A new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that many Medicaid enrollees are still not aware of the new rules of the complex implementation of Medicaid work requirements. The report also states that due to lack of computer literacy and internet access, the online reporting requirement is challenging for many enrollees. As of September 9, the state of Arkansas reported that more than 4,3000 enrollees have lost Medicaid coverage as a result of the new work and reporting requirements and another 5,000 were at risk of losing coverage if they fail to report for another month. This analysis also predicts difficulties with outreach and education efforts for enrollees, especially in rural and for vulnerable populations. The report found that “telephone calls, emails, social media and online videos may have a limited reach as accurate phone numbers are often not available, and enrollees may not have access to computers or internet” and low literacy rates and the complexity of the process are factors that make outreach difficult.
It is also important to note that coverage losses could result in gaps in care as well as increases in the uninsured rate in Arkansas, therefore increasing uncompensated care costs for providers. Several other states are in danger of facing these issues as New Hampshire and Indiana have approved waivers for work requirements and 10 other states have waivers pending at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.