Reduce administrative burden of work rules to prevent mass health coverage losses, by Udow-Phillips & Shaefer

July 15, 2019 | Crain's Detroit

“In February 2019, legal and consulting firm Manatt estimated that Michigan work requirements would result in the loss of coverage for between 61,000 and 183,000 people.”


Marianne Udow-Phillips, Luke Shaefer

July 15th, 2019

Medicaid work requirements are scheduled to take effect in Michigan on Jan. 1.

Yet a recent study from Arkansas adds to mounting evidence that such requirements can result in major losses of health coverage without meaningfully increasing work effort.

As the Michigan Legislature continues to deliberate on the 2020 fiscal year budget, this study should spur action to ensure that Michigan doesn’t follow the same path as Arkansas.

During Michigan’s legislative debate on Medicaid work requirements, we raised concerns about the potential for major health coverage losses; concerns based on the record of such requirements on the nation’s cash welfare program, and on some recipients of food stamps, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Yet at the time there was no direct evidence about the impact of Medicaid work requirements because no state had ever implemented them.