Illinois is reviewing new guidance from the Trump administration that opens the door for states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients, but there is no indication yet that it will follow the lead of neighboring states that are pursuing plans to tighten their rules.
Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office and the state’s Department of Healthcare and Family Services said the new policy and its implications are “under review,” but the Republican administration has not signaled whether it supports Medicaid work requirements. Local patient advocates said they hope Illinois does not join the 10 states that already have submitted proposals to make having a job a condition of Medicaid eligibility, for fear it would leave tens of thousands of people without health insurance. […]
More than 1.2 million non-disabled working-age adults receive Medicaid in Illinois, and most do work. Two-thirds of Illinois’ non-disabled and non-elderly Medicaid recipients hold a full-time or part-time job, and more than 80 percent are part of working families, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s analysis of 2016 Census data. Many others are caregivers or go to school. […]
Work requirements also are opposed by the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, which advocates for more than 200 hospitals and nearly 50 health systems in the state. The group believes work requirements would limit access to care and leave hospitals picking up the tab for uninsured patients.
Thoughts on this?
* Another Illinois Medicaid shake-up threatens hospitals: For years, nearly every Illinois hospital has paid into a pot of money that helps the state bring in more federal dollars. But the program, effectively a tax on hospitals, is dated and doesn’t reflect how much the health care industry has changed… The reality is that a lot has changed. Low-income Chicago neighborhoods that surround safety-net hospitals have emptied out, dwindling their patient base. The push toward outpatient care means fewer people need to be hospitalized. At the same time, the state expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, leading to crops of new patients who sought care elsewhere. The bottom line: The current assessment program doesn’t reflect where Medicaid patients seek treatment. “It’s a tough process to renegotiate,” said Rep. Greg Harris, a Chicago Democrat who is among the state lawmakers working to redesign the program. “Every hospital in the state is affected. There will be winners and there will be losers.”