Bipartisan plan eases Medicaid work reporting requirements

Top Senate officials are teaming up on a plan that would ease compliance reporting rules for Medicaid recipients who will be required to work at least 80 hours per month or risk losing health care coverage under a controversial new Michigan law.

A bipartisan proposal from Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, and Sen. Curtis Hertel, D-East Lansing, would simplify monthly reporting rules for able-bodied Healthy Michigan enrollees who must verify their monthly work hours beginning next year.

The package could prevent tens of thousands of working residents who are complying with the “spirit of the law” from being “wrongfully kicked out of the system” because they fail to comply with the reporting rules, Hertel said Thursday in testimony before the Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee.

Hertel’s legislation would extend the monthly reporting deadline, moving it from the 10th day of the following month to the last day of the following month. It would also provide a mechanism for residents to prove monthly compliance at a later date if they miss the deadline.

The Senate panel did not vote on the bills Thursday, but Hertel advocated for quick action in case the state is required to seek federal approval for the reporting rule changes before the law kicks in next year.

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