As federal health reform legislation has stalled, health policy attention turns to the states, which have many tools to reform their health care systems. While 1115 waivers rightly get a lot of attention, because of their ability to reshape state Medicaid programs, the Affordable Care Act’s Section 1332 waivers continue to be a promising avenue for states.
State Medicaid agencies are increasingly turning to managed care organizations (MCOs) to cover more Medicaid enrollees, including those with complex needs. The ongoing shift from a fee-for-service payment model to a value-based payment model at the health plan and provider level puts even more importance on Medicaid managed care procurement strategies and approaches.
At least seven states have submitted 1115 waivers requesting authority to introduce work requirements for some Medicaid beneficiaries. Many more states are considering them. We examine key design considerations for states, including the populations to which work requirements may apply; exemptions based on health status or community conditions (e.g. rates of unemployment; access to transportation); definition of work (how many hours per month? Per year? Will school, job training, and volunteer work satisfy a work requirement?); and, use of verification and attestation in determining whether work requirements apply and are being met. We also look at state operational issues including integrating work requirements with a streamlined online, electronic application and renewal process.