For Immediate Release
April 9, 2018     
Contact: Abby Matienzo, Communications Manager
       703-942-5711 #230

NAELA Joins Brief Supporting Suit Against Administration’s Approval of Kentucky’s Medicaid Waiver That Imposes Work Requirements and Other Detrimental Policies 

Washington, DC — Last Friday, NAELA together with AARP, AARP Foundation, Justice in Aging, and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) submitted a brief in the case against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for approving a waiver of the Medicaid rules in Kentucky.

The State of Kentucky has sought to fundamentally transform its Medicaid program by ending prior quarter coverage, adding work requirements, and imposing other harmful new limits. Kentucky estimated that more than 95,000 individuals would lose coverage as a result of the waiver. 

Under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act, to properly consider a waiver request, the federal government must assess 1) whether the project truly is an “experimental, pilot, or demonstration project;” 2) whether the project is likely to assist in promoting the Medicaid program’s objectives; and 3) the length of time for which the project is necessary.

According to the brief, “The Court’s ruling will have a nationwide impact on the extent to which low-income persons have access to health care, and whether such health care will be subject to the types of restrictions established by the Waiver.”

“It’s not just that persons with disabilities and with chronic conditions will get caught up in these restrictions, they will; it’s that by allowing such a waiver, we could see the rights of Medicaid recipients under federal law disappear without Congress ever passing a new law,” said NAELA President Hyman G. Darling, CELA, CAP.

Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Upon joining, NAELA member attorneys agree to adhere to the NAELA Aspirational Standards. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations, and others. The mission of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys is educate, inspire, serve, and provide community to attorneys with practices in elder and special needs law. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit

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