Scott Administration Wary Of Adding Work Requirement For Medicaid

Jan 12, 2018

This week, the Trump administration authorized states to require some people to work in order to be eligible for Medicaid benefits. But Vermont Secretary of Human Services Al Gobeille says the Scott administration has no immediate plans to institute the employment mandate.

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The Trump administration has rewritten some of the rules that govern health programs for poor Americans, and states will now be allowed to require able-bodied people without children to get a job in order to be eligible for Medicaid.

Gobeille says he’s still reviewing the new language, but he says he has some initial concerns about instituting the work requirement.

“We’ve never attached benefits for health care in the state of Vermont to that type of thinking, so I think that would be high hurdle for us,” Gobeille says. “But I’m willing to take a look at it, if there’s any merit in it that would help people.”

Gov. Phil Scott said Thursday that he hadn’t had a chance to review the language, and Gobeille says he hasn’t “had a chance to talk with him about it yet.”

Gobeille says he could imagine the state using the work requirements if there was strong evidence to indicate it would benefit certain Medicaid recipients.

“But barriers to access to care are often tough to think about or consider,” Gobeille says.