Back in January CMS approved Arizona’s request to include work requirements and/or community engagement and reporting requirements as a condition of Medicaid enrollment beginning on January 1, 2020.
The work requirement/community engagement Waiver request was filed back in 2018 and is mandated by Senate Bill 1092 (from 2015) which requires AHCCCS to ask CMS’ permission to implement new eligibility requirements for “able-bodied adults". Folks that are exempted from the upcoming requirements include:
Pregnant women up to the 60th day post-pregnancy
Former Arizona foster youth up to age 26
Members of federally recognized tribes
Designated caretakers of a child under age 18
Caregivers who are responsible for the care of an individual with a disability
Members determined to have a serious mental illness (SMI)
Members who are medically frail
Members who have an acute medical condition
Members who are in active treatment for a substance use disorder
Members with a disability recognized under federal law and individuals receiving long term disability benefits
Full-time high school, college, or trade school students
Survivors of domestic violence
Individuals who are homeless
At last week's State Medicaid Advisory Council meeting, AHCCCS announced some changes that they hope to make in order to make the transition easier for their members that don't qualify for exemptions when implementation begins.
They're hoping to gradually phase in the AHCCCS Works program by geographic area (subject to CMS approval). If approved, the program will be implemented in three phases- beginning no sooner than 1/1/20:
Phase 1: Most Urbanized Counties: Maricopa, Pima, and Yuma
Phase 2: Semi-Urbanized Counties: Cochise, Coconino, Mohave, Pinal, Santa Cruz, & Yavapai
Phase 3: Least Urbanized Counties: Apache, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, & Navajo
The idea behind the phase in is to:
Establish community engagement supports for members in regions with limited employment, educational and training opportunities, accessible transportation, and child care services;
Give the State time to assess the availability of community engagement resources in rural areas and address gaps; and because
Counties with a higher percentage of urban populations are likely to have sufficient community engagement supports compared to counties with a higher percentage of rural populations.