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Kentucky Is First State Granted Approval For Medicaid Work Requirements

By Kaiser Health News  
   January 15, 2018

The Kentucky Medicaid changes generally mimic those of neighboring Indiana, which altered its program in 2015 under then-Gov. Mike Pence.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma recused herself from the Kentucky decision because she had worked with state officials on the waiver request when she was a consultant before joining the Trump administration.

Kentucky is one of 10 states that have applied to CMS to enact a work requirement.

The work requirement is one of the biggest changes in the history of Medicaid, which covers more than 74 million people, or about 1 in 5 Americans. It is the nation’s largest health insurance program.

The majority of enrollees in Medicaid are children, pregnant women and elderly nursing home residents. But the expansion under President Barack Obama led to millions of non-disabled low income adults added to the program.

Update: This story was updated on Jan. 12 to add information from the governor and more details on the Kentucky waiver once they were released.

Kaiser Health News is a national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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