Mississippi House advances Medicaid expansion with work requirements

The Mississippi House of Representatives passed H.B. 1725 on February 28, 2024, which would expand Medicaid eligibility for people who earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level and meet work requirements.

The bill directs the Mississippi Division of Medicaid to apply for a waiver from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to implement the proposed Healthy Mississippi Works plan, which would require individuals to work at least 20 hours a week, be a full-time student, or enroll in a workforce training program to be eligible for Medicaid expansion. The bill also includes language that would allow Medicaid expansion to take effect in the state if CMS does not approve the waiver’s work requirement component.

“The goal of the plan is to provide health insurance for working Mississippians,” stated Mississippi House Medicaid Committee Chairwoman Missy McGee (R). “We believe that at least 75-80% of this population is working, so we certainly don’t want to not help them just because we might be helping another population who might not be working or able to work at the time.”

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves (R), however, is opposed to Medicaid expansion. Reeves stated in a tweet, “The truth is this: [the] bill passed by the House committee yesterday is straight Obamacare Medicaid Expansion. Applies to as many as 300,000 able-bodied adults who could work but may choose not to…And there is NO (real) work requirement.” 

The bill, which passed with a  98-20 vote in the House, is currently under consideration in the Senate.

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