The state waits on changes to its Medicaid expansion program | Arkansas Blog

Friday, November 3, 2017

The state waits on changes to its Medicaid expansion program

Posted By on Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 10:47 AM

David Ramsey reports for the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network on the delay in changes Gov. Asa Hutchinson hopes to make in the state's Medicaid expansion program to reduce the numbers who qualify.

Hutchinson wants to reduce the income eligibility level from 138 to 100 percent of the poverty level and also to impose a work requirement. This has been estimated to knock 60,000 people off coverage oif the more than 300,000 now covered thanks to the expansion enabled by Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act.

The state is still waiting for waiver approval — as are some others — which raises the question of whether the changes can be put in place Jan. 1 as Hutchinson originally wanted. Though the changes may sound simple, it turns out there are complications in implementation.

One other complication: When the Trump administration approves waivers for Arkansas and others (and it is expected to do so) a challenge to such waivers under the Affordable Care Act is a possibility.

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