Proposals to force people who do not report a set number of hours worked per month would cause thousands of West Virginians to lose their Medicaid health coverage. The vast majority would become uninsured. This would lead to poorer health outcomes, more financial insecurity for low-income people, and reduced revenues for hospitals while raising health care costs for everyone because of increased emergency room visits and hospitalization. Arkansas is the only state to implement a Medicaid work requirement and over 18,000 people (or about a quarter of those subject to the requirement) lost coverage in six months. Most became uninsured.
The requirement did not boost employment or improve health outcomes, research shows. Studies also show between 23 and 45 percent of low-income adults subject to Medicaid work requirements will lose coverage within a year because they cannot meet the work requirements or have difficulty completing the necessary paperwork. This means between 38,000 and 71,000 West Virginia adults enrolled in Medicaid expansion would lose coverage.
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