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Medicaid Supports People with Disabilities Who Work

Medicaid encourages and supports the employment of people with disabilities. Work promotes independent living, better mental health and overall well-being. Through the optional Medicaid Buy-In program, created under the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 (P.L. 106-170), people with disabilities who would otherwise be ineligible for Medicaid because of earnings can retain their Medicaid or buy it at low cost. In addition, the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-33) created a separate optional Medicaid eligibility group for working individuals with disabilities.

Today, 46 states have a Medicaid Buy-In Program. Over the past decade more than 400,000 individuals with disabilities have taken part in the Medicaid Buy-In program. Total earnings among all Medicaid Buy-In participants in 2011 were about $1.15 billion.

study of the Kansas Medicaid Buy-In program, Working Healthy, found many advantages for Medicaid beneficiaries and the public. Participants reported increases in hourly wages, while Medicaid costs for those continuously enrolled in Working Healthy decreased over time. Adjusting for medical inflation, Medicaid expenditures per person per month for this group dropped 41 percent from 2007 to 2011, with the greatest decrease being in outpatient expenditures that include doctor’s visits, case management, attendant and related services.

CMS is offering links/charts for informational purposes only, facts should not be construed as an endorsement of the organization's programs or activities

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