Mississippi Submits Revised Work Requirement Application

Last fall, Mississippi submitted a Section 1115 Medicaid Demonstration Wavier seeking to establish a Medicaid work requirement that would make it harder for thousands of Mississippians to enroll in coverage and access needed healthcare. Even CMS recognized the serious consequences the waiver could have in a state like Mississippi that did not expand Medicaid. In an attempt to expedite approval for the state’s waiver, Mississippi recently submitted a revised application that provides an additional 12 months of benefits. While this sound like a positive change, it does NOT solve the issues with the initial waiver. CMS Administrator Seema Verma recently stated that any non-expansion state seeking to impose work requirements would need to develop a plan to address the “subsidy cliff” individuals will experience if they attempt to meet a work requirement. The “subsidy cliff” refers to a situation that many will find themselves in, earning too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for financial assistance on the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces. Out of concern for this subsidy cliff, CMS rejected the state of Kansas’s Medicaid Section 1115 waiver application seeking to impose work requirements, since the state has not expanded Medicaid. Mississippi’s revised waiver application attempts to address the subsidy cliff by including an additional 12 months of Medicaid.

Click here to view the story.