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Medicaid expansion “work requirement” up for comment

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has opened a 30-day public comment period on the so-called “work requirement” restriction. The provision was added by the legislature to the Medicaid expansion initiative approved by voters last year.

People can comment by e-mail or at one of two public hearings in Boise.

At direction of the legislature, the department is looking to implement work, community engagement, education, or volunteerism requirements as a condition of Medicaid eligibility under Medicaid Expansion. You can view the document here.

Idaho Voices for Children policy specialist Logan Dennis says the state’s draft radically underestimates the impact to Idahoans who should be eligible for Medicaid expansion. “If Idaho suffers the same coverage loss rate as Arkansas, more than 26,000 Idahoans could lose health coverage they should be eligible for. In fact, Idaho is the only state to submit an application for work requirements that would require Idahoans to be working at the time they apply for Medicaid expansion.”

“This restriction to healthcare has nothing to do with whether Idahoans are working or not. It’s whether they fill out paperwork correctly. We’ve seen thousands of people in other states lose coverage because of this and Idaho is under the same threat,” said Luke Mayville, Co-Founder of Reclaim Idaho. “This reckless legislation will not only deny thousands of people healthcare they already qualify for, it will cost Idaho taxpayers millions of dollars to administer.”

Public hearings are scheduled from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. September 3 at the Lincoln Auditorium in the Idaho State Capital Building and September 6 in the East Conference Room in the Joe R. Williams Building, also in Boise.

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