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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: August 7, 2019 09:13 AM
From: Senator Bob Mensch
To: All Senate members
Subject: Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities
For people with disabilities, finding a job or returning to work can be a challenge. These individuals, like anyone else, deserve the opportunity to work to their full potential without the fear of losing health care benefits.

Unfortunately, private pay insurance does not offer the home and community-based services--such as nursing care—that individuals with disabilities rely on to live their everyday lives.

As a result, these individuals count on Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD) to receive these services.

Currently, MAWD services are only available to individuals with disabilities as long as they earn less than $61,000 annually. This earning cap often discourages workers from working more hours, or from accepting a raise or promotion.

In response, I am introducing legislation to allow individuals with disabilities to increase earnings under a new category of MAWD, called Workers with Job Success (WJS).

In this new category, workers will pay 7.5% of their income to the MAWD program to cover their health care, which is a 2.5% increase from the current 5%. This means, when a worker earns $75,000 annually they will pay 100% of the average cost of the MAWD program.

In Pennsylvania, only 35% of people with disabilities are working, with only 21% working full time. This legislation will help encourage these individuals to work to their full potential and reassure them this decision will not lead to a loss of the benefits they truly need.

I hope that you will join me as a co-sponsor. If you have any questions please call Mark Fetzko at 717-787-3110.

Introduced as SB890