Lt. Governor Confident Georgia Could Administer Medicaid Work Requirements
Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan says he’s confident Georgia could manage the administration of a work requirement for Medicaid.
It’s a big idea on the table as the state prepares waivers to tweak its Medicaid program.
“With all the modern-day technology, I’m certain we can figure out a system that is simple to use and easy to log and creates the accountability checkpoints necessary,” Duncan told reporters Tuesday.
Earlier this month, thousands of Georgians were kicked off the state’s Medicaid roles. State officials later said the terminations were the result of computer coding errors and that individuals would have their benefits reinstated.
Consumer advocacy groups have also expressed concerns about Georgia Gateway, the system Georgia uses to manage benefit programs like Medicaid and PeachCare. The state has paid Deloitte more than $250 million to design and run the system.
The consulting firm recently won a nearly $2 million contract to help the state craft a Medicaid waiver. In its bid, the company lists “improving health outcomes by incenting work-related activities” as a key goal.
“Work requirements are not a punishment. It’s an opportunity,” Duncan said.
Those in favor of the rules argue getting people into jobs reduces their need for Medicaid: either they’ll start making enough money to be self-reliant or will be able to get insurance through their employer.
Work requirements in some states have been blocked in courts. And thousands of people lost Medicaid coverage in Arkansas after a work requirement was imposed there last year. Some cited difficulty reporting their hours in the state’s computer system.
But Duncan is confident Georgia wouldn’t see the same challenges.
“That shouldn’t be [a] hindrance [to moving] forward with good policy,” he said.