As the COVID-19 crisis unfolds, the Arkansas Department of Human Services is relaxing certain policies that have led to the removal of tens of thousands of Arkansans from the state’s Medicaid rolls in recent years. Around 11,000 beneficiaries whose coverage was terminated at the end of last month have now been reinstated. Many more will be reinstated as the state works to implement guidance from the federal government.
Study says Medicaid work requirement increased uninsured rate for Arkansans but did not boost employment
A study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine found that Arkansas’s Medicaid work requirement led to lower insurance rates among 30- to 49-year-olds in 2018, the group targeted by the first-of-its-kind work rule last year. The researchers also concluded that the policy did not lead to a rise in employment among this target population.
“I’ve seen over the years just how many people have benefited from assisted living. It saved them from going to the nursing home when it wasn’t safe for them to live at home,” Riedel said. The rate cut will push “more and more people into nursing facilities that shouldn’t be there."
In a report released Monday, the state Department of Human Services said it had terminated the health insurance of another 4,109 individuals due to Governor Hutchinson's work requirement for certain beneficiaries of Arkansas Works, the state's Medicaid expansion program for low-income adults. Those people are now barred from Arkansas Works until Jan. 1.
On Thursday, the same day that Governor Hutchinson signed legislation approving “Arkansas Works 2.0,” his plan to enact changes to the state’s Medicaid expansion program, the U.S. House passed a bill that would undermine many of the program’s key tenets.