Kentucky official downplays concern about new Medicaid rules

Kentucky official downplays concern about new Medicaid rules
Posted at 5:42 PM, Nov 27, 2018

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's chief health official has downplayed concerns that thousands of people will lose Medicaid coverage now that the federal government has re-approved new eligibility rules.

Last week, the Trump administration gave Kentucky permission to require some of Kentucky's Medicaid population to have a job, go to school or volunteer to keep their Medicaid coverage. Similar rules in Arkansas led to more than 12,000 people losing coverage in the first three months of implementation.

But Kentucky Health and Family Services Secretary Adam Meier noted the new rules have many exemptions, including for pregnant women, full-time students, primary caregivers of children and the elderly and victims of domestic violence. He also noted Kentucky's improving economy means the state's expanded Medicaid program has shrunk by about 41,000 people this year.