Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services commits to supporting Medicaid work and community engagement requirements

On January 11, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a letter to State Medicaid Directors announcing a commitment to support section 1115 demonstration projects that include work or community engagement requirements.  This will be the first time in the fifty year history of the Medicaid program that work requirements will be permitted.  CMS Administrator Seema Verma signaled this direction in remarks to state Medicaid Directors in November: “Believing that community engagement requirements do not support or promote the objectives of Medicaid is a tragic example of the soft bigotry of low expectations consistently espoused by the prior administration. Those days are over.”  The letter acknowledges a shift from prior agency policy, but states that it “is anchored in historic CMS principles that emphasize work to promote health and well-being”. Created in 1965, Medicaid is the largest government healthcare…

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