Ohio seeks to implement Medicaid work requirements

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) on July 4, 2023, signed a two-year state budget that seeks to implement work requirements for Medicaid recipients.

The state budget requires the director of the Ohio Department of Medicaid to apply for a Section 1115 waiver from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The waiver, if approved by CMS, would allow the state to establish Medicaid work requirements for able-bodied residents ages 55 and younger. Able-bodied adults without dependents under the policy would be required to work or study 20 hours per week to qualify for Medicaid benefits. 

“Governor DeWine and our administration are supportive of work efforts, believing an individual’s active engagement in their own economic wellbeing is consistent with the program and furthers its objectives,” said Ohio Department of Medicaid spokeswoman Lisa Lawless, according to The Plain Dealer Cleveland.

Policy Matters Ohio, a nonprofit policy research group, responded to the Medicaid work requirement budget language, arguing in a news release, “The budget, as it stands today, would add new barriers, including an attempt to add a work requirement for Medicaid, which would limit Ohioans’ ability to get the health care assistance they need.”

Ohio will submit the Section 1115 waiver to CMS in February 2025.

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