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Feds approve Arkansas’ plan to overhaul Medicaid expansion

Asa Hutchinson governor
Michael Hibblen
Gov. Asa Hutchinson, seen here in 2015, announced on Tuesday that the federal government has approved the state’s proposal to overhaul its expansion of Medicaid.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday that the federal government has approved the state’s proposal to overhaul its Medicaid expansion.

“This will allow 300,000 low-income Arkansans to continue to receive health care under our qualified insurance plans that have been very successful in Arkansas in expanding health care,” Hutchinson said.

The state Department of Human Services submitted the overhaul proposal to the federal government over the summer after the program’s previous requirement that some recipients work was blocked by the courts.

As with the current program, the overhauled expansion would continue using Medicaid funds to place recipients on private health insurance.

Arkansas unveiled the proposal after the Biden administration moved to roll back Medicaid work requirements in Arkansas and several other states. A federal judge blocked the Arkansas work requirement.

Hutchinson said Tuesday that the federal government didn’t approve the state’s request to continue to require individuals with income above 100% of the federal poverty level to pay a share of premiums for their coverage. He said the current premium amount of $13 per month will continue for calendar year 2022 but not beyond.

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