Friday Five: States experiment with Medicaid, including work requirements, managed care & addressing social needs

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November 02, 2018

In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about another state approved for work requirements, addressing employment issues caused by opioid addiction, using Medicaid funds for more than healthcare, and tips for this open enrollment season.

1. Wisconsin wins federal approval for Medicaid work requirements

Wisconsin is the fifth state to receive approval to implement Medicaid work requirements, according to Health Leaders Media. Indiana, Arkansas, New Hampshire, and Kentucky also have received similar Medicaid waivers, although there are several active or pending court challenges to implementation. Wisconsin’s work requirements apply to individuals younger than 50 without children, who will have to prove they participated in work, education, or training activities for 80 hours a month.

2. $8 million grant to address workforce issues in 16 counties hit hard by the opioid epidemic 

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services will be allocating $8 million over the next two years to help address unemployment caused by addiction and build the addiction treatment workforce. Funds will go toward job training programs, an addiction services apprenticeship at local community colleges, and rewarding employers who hire individuals in recovery.

3. CMS grants NC 1115 Medicaid waiver to implement managed care system

North Carolina has received a federal waiver allowing it to implement a Medicaid managed care system. Health Payer Intelligence reports this will allow the state to provide services not traditionally covered by Medicaid, such as in-home care, substance abuse, and behavioral health treatments. Multiple private payers have already applied to be part of NC’s managed care system.

4. 6 common open enrollment mistakes and how to avoid them

It’s open enrollment season for health insurance. Time has compiled six common mistakes people make, including missing the deadline, defaulting to the previous year’s plan without doing any research, over- or under-insuring, not using health savings accounts, and more.

5. States are using Medicaid to target social needs

Axios reports that due to a growing awareness of how social factors impact health, more states are using Medicaid funding to improve population health and health equity. States are using different approaches to help enrollees with items such as obtaining food, storing medicine safely, coordinating social services, and finding housing.