* Two-thirds of those out of work said they had a chronic physical illnessRemember, Medicaid is a health care program, not a jobs program; adding bureaucratic hurdles for this group could disrupt care for those who need it most. Gov. Hutchinson's proposal would lock them out of coverage for the rest of the year if they failed to comply.
* 35 percent said they had been diagnosed with a mental illness.
* One-quarter of those out of work said they had a physical or mental impairment that interfered with their ability to function at least half the days in the past month.
“The question raised by these data for states is: Is it worth the cost to screen and track enrollees when only a small minority isn’t working who are potentially able to work?” says Renuka Tipirneni, M.D., M.Sc., lead author of the study and a clinical lecturer in general internal medicine at U-M.A recent issue brief from the Kaiser Foundation summarizes other research on work requirements:
“Even if they don’t meet federal disability criteria, our survey shows many of these individuals face significant health challenges,” she adds. “It’s also important to consider that dropping them from coverage for failure to fulfill a work requirement could seriously impact their ability to receive care for chronic physical and mental health conditions that can worsen without treatment.”
* Among Medicaid adults (including parents and childless adults — the group targeted by the Medicaid expansion), nearly 8 in 10 live in working families, and a majority are working themselves. Nearly half of working Medicaid enrollees are employed by small firms, and many work in industries with low employer-sponsored insurance offer rates.
* Among the adult Medicaid enrollees who were not working, most report major impediments to their ability to work including illness or disability or care-giving responsibilities.
* While proponents of work requirements say such provisions aim to promote work for those who are not working, these policies could have negative implications on many who are working or exempt from the requirements. For example, coverage for working or exempt enrollees may be at risk if enrollees face administrative obstacles in verifying their work status or documenting an exemption.