|Posted:||December 2, 2020 11:11 AM|
|From:||Senator Bob Mensch|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities|
|In the near future, I will be reintroducing Senate Bill 890 from last session.
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.
In Pennsylvania, only 35% of people with disabilities are working, with only 21% working full time.
Unfortunately, private pay insurance does not offer the home and community-based services, like nursing care, that individuals with disabilities rely on to live their everyday lives, so they rely on Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD).
Currently, MAWD services are only available to individuals with disabilities with an income of less than 250%, or roughly $32,000 annually. This often discourages workers from working more hours, or from accepting a raise or promotion.
My bill will allow individuals with disabilities to increase earnings under a new category of MAWD, called Workers with Job Success (WJS). Anything earned over the cap will bump contributions into a new category rather than just eliminating eligibility all together, and covers workers from 250% of the poverty level up to 600%, or roughly $76,000.
Workers will pay 7.5% of their income to the WJS program to cover their health care, which is a 2.5% increase from the current 5%. This means, that when a worker earns $75,000 annually, they will essentially pay 100% of the average cost of the WJS program.
In context, 22 other states have more generous allowances than Pennsylvania, or have removed caps all together. It is beyond time that we take this step in Pennsylvania, and last session, this bill passed the Senate unanimously.
I hope that you will join me as a co-sponsor to begin the process of getting this legislation enacted as soon as possible. If you have any questions please call David Kozak from my office at 717-787-3110.
Introduced as SB156