2021 - 2022 LEGISLATURE
January 31, 2022 - Introduced by Representatives Callahan, Penterman, August,
Brandtjen, Cabral-Guevara, Dittrich, Duchow, Edming, James, Kitchens,
Knodl, Kuglitsch, Kurtz, Macco, Magnafici, Moses, Petersen, Schraa,
Snyder, Sortwell, Steffen, Tittl, Tusler, Vorpagel, Wichgers, Zimmerman
and Born, cosponsored by Senators Kapenga, Bernier, Felzkowski, Feyen,
Marklein and Stroebel. Referred to Committee on Public Benefit Reform.
1An Act to create
49.49 (4r) of the statutes; relating to: failure to accept
2employment to remain eligible for Medical Assistance.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill adds to prohibited conduct related to Medical Assistance benefits
knowingly failing to accept an offer of legal, paid employment and knowingly failing
to accept an increase in paid work hours or wages to maintain eligibility for Medical
Assistance benefits. A person who works 40 hours per week does not violate the bill's
requirement by refusing to accept work hours in excess of 40 hours per week. The
bill applies to any able-bodied adult without dependents who is between the ages of
18 and 65, not determined to be physically or mentally unfit for employment, not
pregnant or within 6 months postpartum, not a full-time student, and not a
caregiver of a child who is under the age of 13 or, if the child is disabled, under the
age of 19. An able-bodied adult without dependents who commits the conduct
prohibited by the bill is ineligible for Medical Assistance benefits for six months
following the Department of Health Services discovering the violation.
Current law may subject a person to a forfeiture of at least $100 but not more
than $15,000 for each instance of the following conduct: knowingly making or
causing to be made any false statement or representation of a material fact used in
determining rights to a Medical Assistance benefit or payment or in any application
for a Medical Assistance benefit or payment or knowingly concealing or failing to
disclose any event the person knows affects a right to a Medical Assistance benefit
or payment. Current law also applies criminal penalties to certain violations related
to public assistance and Medical Assistance. These forfeitures and criminal
penalties do not apply to the conduct prohibited in the bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
49.49 (4r) of the statutes is created to read:
49.49 (4r) Prohibited conduct; nonacceptance of employment.
(a) In this 3
1. “Able-bodied adult without dependents” means an individual who is all of 5
a. At least 18 years of age but has not attained the age specified in 42 USC 426 7
b. Not determined by the department to be medically certified as physically or 9
mentally unfit for employment, as described in 7 CFR 273.24
c. Not pregnant and is not a postpartum woman within 6 months of delivery.
d. Not a caregiver of a child who is under the age of 13 or, if the child is disabled, 12
as defined in s. 49.155 (1) (aL), is under the age of 19.
e. Not a full-time student of a high school or an institution of higher education.
2. “Caregiver” means an individual who is maintaining a residence as a child's 15
home, who exercises primary responsibility for the child's care and control, including 16
making plans for the child, and who is a parent, a relative described in s. 49.471 (1) 17
(b) 1. to 4., or legal guardian of the child.
(b) No able-bodied adult without dependents, in connection with Medical 19
Assistance, may knowingly fail to accept an offer of legal, paid employment, an 20
increase in wages, or an increase in paid work hours to maintain eligibility for 21
Medical Assistance benefits. An able-bodied adult without dependents who works
at paid employment for 40 hours per week does not violate this paragraph by refusing 2
work hours in excess of 40 hours per week.
(c) An able-bodied adult without dependents who violates par. (b) is ineligible 4
for Medical Assistance benefits for 6 months following the date the department 5
discovers the failure.
(1) Federal approval.
If the department of health services determines that it 8
is necessary to obtain permission from the federal department of health and human 9
services to implement this act, the department shall request any state plan 10
amendment, waiver of federal law, or other federal approval to implement this act. 11
If federal approval is necessary under this subsection but not obtained, the 12
department of health services is not required to implement this act.
(2) Effective date of disenrollment.
If implementation of s. 49.49 (4r) does 14
not comply with section 6008 (b) of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response 15
Act, P.L. 116-127
, to receive the enhanced federal medical assistance percentage, the 16
department of health services shall implement s. 49.49 (4r) beginning no sooner than 17
the first day of the month beginning after the month in which the enhanced federal 18
medical assistance percentage described in section 6008 (a) of the federal Families 19
First Coronavirus Response Act ends.