Arizona Suspends Proposal to Implement Medicaid Work Requirements

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On October 17, 2019, Arizona sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), notifying the agency that the state will not be implementing work requirements in its Medicaid program because of the several legal challenges that have been brought against other states that have attempted to implement this policy. Arizona had previously received approval from CMS to implement the work requirements, beginning on January 1, 2020. This would have required about 120,000 low-income and non-disabled adults between the ages of 18 and 49 to spend at least 80 hours per month on employment, educational activity, job searching, job training, or volunteer service to retain their Medicaid coverage. Arizona’s work requirements would have also implemented premiums and cost-sharing in the state’s Medicaid program. When implemented in other states, the Medicaid work requirement policy has led to significant coverage losses without an associated rise in employment, suggesting that the policy does not advance the goal of lifting people out of poverty.

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