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Questionnaire NameMississippi Medicaid Workforce Training Initiative - Updated
DescriptionOn January 16, 2018, Mississippi submitted a request for a new demonstration to implement workforce training requirements for Medicaid-eligible non-disabled adults, including low-income parents/caretakers and individuals eligible for Transitional Medical Assistance (TMA). Mississippi's goal is to provide individuals with tools to improve certain areas of their lives that have a direct impact on their health status. The initial 30-day federal public comment period (January 23, 2018 - February 22, 2018) did not include the state's proposal to provide an additional 12 months of coverage for individuals who continue to participate in community engagement activities after their 12 months of TMA has ended, and would otherwise lose Medicaid eligibility. CMS is providing a second federal public comment period for the supplemental application materials submitted as part of the state's new proposal. The second federal public comment period will be open from July 19, 2018 - August 18, 2018.
Response FromID: #319917 on Jul 26th 2018 10:00 am
Mississippi Medicaid Workforce Training Initiative - Updated

Mississippi Medicaid Workforce Training Initiative - Updated

We encourage the public to submit their comments on Medicaid.gov as they relate to demonstrations open for public comments. In support of transparency and open government, all public comments received are immediately posted and are in the public domain. Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services staff will review all public comments posted and we reserve the discretion to delete comments that are generally understood as any of the following: obscene, profane, threatening, or otherwise inappropriate.

Refer to the Application

Open for Public Comment – 7/19/18 – 8/18/18

Please provide your comments here and/or attach below:

Mississippi Human Services Coalition grew out of grassroots civil rights activity in Mississippi as people sought to impact the implementation of federal policies that affect their lives. We have focused on Medicaid since its first implementation in MS in 1970.
Comments on Mississippi Revised Waiver Request which we oppose. The income eligibility for caretaker relatives in MS is very low. (Parent and 2 children = $384 while poverty level is $1701) 20 hours per week at Minimum Wage is $621.50 per month.

The request to require caretakers to work 20 hours per week would make most of them over the income limits. The state waiver request says that it cures this problem by extending Transitional Medicaid for another year. This does NOT solve the problem. Those individual who get work for 20 hours per week during the first three months of their eligibility will notbe eligile for TMA. TMA eligibility is now established ex-parte for those who have been on Medicaid for at least 3 months and whose income then exceeds the eligibility limit but is lower than 100% poverty level.
Current Medicaid policy requires no reporting during the transitional period except for changes in income. This waiver request would require 104 weekly documentations of meeting the work requirement. Mississippi Medicaid has not determined the nature or extent of such documentation. We assume that this new work requirement will result in those persons in TMA having to demonstrate that they actually worked their 20 hours each week, or they would lose their Medicaid at the start of the following month. Since they would then be over-income for regular Medicaid as a caregiver, they would have no way to regain their eligibility status.

The kind of work that these low-income parents can find to comply with the 20 hour requirement is limited in most communities .Many will work in restaurants. It should be noted that often restaurant work is irregular, with hours changing frequently. Some will find that they work 20 hours this week and 18 hours the following week. This could result in their being sanctioned for the shortened week through no fault of their own.
Earlier this year the city of Jackson, MS, had a water crisis that resulted in most restaurants closing for several days. Had we had the work requirements in place at that time, many recipients would have lost their eligibility. Other reasons that people who regularly work 20 hours per week may fail to meet that goal
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