Biden Administration Revokes Georgia Medicaid Work Requirements

(The hill) – Georgia will not be allowed to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients or charge them bonuses, the Biden administration said Thursday.

In a letter to the state dated Thursday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said they were withdrawing approval of the work requirements policy and the proposal to charge premiums, which was granted in the dying days of the Trump administration.

The agency said the policies would hurt rather than help people access coverage, which is especially important during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The lingering health consequences of COVID-19 infections further compound the harms of these barriers to coverage for low-income people. In addition, premiums can be a particular barrier to coverage. They can result in limited access to health care coverage for underserved communities, especially blacks and low-income people compared to whites and higher-income peers, ”CMS said.

Georgia’s plan, which had not yet gone into effect, would cover qualifying adults who earn no more than 100 percent of the federal poverty line – about $ 12,900 per year for an individual .

To be eligible, Medicaid recipients had to complete at least 80 hours of work, community service, or other eligible activities per month. Most people earning between 50 percent and 100 percent of the poverty line would also have been required to pay monthly premiums.

Gov. Brian Kemp (right) and Trump administration health officials have argued the proposal would improve people’s lives by valuing work. The Biden administration argues that it is adding unnecessary hurdles to coverage.

No state work requirements have been approved under the current administration, and courts have overturned previous attempts in other states that have been approved by the Trump administration.

“Georgia had worked with CMS to find a mutually acceptable way forward,” CMS said in the letter. “The state has not submitted such a proposal to CMS yet. We are ready to work with the state to explore other options. “

Julio V. Miller