Release: Senate Approves Bill to Ban Medicaid Work Requirements in CA

May 21, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Today, the State Senate approved passage of Senate Bill 1108, which prohibits work requirements as a condition of Medi-Cal eligibility.

Authored by Senator Ed Hernandez, O.D. (D-West Covina) and approved by a bipartisan vote of 28-11, SB 1108 was introduced after the Trump Administration invited states to revise their Medicaid programs to include punitive policies that will lead to fewer people with health insurance. This bill ensures that California stands firmly against this concept, and continues to prioritize access to health care for some of our lowest-income residents.

“Millions of people without health insurance gained coverage under the ACA, and the Trump Administration is trying their hardest to undermine that progress.  Making health insurance coverage contingent on work requirements goes against all we’ve worked for here in California,” said Senator Hernandez, chair of the Senate Health Committee. “SB 1108 puts California on record as rejecting efforts to take Medi-Cal coverage away from those who need it most.”​

On January 11, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a State Medicaid Director Letter providing guidance on waiver proposals for states to implement work requirements for Medicaid recipients.

States instituting work requirements in Medicaid may bring more harm to individuals, including reducing low-income families’ access to care, worsening health outcomes, and making it more difficult for them to maintain health care coverage.

SB 1108 prohibits the Department of Health Care Services from seeking or obtaining a Medicaid demonstration project or waiver requiring: 

  1. Work or community engagement activities as a condition of Medi-Cal eligibility;
  2. Waiting periods, time limits or coverage lockouts prior to or subsequent to the determination of Medi-Cal eligibility or coverage;
  3. Any other condition of Medi-Cal eligibility or coverage not authorized by state law or federal statute or regulation.

Read the SB 1108 bill language.

Read the SB 1108 fact sheet.