Kentucky has become the first state to adopt the Trump Administration’s policy that imposes work requirements as a precondition to receive Medicaid. As a result, Kentucky residents who are deemed healthy enough to work must now comply with certain requirements to receive government health care.
Under the new policy, Medicaid beneficiaries between the ages of 19 and 64 who are not exempt must complete at least eighty (80) hours per month of community engagement. Community engagement includes work, job skills training, school, or community service. Failure to complete these requirements will result in the suspension of Medicaid eligibility.
Several categories of recipients are exempt, including primary caregivers, former foster care youth, pregnant women, and those diagnosed as “medically frail.”
More than 2 million people, or nearly one quarter of the state’s population, are on Medicaid in Kentucky. Governor Matt Bevin refuted criticism, stating: “This idea that somehow we are punishing people, that this will be a detriment to people I think is a huge huge misunderstanding of what people need. There is dignity associated with owning the value of something you receive.”