There’s a Medicaid ‘subsidy cliff’ health-care officials are worried about

The Washington Post

By: Colby Itkowitz

There’s a significant population of Medicaid recipients who would lose their health-care coverage if states began requiring them to work — regardless of whether they got a job.

Joan Alker, a Georgetown University public-policy professor who is closely following the waiver submissions, told me the state’s two extra years of coverage does not solve the greater problem of putting its poorest residents in a “damned if they do, damned if they don’t” situation. In a report she wrote about Mississippi’s waiver, she calculates that if Medicaid recipients were required to work at least 20 hours a week, at minimum wage that would be an annual salary of $7,540. To qualify for Medicaid in the state, a person has to make less than $5,000 a year. Moreover, she notes that low-wage workers rarely find employment that offers insurance to its workers, and if they do, they often can’t afford the premiums.

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