HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1236

TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2015

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

S.D. 1

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


PART I

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Act 200, Session Laws of Hawaii 2012, established a joint legislative task force to explore the possibility of implementing a medicaid buy-in program for individuals with disabilities who are either not working or currently working and would like to earn more income, based upon Hawaii's current medicaid income and asset limits, subject to approval of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The legislature notes that a significant portion of the population in Hawaii receives federal or state benefits because of disabling conditions. Moreover, current state programs and policies, including state-designed medicaid waiver programs, create disincentives for persons with disabilities to become employed, maintain employment, or increase their employment income.

The legislature also finds that from 2005 through 2012, Hawaii was the recipient of a grant from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the development of a medicaid infrastructure program to design and implement a medicaid buy-in program for individuals with disabilities who are employed or desire to become employed and purchase medicaid coverage authorized under the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 (P.L. 106-170). Prior to 1999, other potential federal options for the creation of a medicaid buy-in program included the 1997 Balanced Budget Act and a waiver pursuant to title 42 United States Code section 1115, the Social Security Act.

The legislature further finds that it is advantageous for economic development in the State and in the best interests of Hawaii's citizens with disabilities to establish programs and policies that encourage employment. It is the intent of the legislature that all state agencies work with citizens to identify and remove barriers to employment for persons with disabilities. Adults with disabilities need adequate health insurance, but options for insurance coverage are limited, even with the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The purpose of this Act is to encourage individuals with disabilities to gain employment and improve their employment opportunities by:

(1) Establishing a two-year working disabled adults pilot program in which medicaid eligibility for workers with disabilities will be expanded; and

(2) Establishing a medicaid buy-in program for workers with disabilities to be implemented once the working disabled adults pilot program has terminated.

PART II

SECTION 2. (a) The department of human services shall establish the working disabled adults pilot program to create a new medicaid eligibility group for workers with disabilities.  The purpose of the working disabled adults pilot program is to support employment of individuals with disabilities by expanding their access to medicaid.

(b) Criteria for participating in the working disabled adults pilot program shall include:

(1) Be a resident of the State;

(2) Be at least nineteen years of age but less than sixty-five years of age;

(3) Meet medicaid citizenship requirements;

(4) Have a disability, as defined by the Social Security Administration; and

(5) Not be eligible for any other medicaid eligibility.

(c) The department of human services shall use the same eligibility criteria for the working disabled adults pilot program as for eligibility in the medicaid aged, blind, and disabled group, except that the department shall:

(1) Disregard earned income in an amount determined by the department, but not less than $1,000 per month; and

(2) Have an asset limit as determined by the department, but not less than the asset limit for the medicaid aged, blind, and disabled group.

(d) The working disabled adults pilot program shall terminate on June 30, 2017.

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $730,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2015-2016 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2016-2017 for the working disabled adults pilot program to support employment of individuals with disabilities by expanding their access to medicaid; provided that the department is encouraged to collaborate with the University of Hawaii center on disability studies to prepare and conduct outreach relating to the working disabled adults pilot program, technical assistance, and evaluation.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of human services for the purposes of this Act.

PART III

SECTION 4. Chapter 346, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"346-   Medicaid buy-in program for workers with disabilities. (a) There is established within the department the medicaid buy-in program for workers with disabilities. The purpose of the medicaid buy-in program for workers with disabilities is to support employment of individuals with disabilities by expanding their access to medicaid.

(b) To qualify for the medicaid buy-in program for workers with disabilities, a person shall:

(1) Be a resident of the State;

(2) Be at least eighteen years of age;

(3) Meet medicaid citizenship requirements;

(4) Have a disability, as defined by the Social Security Administration;

(5) Be gainfully employed in either part-time or full-time work; provided that all earnings shall be reported to the department of labor and industrial relations;

(6) Have income that does not exceed three hundred per cent of the federal poverty level; and

(7) Have assets that do not exceed an amount established by the department; provided that the limitation on assets established by the department shall not be less than $25,000.

(c) The medicaid buy-in program for workers with disabilities may have an enrollment limit as determined by the department; provided that the limit shall not be less than two hundred individuals.

(d) The department may require a person participating in the medicaid buy-in program for workers with disabilities to pay a premium or other cost-sharing charges in a manner as determined by the department.

(e) The department shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 necessary for the purposes of this section."

PART IV

SECTION 5. The department of human services shall submit a report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2017, providing an update on the working disabled adults pilot program and recommending whether to implement the medicaid buy-in program for workers with disabilities pursuant to section 4 of this Act. The report shall include the department's findings, recommendations, and any proposed amendments to the program as proposed by section 4 of this Act and shall specify resources needed to implement the program.

SECTION 6. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2015; provided that part II shall be repealed on June 30, 2017; and provided further that part III shall take effect on July 1, 2017.



 

Report Title:

Working Disabled Adults Pilot Program; Medicaid Buy-in Program for Workers with Disabilities; Appropriation

 

Description:

Establishes within the department of human services a two-year working disabled adults pilot program to be repealed on June 30, 2017. Establishes a medicaid buy-in program for workers with disabilities to be implemented once the pilot program is complete. Appropriates funds for the working disabled adults pilot program. (SD1)

 

 

 

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