Who would be likely to be subject to Medicaid work requirements?

According to a paper by Wen et al. (2019) in this month’s Health Affairs, a large number of people with mental health issues.

Using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health for the period 2014–16, we found that people with behavioral health and other chronic health conditions were more likely to be enrolled in Medicaid and subject to work requirements than those without any identified health conditions. Furthermore, among Medicaid enrollees, those with behavioral and other health conditions were also less likely to have worked twenty hours or more in the past week (and thus be more unlikely to meet work requirements). Our findings suggest that people who may be subject to the requirements have an elevated prevalence of behavioral and other chronic health conditions.

To the extent that serious mental health issues impede individual’s to find work, Medicaid work requirements may fall disproportionately on the mentally ill, unless these individuals are deemed “too sick to work” (as I describe in my last post). It is not clear how any of these work requirements would be imposed for individuals with serious mental illness.

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