Help for States and Individuals Switching from Welfare to Work

Improving access to health care within the context of welfare reform

From 1997 to 2001, staff at the National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices educated governors and state health policy-makers about the health-related impact of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (PRWORA) of 1996.

A passage from the act presented governors with flexibility to reshape the nations' policies and programs for the poor.

Key Results

Staff at the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices:

  • Hosted five conference calls for governors' advisers and agency staff, including one requested by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • Conducted a conference in Louisville, Ky., in October 1999, entitled "Helping Hard-to-Place Individuals Succeed in a Work-First Environment: State Policies and Practices."
  • Wrote and disseminated a monograph, Understanding Health-Status Barriers That Hinder the Transition from Welfare to Work, as well as three Issue Briefs.
  • Offered a small grant to states for activities meant to improve family health care coverage.
  • Provided information and technical assistance to states on:
    • The Supreme Court ruling in Olmstead v. L.C, which affected state obligations to individuals with disabilities, particularly in treatment settings.
    • The Ticket to Work Incentives Improvement Act., which provides health care and employment services (with the ability to purchase Medicaid coverage) to individuals with disabilities to maintain employment and reduce dependency on public cash benefit programs.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this project through a grant of $273,625.

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