LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Life is about to change for millions of Kentuckians who receive Medicaid. On July 1, the state launches the new Medicaid waiver program which includes a requirement for community engagement.

Many able-bodied Medicaid recipients must get a job, take classes, volunteer, or perform some kind of community service in order to keep their benefits.

Anne Peak, the director of Patient and Community Engagement for the Shawnee Christian Healthcare Center in west Louisville said the center is working with its Medicaid patients to get ready for the new rules.

“There's always a concern that people will fall through the cracks,” Peak told WDRB.

On Wednesday, Gov. Matt Bevin formalized a new partnership designed to make sure that doesn't happen. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky announced plans to criss-cross the state, helping Medicaid recipients comply with the regulations.

“This waiver is coming, and we need to work within it, and we need to get in and help as many people stay covered as we want,” said Chandler.

Bevin said the new rules are not designed to kick people off Medicaid, but to improve overall health.

“And to that end, I'm confident that as more people get engaged, we will see better outcomes,” said Bevin.

Chandler, a former Democratic congressman, said better outcomes are his goal as well, but Medicaid recipients are facing new barriers to coverage.

“And we're going to try to help people overcome those barriers,” he said. “That’s our sole interest in this thing, from the foundation’s point of view. We want more people covered.”

Kentucky is the first state to implement the new Medicaid requirements, and Bevin said the nation is watching.

“It's imperative that we be successful, and I'm confident that we will be,” he said.

The providers at Shawnee Health said they are doing what they can to make sure that confidence is well placed.

“We're ready to step up to the challenge, and make sure that our patients are taken care of,” said Peak.

The Medicaid waiver program is being rolled out slowly, coming first to northern Kentucky. It should reach the Louisville area around October.

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