Connecting Medicaid Enrollees to Employment & Training Programs

Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller and Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak joined PCN TV   to discuss a new partnership that will connect Medicaid recipients to employment and training programs.

Medicaid Work Supports

The Medicaid Work Supports initiative will identify and connect Medicaid enrollees to resources that can help address barriers to employment and lead to more success in the workforce.

“The Wolf Administration strives to build a Pennsylvania that works for everyone, and that includes making meaningful, sustaining employment accessible to all people, particularly underserved communities that may experience greater barriers to finding and retaining employment,” said Sec. Miller. “We want all people to be able to work, but we cannot do so in a way that is punitive or risks access to the health care people need to be able to get a job. The Medicaid Work Supports initiative will create that connection to employment and training.”

The Medicaid Work Supports initiative will create a more direct and systematic introduction to employment and training resources available to Pennsylvanians. When people are deemed eligible and enroll in a new Medicaid health plan, they will be asked if they are interested in help finding a job, training programs, and opportunities to get a high school diploma or GED. The referral system will help identify this population for the first time and create the opportunity for a meaningful, encouraging partnership between the MCOs, the PA CareerLink® system, and the enrollee to facilitate connections to employment and success in the workforce.

Individuals interested in learning more about these services will receive outreach either through PA CareerLinks®, their selected health plan, or their local county assistance office to provide awareness of and referrals to resources and programs available in their local community.

DHS will work with its partners to monitor whether outreach attempts and connections to employment or training programs are being made through PA CareerLinks® and in partnership with the MCOs. This data will be used to evaluate and identify effectiveness of this referral system, opportunities for new interventions or connections, and emerging best practices as the partners gain more experience with this referral model.

“This partnership between DHS and L&I is a great example of state agencies working together to assist people,” said Sec. Oleksiak. “PA CareerLinks® matches employers with qualified and skilled candidates and helps prepare job seekers to meet local employer’s needs. Providing Medicaid recipients with a connection to the employment and training services PA CareerLinks® provide can be the first step toward individuals obtaining the skills they need to enter, or reenter, the workforce and move toward gainful employment.”

Many MCOs offer employment and education support programs for their Medicaid enrollees and are integrating remediating barriers to employment and addressing social determinants of health like housing, food security, and transportation into these programs.

PA CareerLink® has a customer-centered approach that helps prepare job seekers to meet the needs of the global economy and matches employers with qualified and skilled candidates. PA CareerLink® provides workforce services to more than 783,753 job seekers annually. In addition, over 120,000 employers post more than 212,000 jobs a year with PA CareerLink® and access a range of free services, including customized job training programs and talent matching.

The Medicaid Work Supports initiative builds upon work by DHS and L&I to redesign employment and training programs for Pennsylvanians receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), many of whom are also covered by Medicaid.