors are Dr. Brendan Saloner, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Dr. Janet R. Cummings, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health.

Medicaid work requirements condition health insurance eligibility on completing a specified number of hours of employment, work search, job training, or community service. To date, little has been known about how behavioral health and other chronic health conditions intersect with employment status among Medicaid enrollees who may be subject to work requirements.

The researchers’ findings suggest that people who may be subject to the requirements have an elevated prevalence of behavioral and other chronic health conditions.

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