Gluesenkamp Perez, Ciscomani Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Medicaid Benefits for Working Adults with Disabilities

Apr 29, 2024

Last week, Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03) and Rep. Juan Ciscomani (AZ-06) introduced the Ensuring Access to Medicaid Buy-In Program Act to expand work opportunities and benefits for working adults with disabilities.

Specifically, the legislation would lift the age limit for the Medicaid Buy-In program for working people with disabilities. This would incentivize adults with disabilities to continue to work, if able, and would allow individuals over 65 years of age to continue to receive Medicaid coverage and benefits as long as they pay a premium.

Current law allows people with disabilities whose jobs pay above traditional eligibility to keep key benefits, like long-term care services that are not available through private insurance, so long as they pay premiums for their Medicaid coverage. However, once these individuals turn 65 years old, they can no longer participate in the program, leaving them to wait two years until they can receive Social Security benefits at age 67. This ultimately penalizes individuals with disabilities who may want to continue working.

“For people with disabilities who rely on home-based and long-term care through Medicaid Buy-In, an age cap for the program at 65 can present them with the difficult choice of either limiting their income to receive much-needed care through Medicaid or losing coverage by continuing to work and remain independent,” said Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez. “By introducing this bipartisan legislation to expand eligibility for Medicaid Buy-In beyond 65, we can help more folks across Southwest Washington stay in their communities and have the choice to keep working until their Social Security benefits kick in or longer.”

“No one should have to choose between a paycheck and their benefits,” said Rep. Ciscomani. “By lifting the age limit for the Medicaid buy-in program, this legislation ensures that individuals with disabilities over the age of 65 can continue, if they choose, to work while maintaining vital Medicaid benefits they deserve. Ultimately, this allows individuals with disabilities to stay in the workforce and receive a paycheck, closing a gap in benefits that would have otherwise hurt them and take them out of the workforce.”

Full text of the bill is available here.

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