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Trump Administration May Put Lifetime Limits on Medicaid Coverage

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The Trump administration is considering giving states the option to place lifetime limits on Medicaid coverage for adults, according to a McClatchy report late Monday.

This could be the second major change to Medicaid in less than a month. In January, the administration gave states the right to impose work requirements for “able-bodied” Medicaid recipients. Two states, Kentucky and Indiana, have already had their requests for work requirements approved.

According to McClatchy, five states are seeking waivers from the administration to impose lifetime coverage limits. This could mean that individuals with coverage may only stay covered for months or a few years.

Brad Woodhouse, Protect Our Care campaign director, said in a statement that lifetime limits are “appalling” and will “fundamentally change and weaken” Medicaid, which covers millions of Americans.

“The majority of Americans with Medicaid coverage live in working households, but the Trump Administration is now considering punishing people just because their longtime employer doesn’t offer insurance or because they got sick or have a disability and lost their job,” Woodhouse added.

People were quick to criticize the potential coverage caps, including Andy Slavitt, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Serves administrator for the Obama administration.


“This would be the wrong direction for our country and millions of Americans,” he tweeted.

Both Utah and Arizona are seeking a 5-year limit of coverage, though months enrolled in coverage in Arizona will only count toward the limit if the individual does not meet the work requirement. Other states that have asked for lifetime limits include Kansas, Maine and Wisconsin, according to Think Progress. Kansas and Wisconsin are proposing 3-year and 4-year limits respectively. Maine’s proposal is to limit coverage to three months within a three-year period.

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Originally published: February 6, 2018
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