Landry said Medicaid work requirements, copayments are considered – Louisiana Illuminator

MONROE Gov. considers. elect Jeff Landry the work requirements and copayments for those enrolled in Louisianas Medicaid program. The proposals likely to be popular with Republicans but controversial in the health care sector.

We are working to bring people from dependence to independence, Landry said at a press conference Wednesday at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, when asked about possible work requirements and co-payments.

The more freedom you give someone, the more opportunities you give them to work, the more they are able to appeal to their work, the more useful that individual is, he said. In fact, this is why you see older people continuing to work well into their 70s and 80s.

So I will tell you that we will have everything on the table, he said.

Medicaid work requirements usually force adults to work, volunteer or enroll in school in exchange for coverage. Copayments are a form of cost sharing for health care plans. Under that proposal, Medicaid recipients would be responsible for paying a portion of their health care bill. during medical visits.

Democrats and public health advocates have questioned whether Medicaid’s work requirements actually achieve their stated goal of encouraging people to get jobs.

Most Medicaid recipients in Louisiana are children. Thousands more have disabilities that make it impossible to hold a job. Low-income people enrolled in Medicaid are often already employed; they just don’t make enough money to buy private insurance.

“Certainly, I hope that’s not the plan because we know that work requirements don’t work,” said Jan Moller, head of the Louisiana Budget Project, a left-leaning organization that advocates for low-income people. “It puts another barrier in front of people who want to see a doctor when they’re sick.”

By order of the state legislators of the Republic, in short Louisiana look at the implementation of work requirements for Medicaid in 2018 but the proposal was quickly abandoned when a job mandate emerged that could cost the state more money than it was saving.

At the time, state health officials said the order would require them to build an entirely new bureaucracy. Louisiana will need to hire more state workers and invest in new technology to track whether Medicaid recipients are complying with proposed work requirements.

Republican and Democratic state lawmakers are also concerned that the work requirement will create an additional barrier to enrollment and inadvertently drive people off Medicaid who should still be eligible.

In Arkansas short installed work requirements in 2018, thousands of people were dropped from Medicaid, in part because they didn’t fill out the paperwork properly. Eventually, a federal judge Arkansas was ordered to throw out all its work orders.

“Data from Arkansas suggests that these requirements are confusing to enrollees and resulting in significant loss of coverage, including for eligible individuals,” wrote Madeline Guth and MaryBeth Musumeci for KFF, a health care policy think tank, in 2022.

In Georgia, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp also fought to get a Medicaid program off the ground this year. Only 1,300 people had signed up for coverage after three months, even though the Kemp administration expected enrollment to reach 100,000, according to the Associated Press.

Copayments for Medicaid enrollees are likely to see massive pushback from hospitals and other medical providers.

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People on Medicaid are, by definition, low income or living with a disability. Often they cannot afford to pay a portion of their bill out of pocket. Hospitals and doctors often lose money when Medicaid patients are asked to pay for part of their services, health care providers say.

We’ve always been against co-payments, said Randy Morris, chairman of the Louisianas Rural Hospital Coalition and owner of West Carroll Health Systems.

Earlier this year, Mississippi eliminated copays for its Medicaid enrollees, in part because local hospitals said it was difficult for them to collect the money from patients.

Landry replaced Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards Jan. 8.

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