Ruling in Arkansas case creates hurdle for Indiana’s Medicaid work mandates

Indiana’s attempt to impose work requirements on some Medicaid recipients likely suffered a setback Feb. 14 when an appellate court ruled that similar mandates in Arkansas fell outside the core objective of the federal health care program.

News Story (Indiana)

Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Lawyer
February 18, 2020

Tags: Medicaid, Work Requirements

Organizations mentioned/involved: Indiana Legal Services (ILS)


Indiana Legal Services and the National Health Law Program, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of Hoosiers who could lose their Medicaid benefits if the state institutes work requirements, argued that if the D.C. Circuit upheld the lower court’s ruling, then the approval for Indiana’s Medicaid extension should be invalidated as a whole.

Conversely, the state of Indiana argued its program should not be completely discarded. Rather, the 2018 approval for the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0, which included the work mandate, should be remanded back to Department of Health and Human Services since that would allow the program’s other components to remain in place while the federal government considers whether to reapprove the state’s application.

Like Indiana’s “Gateway to Work,” the program in Arkansas required certain Medicaid recipients to either work or participate in educational, job training or job search activities for at least 80 hours per month. Failure to do so could get the recipient booted from the federal health coverage for one year.