Lawsuit Filed in Michigan Challenging the Legality of Medicaid Work Requirements

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Michigan’s Medicaid program is scheduled to implement work requirements on January 1, 2020, but those plans could be put on hold as advocates have filed a lawsuit against the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, challenging the legality of the work requirements. Just as advocates have done in Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, and New Hampshire, these plaintiffs assert that CMS has overstepped its authority in approving Sec. 1115 waivers that allow the state to condition Medicaid coverage on enrollees satisfying work requirements. If the work requirements are implemented, Medicaid beneficiaries between the age of 19 and 61 will have to certify that they are working at least 80 hours per month to retain their Medicaid coverage. Noncompliant beneficiaries will have their coverage revoked beginning in May 2020. Analysts predict that Michigan could face coverage losses much greater than other states.

The work requirements have been successfully challenged in Arkansas, Kentucky, and New Hampshire, though CMS has appealed those rulings. The lawsuit challenging Indiana’s work requirements has not yet been decided.

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