Ohio Debates Work Requirements for Medicaid
Ohio Medicaid planning attorneys at Zimmer Law Firm provide invaluable assistance with making plans to get covered by Medicaid. Taking steps to ensure you can become eligible for Medicaid coverage can be very important because Medicaid may be your only source of coverage for certain types of care, such as long-term care you may require as a senior.
Millions of people rely on Medicaid because it provides coverage for care that other insurance does not pay for and because it provides coverage for people with limited incomes who might otherwise be unable to afford health insurance.
Those who rely on Medicaid for coverage should be aware that the Ohio legislature is debating the possibility of changing qualification requirements to mandate that at least some Medicaid beneficiaries work or volunteer in order to be eligible for Medicaid coverage.
Ohio Debates Work Requirements for Medicaid
According to WKSU, the legislature in the state of Ohio passed a budget last year that required the state to make a request to the federal government for permission to impose new work requirements on qualifying for Medicaid. The request must be approved by the federal government because Medicaid is operated as a federal/state partnership and the program receives the bulk of its funding from the state. If the federal government doesn’t approve of changes to Medicaid’s eligibility requirements, Ohio would not be able to move forward with the changes without putting its funding at risk.
If changes are made, the new work requirements would apply only to able-bodied Medicaid recipients. Those who advocate in favor of imposing work requirements argue that healthy people can and should work in order to gain access to benefits. The theory is that by making benefits contingent upon working, people will be prompted to attend job training or find jobs – both of which could teach valuable transferable skills that will prove helpful in their lives over the long-term.
The desire to impose new work requirements is also being framed as a response to the Medicaid expansion that occurred due to the Affordable Care Act. By opening up eligibility for Medicaid to more people, some argue that the ACA has made it too easy for able-bodied men who are not working to end up getting benefits. Those who advocate new requirements indicate this has created a disincentive for working, prompting people to decide to drop out of the labor market. And, once people have dropped out of the labor market, their skills atrophy and it becomes harder to get back in and resume work again.
However, those who are opposed to imposing work requirements argue that many of the people on Medicaid who can work are already working, or are looking for work. There are concerns that imposing these new requirements could end up causing people to lose benefits because they find the process of proving their work history too cumbersome, or because they aren’t able to work because of their physical conditions or family obligations.
For example, estimates suggest around 60 percent of Medicaid recipients are working already and 10 percent are looking for work. Of the remaining Medicaid recipients, an estimated 1/3 are disabled, 1/3 are taking care of a family member, 15 percent are attending school, and 10 percent are retired.
Getting Help from Ohio Medicaid Planning Attorneys
It remains unclear if Ohio will make any changes to their Medicaid program involving adding work requirements. For most seniors who qualify for coverage for nursing home care, those work requirements likely would not apply to disqualify them from coverage. However, if Ohio does move towards imposing new limits on Medicaid eligibility, the steps taken may be just the start of the changes to the program — and future changes potentially could have an impact on eligibility for seniors or on available coverage for seniors.
If you will need Medicaid to pay for the costs of your nursing home care, it is important that you understand the most up-to-date qualification requirements and that you take steps to ensure that you are able to get the benefits you need. Ohio Medicaid planning attorneys at Zimmer Law Firm are here and ready to help you make plans to get covered. To find out more about the assistance we can offer, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 513-721-1513 at any time.