House Bill 1 approved in Frankfort; goes to Senate

Published 10:52 am Thursday, February 27, 2020

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House Bill 1, a bill that would reform how the state provides public assistance to its citizens, was approved by the House in Frankfort by a 57-33 vote  and now goes to the Senate.

House Bill 1, which was presented by House Speaker Pro Tem David Meade, R-Stanford, seeks to reform the way public assistance is provided in Kentucky, with an eye toward preventing fraud while offering assistance to people seeking to move beyond public assistance and into the workforce.

Key provisions of HB 1 would require most cash assistance beneficiaries to use a single electronic benefit transfer card for all program with penalties for misusing the card. Other provisions would provide “transitional” benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and allow implementation of a Medicaid work requirement should state matching funds required to cover Kentucky’s expanded Medicaid population reach a certain level.

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Additionally, those with earnings between 138-200 percent of the federal poverty level who no longer qualify for Medicaid because of increased income, but who otherwise qualify for Medicaid, could participate in a state health insurance option. The program would provide the optional insurance to a qualified individual for 12 months or longer.