Kentucky becomes first US state to implement Medicaid work requirements
Doctor with Patient. (Shutterstock)

Kentucky on Friday became the first U.S. state to receive approval from the federal government to implement work requirements in Medicaid, a fundamental change to the 50-year-old government health insurance program for the poor.

The approval came one day after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued policy guidance allowing states to design and propose test programs that require work or jobs training as a condition of receiving Medicaid, which has never had such conditions attached.

Kentucky's waiver also imposes premiums on able-bodied, adult Medicaid beneficiaries - another first for the key social safety net program.

(Reporting by Yasmeen Abutaleb, editing by G Crosse)