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OK Medicaid-Work Requirement - KOAM TV 7

OK Medicaid-Work Requirement

Updated:
Oklahoma Oklahoma

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signs an executive order today (March 6) ordering the state's Medicaid agency to develop a requirement that certain able-bodied participants work in order to keep receiving benefits.

Through the order, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority is directed to submit recommendations to the governor and Legislature within the next six months.  Fallin suggested exemptions for children, pregnant women, the disabled, caretakers of young children and those participating in substance abuse programs, among others.

Oklahoma currently has around 798,000 Medicaid recipients, about 66% are children.  More than half of adult recipients are elderly, blind or disabled.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved work requirements in Arkansas, Indiana and Kentucky, but all three of those states expanded their Medicaid eligibility. Oklahoma did not.

From the Office of Governor Mary Fallin:

Governor Mary Fallin Directs Agency to Incorporate Work Requirement for Eligible State Medicaid Recipients

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today directed the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to develop a work requirement in the state’s Medicaid program.

The governor’s executive order directs the Health Care Authority, which manages Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, to file any federal waivers and state plan amendments within six months to the governor and the Legislature.

Fallin said the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance in January for states seeking to further the objectives of the Medicaid program by promoting work.

“We in Oklahoma should require people who receive Medicaid assistance to work, if they are able,” said Fallin. “A core objective of the Medicaid program is to help low-income families and individuals attain capability for independence. Work requirements in other welfare programs have helped move individuals from welfare to work.”

CMS has approved proposals from three other states that promote work for Medicaid recipients - Kentucky, Indiana and Arkansas.

The governor suggested exemptions from the proposed work requirement for certain Medicaid recipients. They include:

  • Those under the age of 19 and over the age of 64.
  • Those medically certified as physically or mentally unfit for employment.
  • Those who are pregnant.
  • A parent or caretaker responsible for the care of a dependent child under the age of 6.
  • A parent or caretaker personally providing the care for a dependent child with serious medical conditions or with a disability.
  • Those receiving unemployment compensation and complying with work requirements that are part of the federal-state unemployment compensation system.
  • Those participating in a drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program.

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