Public Comment / HB 252: Disability Coverage Amendments

Updated: 1 year ago
Public Policy

January 27, 2023
Nate Crippes / Public Affairs Supervising Attorney
Andrew Riggle / Public Policy Advocate
(801) 363-1347 / (800) 662-9080

Good afternoon committee members. My name’s Andrew Riggle. I’m the Disability Law Center’s public policy advocate.

A few of you may be familiar with the Medicaid Work Incentive. For better or worse, depending on your perspective, it’s what’s allowing me to bother you today. Basically, MWI supports Utahns with disabilities who can work by allowing us to earn and save more compared to traditional disability Medicaid.

This is crucial because employer or marketplace insurance plans don’t typically cover the longterm services and supports employees with disabilities need to function. I doubt most of us can pay for them out-of-pocket. Without Medicaid, I can’t get out of bed. Without MWI, I can’t afford to work.

MWI has its challenges. Total income must be a little less than $4,650 a month. This can be fun if there are three pay periods in a month. With a two-bedroom apartment running around $2,200+ a month, it’s doable for me. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work so well for someone making more.

These limitations are why the DLC thanks Rep. Daily-Provost for bringing HB 252 forward. In today’s economy, being able to have almost $6,100 a month makes a real difference. Similarly, by eliminating the earnings requirement, the legislation could make Medicaid available to more Utahns with disabilities who need it. Even so, the cost shouldn’t increase significantly, because the bill requires cost-sharing and ensures Medicaid only pays for needed supports or services unavailable in the private market.

The only suggestion we have is to consider basing eligibility on SSI-countable (like MWI), rather than household income, giving even more flexibility to Medicaid enrollees with disabilities.

Thank you for your time and support.