Kansas Governor seeks to expand Medicaid with work requirements

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly (D) on December 14, 2023, proposed legislation to expand the state’s Medicaid program with work requirements for certain enrollees. The Cutting Healthcare Costs for All Kansans Act would require adults under 65 to provide employment verification to qualify for Medicaid. 

The bill aims to expand Medicaid to approximately 150,000 Kansans who earn too much to qualify for coverage under existing requirements. People who have disabilities, are pregnant, are experiencing homelessness, have children under 18, or are enrolled in college would not have to meet the work requirements. 

“Each year I’ve been in office, I have introduced a bill to expand Medicaid with support from both sides of the aisle,” Governor Kelly stated during a stop on her Healthy Workers, Healthy Economy tour. The work requirements proposal, according to Kelly, aims “to meet Republicans in the middle” by addressing the party’s fiscal concerns with Medicaid expansion.  

House Speaker President Dan Hawkins (R) argued that Kelly would likely not be able to implement the proposed work requirements, stating, “While I appreciate the governor’s newly-found support for work requirements for welfare benefits … Governor Kelly most surely knows that the Biden Administration has not approved any Medicaid work requirement and proactively revoked every single work requirement approved previously.”

States must seek approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to establish Medicaid work requirements. Currently, Georgia is the only state with approved Medicaid work requirements. 

Medicaid work requirements

Additional reading:

Areas of inquiry and disagreement related to work requirements for public assistance programs

Laura Kelly (Kansas)