- The state of Idaho submitted an application to CMS on Friday requesting approval to impose a work requirement on some of those who enroll in the state's Medicaid program.
- The work requirement targets the expansion population, or adults ages 19-59 who earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level.
- Those adults would be required to work 20 hours per week. Enrollees could also volunteer, engage in a job training program or education program beyond high school.
More than a dozen states across the country have sought approval from federal regulators to impose work requirements on some of those who seek to enroll in the Medicaid program.
The Trump administration ushered in the conservative policy idea, which ties program eligibility to hours spent working or looking for employment. The administration has given the green light to a number of states, although the courts have blocked some of the attempts.
In July, a federal judge vacated HHS' approval of New Hampshire's work requirement wavier because the federal agency failed to properly evaluate how the restriction would affect Medicaid coverage. A judge also ruled against work requirements in both Kentucky and Arkansas.
A previous analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that 1.4 million to 4 million able-bodied adults could lose coverage because of the work requirements.
In 2018, Idaho voters approved Medicaid expansion via a ballot initiative. But before expanding the program, the state legislature wanted to tie coverage to work requirements or volunteer hours. Some are exempt from such requirements, including those who are physically or mentally unable to work.
The state wants to "enable coverage of Medicaid participants while also promoting the participants’ health and financial independence," according to its application.
Of the 270,000 Medicaid beneficiaries in the state of Idaho, the proposed new requirements are expected to affect about 16,300, or about 4% of the entire program, according to the application.
If approved, the changes would affect those who enroll for coverage starting Jan. 1.