STAND. COM. REP. NO. 103
RE: S.B. No. 330
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Human Services, to which was referred S.B. No. 330 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AN EARNED INCOME DISREGARD PROGRAM,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to require the Department of Human Services to:
(1) Implement an earned income disregard program as an intermediate step to implementing a full Medicaid buy-in program; and
(2) Submit reports to the Legislature.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Disability Rights Center and one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Human Services.
Your Committee finds that Act 200, Session Laws of Hawaii 2012, established a joint legislative Medicaid Buy-In Task Force (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 but would like to earn more income. The Task Force has been working to implement the Medicaid buy-in program, but lack of funding has prevented its implementation.
Your Committee further finds that the Task Force recommended an interim step to a Medicaid buy-in program, to allow individuals with disabilities to earn income and not lose their Medicaid benefits, which they would be at risk of given the current Medicaid eligibility rules. While this interim program would not provide the full benefits of a Medicaid buy-in program, it would increase the amount of income an individual could earn while retaining Medicaid eligibility, encourage the employment of individuals with disabilities, and enable current Medicaid beneficiaries to become more self-sufficient.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Human Services that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 330 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Human Services,
RUSSELL E. RUDERMAN, Chair