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PRINTER'S NO. 1157
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
847
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY MARTIN, ARGALL, GORDNER, FOLMER, AUMENT, PHILLIPS-
HILL, K. WARD, STEFANO AND J. WARD, SEPTEMBER 5, 2019
REFERRED TO HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, SEPTEMBER 5, 2019
AN ACT
Amending the act of June 13, 1967 (P.L.31, No.21), entitled "An
act to consolidate, editorially revise, and codify the public
welfare laws of the Commonwealth," in public assistance,
providing for community engagement requirements.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The act of June 13, 1967 (P.L.31, No.21), known
as the Human Services Code, is amended by adding a section to
read:
Section 441.10. Community Engagement Requirements.--(a)
Within ninety days of the effective date of this subsection, the
secretary shall apply to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services of the United States Department of Health and Human
Services for approval of a demonstration program under section
1115 of the Social Security Act (49 Stat. 620, 42 U.S.C. § 1315)
for the purpose of instituting a community engagement
requirement for medical assistance enrollees in accordance with
this section. The application for the demonstration program
shall take into account other assistance programs that have work
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requirements to reduce monitoring and other administrative costs
of the department.
(b) In order to maintain enrollment in the medical
assistance program, a medical assistance enrollee shall
participate in community engagement activities for twenty hours
per week or for four hundred forty hours during the enrollee's
six-month review period. Participation in any of the following
community engagement activities satisfies the requirements of
this subsection:
(1) Employment or self-employment.
(2) Enrollment in an accredited postsecondary education
institution or a general education development (GED) program on
at least a half-time basis.
(3) An internship.
(4) Job training.
(5) Actively seeking employment. No more than ten hours per
week of participation in actively seeking employment may be used
to satisfy the community engagement requirements of this
section. The requirements to satisfy participation under this
clause shall be established by the department and shall include
at a minimum:
(i) Registration by an enrollee for employment search
services offered by the Pennsylvania CareerLink system or its
successor agency within thirty days after initial application
for benefits.
(ii) Posting a resume on the Pennsylvania CareerLink system
or its successor agency's database unless the enrollee is
seeking work in an employment sector in which resumes are not
commonly used.
(iii) Applying for positions that offer employment and wages
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similar to those the enrollee had prior to unemployment and that
are within a forty-five-minute commuting distance.
(6) Volunteering. The requirements to satisfy participation
under this clause shall be established by the department and
shall include at a minimum volunteer work that is performed for
the direct benefit of the community and the enrollee in a
variety of capacities while under supervision, such as
participating in AmeriCorps, volunteer work in connection with
probation conditions and volunteer work for a faith-based
organization or animal shelter or in an educational or athletic
setting.
(7) Serving as a caregiver to an individual with a chronic
health condition who is unable to attend work or school as
verified by a physician.
(c) A medical assistance enrollee may participate in any
combination of the activities described in subsection (b) in
order to maintain enrollment in the medical assistance program.
(d) A medical assistance enrollee who fails to comply with
the community engagement requirement shall relinquish medical
assistance program eligibility for the following time periods:
(1) For a first violation, a minimum of thirty days and
continuing thereafter until the enrollee has demonstrated and
maintained compliance for at least one week.
(2) For a second violation, a minimum of sixty days and
continuing thereafter until the enrollee has demonstrated and
maintained compliance for at least one week.
(3) For third and subsequent violations, a minimum of ninety
days and continuing thereafter until the enrollee has
demonstrated and maintained compliance for at least one week.
(e) (1) A medical assistance enrollee may apply to the
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department for exemption from the community engagement
requirement. The department shall exempt a medical assistance
enrollee who:
(i) Is attending high school as a full-time student.
(ii) Is currently receiving temporary or permanent long-term
disability benefits.
(iii) Is an individual eighteen years of age or younger.
(iv) Is a pregnant woman.
(v) Receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
(vi) Resides in a mental health institution, correctional
institution, long-term care facility or is receiving long-term
care support services.
(vii) Is hospitalized or is experiencing a serious medical
condition and unable to attend work or school as verified by a
physician.
(viii) Is in treatment for a substance use disorder as
verified by the licensed treatment provider.
(ix) Is the primary caregiver to a dependent who is six
years of age or younger. In the case of a two-parent or
caregiver household, this clause shall only apply to one parent
or caregiver.
(x) Is the primary caregiver to a dependent who is
permanently disabled as verified by a physician.
(xi) Is the primary caregiver to a dependent who is
experiencing a serious medical condition and is unable to attend
work or school as verified by a physician.
(xii) Is designated medically frail.
(xiii) Is on unpaid leave from employment under the Family
and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (Public Law 103-3, 29 U.S.C. §
2601 et seq.).
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(xiv) Is an individual sixty-five years of age or older.
(xv) Is participating in the medical assistance for workers
with disabilities program under Chapter 15 of the act of June
26, 2001 (P.L.755, No.77), known as the Tobacco Settlement Act.
(xvi) Has a permanent disability.
(2) Except as provided under clause (3), an exemption
approved by the department expires six months from the date of
approval unless renewed at six-month intervals thereafter.
(3) For an exemption approved by the department under clause
(1)(xiv), (xv) or (xvi), the exemption shall be provided without
any requirement for renewal.
(f) A medical assistance enrollee subject to the community
engagement requirement shall verify on a biannual basis
compliance with this section.
(g) Sanctions set forth in section 481 shall apply to a
medical assistance enrollee who fails to provide truthful and
accurate information under this section.
(h) The department shall develop forms to be used to
determine compliance and eligibility for exemption.
(i) The Department of the Auditor General shall biennially
review a random, statistically valid sample of medical
assistance enrollees to determine compliance with this section.
(j) The department shall provide for the dissemination of
information to medical assistance enrollees on existing
educational and job training opportunities in the community, job
openings, eligible transportation and child care programs. The
information shall be made available through county assistance
offices in conjunction with Pennsylvania CareerLink, local
workforce development boards, transit systems, drug and alcohol
programs, other State agencies and other appropriate outlets.
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Section 2. When the Department of Human Services receives
Federal approval of the application of the department for a
demonstration program instituting a community engagement
requirement as specified in section 441.10 of the act, the
department shall transmit notice of that fact to the Legislative
Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
Section 3. This act shall take effect as follows:
(1) The following provisions shall take effect
immediately:
(i) The addition of section 441.10 of the act.
(ii) This section.
(iii) Section 2 of this act.
(2) The remainder of this act shall take effect one year
after the date of publication of the notice under section 2
of this act.
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