HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-SIXTH LEGISLATURE, 2012
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO MEDICAID.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that a significant portion of the population of Hawaii receives federal or state benefits for disabling conditions. Current state programs and policies, including state-designed medicaid waiver programs, create disincentives for individuals with disabilities to become employed, maintain employment, or further their employment goals.
The legislature also finds that it is advantageous to the State's economic development and in the best interest of Hawaii's citizens with disabilities to have programs and policies that support employment. National studies have shown that medicaid recipients who work cost approximately thirty per cent less than those who do not work. Since 2005, Hawaii has been the recipient of a federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services grant for the development of a medicaid infrastructure program to design and implement a buy-in program for individuals with disabilities who are employed and purchase medicaid coverage authorized under the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 (P.L. 106-170). Besides the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999, other potential federal options for the creation of a buy-in program include the 1997 Balanced Budget Act and a waiver pursuant to section 1115 of title 42 United States Code, the Social Security Act.
The legislature further finds that there are forty-five states with a medicaid buy-in program for working individuals with disabilities. A medicaid buy-in program in Hawaii could generate up to $300,000 in the first year of the program's implementation and a total of $2,500,000 over the first five years.
The purpose of this Act is to identify and remove barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities by establishing a joint legislative task force to assist the department of human services in exploring the development and possible implementation of a medicaid buy-in program for working individuals with disabilities.
SECTION 2. (a) There is established a joint legislative task force to assist in exploring the development and possible implementation of a medicaid buy-in program for working individuals with disabilities.
(b) The chairperson of the senate committee on human services and the chairperson of the house of representatives committee on human services shall co-chair the joint legislative task force.
(c) The task force shall include representatives from the disability community, including but not limited to the following:
(1) The department of human services, med-QUEST division;
(2) The department of human services, vocational rehabilitation and services for the blind division, services for the blind branch (ho‘opono);
(3) Each of the QUEST expanded access plans;
(4) The department of health, developmental disabilities division;
(5) The department of health, adult mental health division;
(6) The department of health, disability and communication access board;
(7) The department of labor and industrial relations, workforce development council;
(8) The state rehabilitation council;
(9) The state council on developmental disabilities;
(10) The University of Hawaii, center on disability studies;
(11) Hawaii Waiver Providers Association;
(12) One or more mental health clubhouses;
(13) The Hawaii Centers for Independent Living;
(14) The Hawaii Disability Rights Center;
(15) The National Federation of the Blind, Hawaii Chapter;
(16) The Hawaii Association of the Blind;
(17) The Aloha State Association of the Deaf;
(18) Hawaii Families as Allies, Hawaii Youth Helping Youth;
(19) Aloha Independent Living Hawaii;
(20) Consumer Family and Youth Alliance; and
(21) One or more representatives from each of the counties of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui.
(d) The task force shall explore the development and possible implementation of a medicaid buy-in program based on Hawaii's current medicaid income and asset limits, and subject to approval to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The medicaid buy-in program shall be for working individuals with disabilities and shall ensure the provision of health care services to qualified individuals who are employed, as demonstrated by proof of income in the form of pay stubs, tax returns, or other official documentation, and have disabilities, as defined by the department of human services.
(e) The task force shall submit a final report of its findings, program recommendations, and proposed legislation, if any, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the 2013 regular session. The legislative reference bureau shall assist the task force in drafting the report and any proposed legislation to implement the task force's recommendations; provided that the task force shall submit a draft of the report and any proposed legislation to the bureau no later than November 1, 2012.
(f) The members of the task force shall serve without compensation and shall receive no reimbursement for expenses.
(g) The members of the task force shall not be considered employees for the purposes of chapter 84, Hawaii Revised Statutes, based solely upon their participation in the task force.
(h) The task force shall be dissolved on June 30, 2013.
SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Medicaid; Department of Human Services; Task Force
Establishes a joint task force to assist the Department of Human Services in exploring the development and possible implementation of a medicaid buy-in program for working individuals with disabilities. (HB2415 CD1)
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