The Welfare Reform Act Today I will be discussing the Welfare Reform Act and if it has caused existing Medicaid beneficiaries to lose needed coverage and if the welfare act has kept eligible Medicaid candidates from enrolling. Also I will discuss whether or not the welfare reform act has been effective in reducing welfare fraud, increasing personal goals, and basically if it has been able to successfully meet its goals that it had been intended to meet. Welfare Reform Act was established in 1996 with the intentions of changing the social welfare policy of the country.
The idea was to reduce the number of people or families that were dependent on government assistance while at the same time helping these people become more independent. They have the welfare to work program which required work in exchange for time limited financial assistance, which is part of the reform act. Also they Job Search which are classes that give people the basic skills that they never had before. For example the taught people how to dress for job interviews, fill out an application correctly, make a resume and how to speak when at a job interview. Teaching them what kinds of questions are asked and how to answer them.
There debates about how well the welfare programs work but at least people have more education on the steps needed to get a job. However the initial welfare programs are out dated and needed to be reformed since no programs ever will seem to be able to meet every need of every low income or underprivileged individual or family, more reforms are needed even still. However, “within 3 years of the reforms enactment, millions of Americans had moved from being dependent on welfare to being self-sufficient. In addition, agencies reported a reduction in the number of social welfare cases. In 2004, the Welfare-to-Work program ended, but during the time this program was active millions of Americans lives were changed for the better (US Welfare System-Help for US Citizens, 2012). The Welfare Act does affect individuals who receive Medicaid benefits because rules and guidelines can often be changed for participants who participate in this insurance plan. Individuals who gain insurance through Medicaid usually can get it through the TANF program and if there is not a TANF program in place then individuals will not be able to apply for Medicaid benefits.
There are many questions that are unanswered such as, “Should the Medicaid program be considered a health financing program or a welfare program? Should states be given the same flexibility to design and redesign Medicaid programs as was being considered for cash welfare programs? ” (Moore,. 1999) Medicaid participants sometimes remain un-enrolled even though they are needy as a result of the Welfare Reform Act, because each state can define their own criteria for eligibility and services and expand or deny services entirely to certain groups that the Department of Human Service staff would believe to be a good cause (Moore,. 999). HCFA (Health Care Financing Administration (now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), issued a regulation that extends the time allowed to process Medicaid eligibility redeterminations from up to 45 days to up to 120 days. This extension recognizes the extra work states will have to perform to process redeterminations of Medicaid eligibility for individuals who lose SSI as a result of welfare reform provisions and assures that Federal Medicaid matching funds will continue while the redeterminations are made.
States generally are not permitted to terminate an individual’s Medicaid benefits until it is determined that the individual does not qualify for Medicaid as part of any other eligibility group (Gundling, R. 1997). The Welfare Reform Act is effective in reducing welfare fraud to a certain degree. In other words they have not gotten rid of fraudulent acts but they have reduced them.
Here in San Bernardino County they not only check your state identification and your social security card making sure they match up correctly but also run both name and number to be sure there is not a case open anywhere else but they also have you bring in prove of residency and then take your picture and finger prints and run them the system. All of that has helped along with getting rid of paper food stamps and giving out like a debit card that both cash aid and food stamps are out onto once a month. Before people would trade their food stamps like money almost and now you can’t do that.
They can only be used for what they were intended for and only at stores that accept EBT otherwise known as Electronic Benefits Transfer which is one’s food stamps and cash aid. So while they have reduced fraud at the same time they increased personal responsibility because since you cannot trade as before people are more likely to do the right thing with their EBT and that goes for stores to because with the EBT cards there is a better record of what is being paid for with the EBT so store owners cannot get away with selling items not allowed to be purchased with the food stamps portion on the EBT card.
This holds them responsible for their part in committing a fraudulent act. I remember when it was the paper food stamps and in recent years had to receive the new EBT for a short time and was happy to learn about the changes. These rules protect more than just the government but the honest people as well. The Welfare Reform Act has been successful in meeting its intended goals such as placing families on job searches, or providing education needs and training. Also the Welfare Act had other goals such as having families not rely on government benefits and gain employment which has happened for the most part.
References US Welfare System-Help for US Citizens. (2012). Welfare Reform-Social Welfare Change. Retrieved from http://www. welfareinfo. org/reform/ Valerius, J. (2008). Medical Insurance. An Integrated Claims Process Approach (3rd Ed. ). Moore, J. D. (1999). Welfare Reform and Its Impact on Medicaid. Retrieved from http://www. nhpf. org/library/issue-briefs/IB732_WelfRef;Mcaid_2-26-99. pdf Gundling, R. (1997). Welfare reform’s effect on Medicaid eligibility. Hfm (Healthcare Financial Management), 51(5), 88.
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