Maine – CMS Approves State Medicaid Work Waivers
January 2019 ~
On December 21, Maine received approval from CMS for the state’s demonstration waiver application under section 1115(a) of the Social Security Act.
According to the announcement, this approval will allow the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to implement a number of commonsense reforms within the MaineCare program, aimed at promoting self-sufficiency among clients and reestablishing Medicaid’s core mission of supporting the elderly, disabled, and children.
Under the waiver, the state will require “able-bodied individuals” in the Medicaid program to work or to perform community service for at least 20 hours per week. Recipients would also pay monthly premiums. If a recipient fails to meet the work requirements for a total of three months within a three year period, the individual’s benefits would be revoked.
Maine’s Governor, Paul LePage, said in a written statement that the work requirement will “help prioritize Maine’s neediest populations and preserve the financial stability that has been achieved within the program over the last eight years.” LePage went on to say that the primary goal of public assistance is to help people, and this policy will encourage Mainers to stand on their own and take charge of their financial independence.
Maine and Michigan are the most recent states to receive approval for Medicaid work requirements, joining Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma commented, “Maine marks the seventh community engagement demonstration we have approved since announcing this important opportunity earlier this year. I’m proud that CMS has responded so effectively to the strong interest from states interested in helping connect working-age adult Medicaid beneficiaries with opportunities to improve their health and financial independence through work and community engagement. We look forward to continuing this work in the New Year.”
Source(s): Medicaid.gov; Modern Healthcare; Bangor Daily News; Kaiser Family Foundation;