TOPEKA, Kans. -- Much of the focus on growing Medicaid enrollment (up to 50.8 million, according to new Census figures) is on the people who can’t find work so they need Medicaid. But what about the people who need Medicaid so they can work?
That’s the population that Kansas policymakers had in mind when they
created the WORK program in 2006. They’re mostly developmentally
disabled adults who want to work, but require a little assistance around
the house to stay independent. So the Kansas Medicaid office provides
them with a cash allotment (averaging just under $1,700 per month) to
pay for the help they need. WORK enrollees can hire an in-home aide or
purchase other services themselves—or a state case worker will do the
legwork for them.