Wisconsin Medicaid proposal includes drug tests, premiums
Wisconsin last week unveiled plans to overhaul Medicaid by requiring members to pay insurance premiums and undergo a drug screening—making it the first state in the nation to do so. State health officials said they will submit a waiver request to the CMS on May 26, following public comment.
The proposal looks a lot like the controversial Healthy Indiana 2.0. Indiana state officials are accused of using misleading and inaccurate information to boost the benefits of their program and justify an extension and additional federal funding.
In Wisconsin’s proposal, childless adults would pay monthly premiums ranging from $1 to $10 per household based on income. Those with household incomes up to 20% of the federal poverty level would be exempt from paying a premium.
Members who underwent a health risk assessment and engaged in “healthy behaviors” would also receive breaks, though the requirements for those behaviors weren’t outlined.
Wisconsin’s drug testing would direct members who test positive to treatment. Members who refuse to take the test couldn’t receive benefits for six months.
Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who has refused to expand Medicaid, sent a public letter to President Donald Trump in December asking for permission to drug test applicants on food stamps.
In 2015, Walker’s administration sued to force the Obama administration to approve drug testing for those applicants. The court tossed out the lawsuit.
Almost 797,000 people are enrolled in Wisconsin’s Medicaid program. Of those, 147,000 are childless adults who would be affected by these proposals.