Context: Twenty states are pursuing community engagement requirements (“work requirements”) in Medicaid, though legal challenges are ongoing. While most nondisabled low-income individuals work, it is less clear how many engage in the required number of hours of qualifying community engagement activities and what heterogeneity may exist by race/ethnicity, age, and gender. The authors' objective was to estimate current levels of employment and other community engagement activities among potential Medicaid beneficiaries.

Methods: The authors analyzed the US Census Bureau's national time-use survey data for the years 2015 through 2018. Their main sample consisted of nondisabled adults between 19 and 64 years with family incomes less than 138% of the federal poverty level (N = 2,551).

Findings: Nationally, low-income adults who might become subject to Medicaid work requirements already spent an average of 30 hours per week on community engagement activities. However, 22% of the low-income population—particularly women, older adults, and those with less education—would not currently satisfy a 20-hour-per-week requirement.

Conclusions: Although the majority of potential Medicaid beneficiaries already meet community engagement requirements or are exempt, 22% would not currently satisfy a 20-hour-per-week requirement and therefore could be at risk for losing coverage.

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