Senior Policy Analyst
Six states — Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, and Virginia — have reversed or suspended their plans to take Medicaid coverage away from people who don’t meet work requirements. Other states with similar approved or pending waivers from the federal government also should reconsider these harmful policies.
The six states reconsidering their work requirement policies cited legal challenges and significant pending coverage losses, among other reasons:
Other states with approved work requirements — Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin — or those considering such policies should take note. Indeed, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer urged suspension of her state’s work requirement, which took effect on January 1. Michigan’s policy is expected to cause between 61,000 and 183,000 Michiganders to lose coverage, in part because, as the governor rightly noted, “Michigan’s statute is more sweeping than Arkansas’s waiver, threatening a broader range of adults with more exacting reporting demands.” State law requires Whitmer to implement the waiver, but she has called on state lawmakers to consider legislation similar to New Hampshire’s and to suspend the policy entirely now that the state is facing its own legal challenge. The legislature has so far refused.
State officials are rightly pointing to new evidence and “the evolving national landscape” for work requirement policies to explain their decisions to suspend their policies. Since most states with approved or pending work requirement waivers adopted these policies: