The federal government has withdrawn its approval for an Ohio plan to enact work requirements for new Medicaid recipients, spurring anger among GOP officeholders who backed the measure.
Under the mandate, known as a “community engagement requirement,” new adult beneficiaries under 50 would need to complete 80 hours per month of either employment, education or job skills training.
The requirement was approved under the administration of former Republican President Donald Trump but put on hold when the pandemic hit. Under Democratic President Joe Biden, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services pulled its support.
“In light of the ongoing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio’s community engagement requirement risks significant coverage losses and harm to beneficiaries,” the agency said in a letter earlier this month to the Ohio Medicaid director, The Columbus Dispatch reported Wednesday.
The state had argued the requirements weren't a burden and, if the pandemic made jobs hard to find, recipients could meet the mandates in other ways, such as volunteering.
GOP Gov. Mike DeWine criticized the move.
“Ohio’s reasonable approach provided individuals with options while supporting them on their way to self-sufficiency,” DeWine said Wednesday.