Utah may become the next state to seek Medicaid work requirements

Legislation in the state Senate sponsored by Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, would create a cap on Medicaid enrollment and impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. (Getty/designer491)

As Utah prepares to expand Medicaid, it may also be considering rules that make it harder for recipients to receive those benefits.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that a cap would be put on Medicaid enrollment and work requirements imposed on recipients under legislation in the state Senate sponsored by Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden.

If passed, the measure would almost certainly delay the April launch of Medicaid expansion. Work requirements need approval at the federal level because it departs from the rules of the Affordable Care Act.

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The Trump administration supports Medicaid work requirements, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has approved several other states' requests for waivers to allow them to institute what they call “community engagement” that encourages the dignity of work and a road out of government dependence.

RELATED: Arkansas could lose up to $340M because of Medicaid work requirements

Most recently, the administration approved Medicaid work requirements in Wisconsin and has also approved waivers in New Hampshire, Indiana, Arkansas and Kentucky.

Critics have said the measures could force families into a doughnut hole where they qualify for neither Medicaid nor ACA subsidies in nonexpansion states. They have also pointed out that states can lose money by imposing the requirements. Both Arkansas and Kentucky are facing legal challenges to their waivers.

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