PHOENIX - A plan proposed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer aims to fine Medicaid recipients $50 for certain unhealthy habits, according to documents released Thursday.
According to the document, Arizona is seeking to pilot penalty and incentive strategies that would help the state in partnering with the consumers to take responsibility for their own health care.
The plan reportedly focuses on smokers and on obese people who don't follow a doctor’s care plan to meet specified goals.
A portion of the report says all smokers enrolled in the childless adult population would be required to pay an annual fee of $50. Childless adults who are obese and/or suffer from a chronic disease, such as diabetes, will need to work with their primary care physician to develop a care plan.
Individuals who do not adhere to the plan and meet specified goals will be required to pay an annual fee of $50.
Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System , or AHCCCS, will reportedly combine these annual fees with incentive strategies, including those grant opportunities outlined by the Affordable Care Act, to provide appropriate incentives for healthy behaviors and disease management.
The fines would be used to help fund the cash-strapped Medicaid program.
Brewer proposed the plan in an effort to raise money that would allow the state to offset recent cuts to the Medicaid program.
The move apparently aims to revive coverage of organ transplants, which Arizona limited last year, and reduce the number of childless adults disqualified from Medicaid.
If approved as is, the plan could take effect October 1.
However, critics of the fines say it could unfairly punish people who can't control their weight.
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Denise Magick: The poor cannot afford $50.00...this is too controling for me!!
Merilyn Winter: It would motivate me to follow doctors orders
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