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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

GW: Report Finds Up to 36,000 Low-Income People in Montana Could Lose Health Coverage If State Imposes Medicaid Work Requirements

An estimated 26,000 to 36,000 low-income people in Montana would lose much-needed health coverage under a proposed bill to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients, according to an analysis published by researchers at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH). In addition, 5,000 to 7,000 more could lose health coverage due to higher premiums.

The Montana bill, called the Medicaid Reform and Integrity Act or MeRIA, would require 19- to 59-year-old Medicaid enrollees in the state to work 80 hours per month – or lose their health coverage after three months. The analysis is based on a Feb. 5 draft of MeRIA. The draft legislation would also increase premiums for those enrolled more than two years and terminate 12-month continuous eligibility.

“If enacted, we estimate this bill would cause a total of between 31,000 and 43,000 low-income Montanans to lose their Medicaid coverage,” said Dr. Leighton Ku, lead author of the report and a professor of health policy and management at Milken Institute SPH. “Many people likely to lose coverage are already working when they can or they live in rural areas and are unable to find a job.”

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