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Levels of Employment and Community Engagement among Low-Income Adults: Implications for Medicaid Work Requirements.

Authors
  • Soni, Aparna1
  • Gian, Cong2
  • Simon, Kosali2
  • Sommers, Benjamin D3
  • 1 American University.
  • 2 Indiana University. , (India)
  • 3 Harvard University.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of health politics, policy and law
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2020
Volume
45
Issue
6
Pages
1059–1082
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1215/03616878-8641567
PMID: 32464663
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Twenty states are pursuing community engagement requirements ("work requirements") in Medicaid, though legal challenges are ongoing. While most nondisabled low-income individuals work, it is less clear how many engage in the required number of hours of qualifying community engagement activities and what heterogeneity may exist by race/ethnicity, age, and gender. The authors' objective was to estimate current levels of employment and other community engagement activities among potential Medicaid beneficiaries. The authors analyzed the US Census Bureau's national time-use survey data for the years 2015 through 2018. Their main sample consisted of nondisabled adults between 19 and 64 years with family incomes less than 138% of the federal poverty level (N = 2,551). Nationally, low-income adults who might become subject to Medicaid work requirements already spent an average of 30 hours per week on community engagement activities. However, 22% of the low-income population-particularly women, older adults, and those with less education-would not currently satisfy a 20-hour-per-week requirement. Although the majority of potential Medicaid beneficiaries already meet community engagement requirements or are exempt, 22% would not currently satisfy a 20-hour-per-week requirement and therefore could be at risk for losing coverage. Copyright © 2020 by Duke University Press.

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