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News & Press: Health Care

MI Healthy Work Requirements Update and Resources

Monday, August 26, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Algeria Wilson
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The National Association of Social Workers – Michigan Chapter (NASW) is a membership organization of professional social workers working in various critical health care related sectors, including hospitals, primary care clinics, substance abuse treatment agencies, community mental health agencies, AIDS service organizations, veteran services, and more. There are more than 24,000 licensed social workers in Michigan. NASW supports policies that improve the health and well-being of all members of society – particularly the most vulnerable. NASW Michigan Chapter has worked tirelessly alongside advocates to prevent Medicaid work requirements from happening, to limit the disadvantageous impact on peoples healthcare. We will closely continue to follow the implementation of the law, which is set to begin in January of 2020, and keep you informed along the way. 

Here is the latest:

 

"A U.S. district judge ruled that work requirements for Medicaid recipients should not have been approved in Kentucky, Arkansas and recently New Hampshire. This could lead to a similar ruling on Michigan’s Healthy Michigan Plan work requirements—and should at least give state lawmakers pause—before the work requirements take effect in 2020."

Michigan Legislation: 

 

Senate Bills 362 and 363 were introduced by Senator Curtis Hertel and Sen. Mike Shirkey to help mitigate those who may lose coverage if Michigan Healthy Medicaid Work Requirements are enacted.

 

The Senate unanimously passed legislation to prevent Medicaid recipients from losing coverage due to any bureaucratic red-tape tangles from the state's new Medicaid work requirement. Senate Bills 362 and 363 sponsored by Sen. Curtis Hertel (D-East Lansing) and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (RClarklake) make it clear that when it comes to meeting the work requirements, recipients are eligible for Medicaid "unless proven otherwise."

 

Medicaid alone will have to prove they are working at least 80 hours per month. They can also be in a post-secondary education, high school equivalency or job training program; conducting volunteer or community service; participating in an internship; or undergoing substance abuse treatment.

 

Exemptions were carved out for those over age 63 or disabled, pregnant women, parents of a dependent child younger than six, full-time students, recipients of unemployment benefits and anyone younger than age 21 who had been in a foster care program. The bills will enter students or those who are already working into a database so they would not need to call in monthly to verify their eligibility. As more people re-verify their eligibility and are working, more people would migrate over to the database. Other recipients would have the whole month to check in and verify their status from the previous month rather than the 10-day window provided in the current law.

 

NASW Michigan submitted written testimony for Senate Bills 362 and 363. We continue to oppose work requirements, but we acknowledge these bills will help mitigate harm to Michiganders. Read our testimony to see how NASW Michigan suggests improving the bills even further.

Latest Resources on Work Requirements: 

 

Work Requirement Impact on the Healthy Michigan Plan: An Analysis of the Manatt Report

NH Medicaid Work Requirement Suspension Confirms: Policy Can't Be Fixed 

Changes to Healthy Michigan Plan ( Fact Sheet from Access)

Workforce engagement requirements: The basics on Public Act 208 of 2018 ( Courtesy Michigan League of Public Policy) 

Webinar: Judge Vacates HHS Approvals of Medicaid Work Requirements in Kentucky and Arkansas

 

Center on Civil Justice Class Action Lawsuit

 

The Center for Civil Justice (CCJ) anticipates filing a lawsuit to block the implementation of Healthy Michigan Plan (HMP) work requirements. Please consider referring HMP beneficiaries to CCJ as potential plaintiffs, if your organization is contacted by beneficiaries concerned about how these changes will affect them.

 

  • Criteria when considering whether to refer an individual to CCJ as a potential plaintiff:
    • Adults (aged 19 to 62);
    • Michigan residents;
    • Have HMP coverage;
    • Have ongoing health needs (i.e. they use their coverage to obtain medical services); and
    • Have not been found to be disabled by the Social Security Administration or the State of Michigan.

 

The best potential plaintiffs are those who:

 

    • Will anticipate having difficultly complying with the work requirements because they are seasonally employed or have volatile hours, lack transportation, live in a high unemployment area or are unemployable for another reason (lack of education, recently released from incarceration, etc.); and
    • Will have to pay a premium and anticipate difficulty in affording the necessities of life (food, housing, clothing, etc.) if they had to pay.  

 If you or someone you know meets the criteria above, please call Mario Azzi at CCJ at         ( 810) 244-8044 ext 308. 

 

 

 

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