Millions of Medicaid recipients already work

The Trump administration is about to start letting states require many Medicaid recipients to ...

Posted: Jan 10, 2018 8:35 PM
Updated: Jan 10, 2018 8:35 PM

The Trump administration is about to start letting states require many Medicaid recipients to work for their benefits.

But millions of Americans in the health care safety net program already have jobs.

Some 60% of working age, non-disabled Medicaid enrollees are working, according to a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. That's about 15 million people.

Plus, nearly eight in 10 recipients live in families with at least one worker.

It's more common for Medicaid enrollees to hold jobs if they live in states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare. Some 31 states, plus the District of Columbia, broadened their Medicaid programs to include adults earning up to roughly $16,600 a year.

Related: Trump administration opens door for Medicaid work requirements

Just over one-fifth of Medicaid enrollees who hold part-time jobs cited economic factors, such as the inability to find full-time positions and weak business conditions, as the reason they aren't working more. More than a quarter of part-timers said they are in school or have family obligations.

Some 65% of men on Medicaid are working, while 56% of women are employed. Enrollees who live in the South are less likely to hold jobs than those in other regions, though the rates were similar in rural and urban areas nationwide.

Not surprisingly, the more education a recipient has, the more likely they are to be employed. About half of those who didn't finish high school have jobs, but nearly 70% of those with at least a bachelor's degree do.

Medicaid recipients commonly work in agriculture, construction, leisure and hospitality and retail -- some 40% of enrollees are in these industries. About one-fifth work in the health services or education fields. Many of these sectors often don't offer employees health insurance. Also, part-time workers usually don't qualify for workplace benefits.

Related: Trump administration wants more people to work for food stamps

When it comes to those who aren't employed, most cite illness or family obligations as the reason why.

Many people can have physical or mental health problems -- such as arthritis or asthma -- that don't meet the criteria for federal disability programs, but still interfere with their ability to work, Kaiser said.

The Trump administration has signaled that it will allow states to impose work requirements on working-age, non-disabled adults. The Obama administration repeatedly rejected states' requests to do so, saying it wasn't consistent with Medicaid's purpose to provide access to medical care.

At least nine states have submitted waivers to require these enrollees to participate in some type of community engagement, such as working, volunteering, going to school or entering a job training program, in order to qualify for benefits.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 248189

Reported Deaths: 5411
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16841171
Hinds15890312
Harrison13037191
Rankin10439205
Jackson10128177
Lee8721135
Madison8071160
Jones6166108
Forrest5870117
Lauderdale5724177
Lowndes5238109
Lafayette486192
Lamar475363
Washington4734122
Bolivar3941106
Oktibbeha388179
Panola360475
Pontotoc358752
Monroe3487103
Warren337895
Union337457
Marshall336065
Neshoba3325150
Pearl River319492
Leflore2980104
Lincoln293385
Sunflower277569
Tate266659
Alcorn260651
Itawamba258858
Pike258176
Hancock253557
Prentiss242450
Scott241043
Yazoo237754
Copiah237449
Tippah236246
Simpson232367
Leake227864
Coahoma223154
Grenada215770
Covington208871
Marion206171
Adams201666
Winston198061
George197438
Wayne196130
Attala191658
Newton186542
Chickasaw181243
Tishomingo179659
Holmes167867
Jasper165134
Clay156732
Stone140218
Tallahatchie138234
Clarke136460
Calhoun133321
Smith118823
Yalobusha113834
Walthall111136
Noxubee109622
Greene108929
Montgomery108134
Carroll103721
Lawrence101217
Perry99131
Amite96425
Webster90624
Claiborne85125
Tunica84521
Jefferson Davis83825
Humphreys81524
Benton80323
Kemper75720
Quitman6758
Franklin65315
Choctaw59613
Wilkinson58125
Jefferson53019
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1586
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 417528

Reported Deaths: 6030
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61313888
Mobile29768542
Madison26637185
Tuscaloosa20580268
Montgomery18696304
Shelby18310113
Baldwin16002179
Lee12261101
Morgan12093112
Etowah11604157
Calhoun10982200
Marshall10108107
Houston8474129
Cullman7960104
Limestone790174
Elmore7723101
DeKalb764697
St. Clair7460120
Lauderdale745183
Talladega6102108
Walker5852174
Jackson574441
Blount526483
Colbert525670
Autauga510355
Coffee434256
Dale391081
Franklin363445
Chilton333565
Covington326167
Russell323810
Escambia312442
Dallas300296
Clarke278233
Chambers277869
Tallapoosa2599107
Pike245829
Marion240549
Lawrence240447
Winston223835
Bibb213047
Geneva197431
Marengo197329
Pickens195231
Hale173742
Barbour171236
Butler167958
Fayette166026
Cherokee159630
Henry151119
Monroe144417
Randolph138535
Washington136526
Clay125246
Crenshaw118044
Lamar116619
Cleburne116023
Macon113335
Lowndes108735
Wilcox101221
Bullock98128
Perry95419
Conecuh92920
Sumter88726
Greene75323
Coosa60414
Choctaw51224
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