Legislation filed for TennCare work requirement waiver

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

NASHVILLE – Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) and Representative Dan Howell (R-Georgetown) today filed legislation that directs the commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration to file for a waiver instituting work requirements for TennCare. The bill comes as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued new guidelines for states, allowing them to implement work requirements.

“This is exactly the type of flexibility states have been asking for the last several years, and I appreciate the Trump Administration handing that power back to the states,” said Speaker Harwell. “This legislation is about lifting people out of poverty, while still providing the support needed for Tennesseans to be successful and prosperous. I am grateful to Rep. Howell agreeing to carry this important bill through the legislative process.”

The new guidelines from CMS permit states to require recipients to work, volunteer, or participate in job training. House Bill 1551 directs the state to file for a waiver imposing reasonable work requirements on able-bodied working age adult enrollees without dependent children under the age of six years old. Several other states are planning to make similar changes to their Medicaid programs.

“I appreciate the Trump Administration’s new guidance, and believe Tennessee should take action now,” said Rep. Howell. “Giving states flexibility allows them to come up with solutions that best fit their needs. TennCare has always been unique, and implementing these requirements will assist Tennesseans in even greater ways.”