75,000 Arkansans’ Medicaid to expire this week
Medicaid coverage for 75,000 Arkansans, including 57,000 children, will end Wednesday as a result of checks of the recipients’ eligibility, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Human Services said.
Most of those whose coverage will end are children whose parents failed to respond to notices directing them to visit a department website, access.arkansas.gov, and provide information needed for the eligibility check, said the spokesman, Amy Webb.
The information is needed to determine the children’s eligibility for the ARKids First Medicaid program under rules that went into effect Jan. 1, 2014.
The rules, created by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, prompted the department to install a new eligibility and enrollment system. But because of delays in completing the new system, some families’ applications were processed using the old system even after the new rules took effect, Webb said.
To conduct eligibility checks using the new system, the department needs more information from families whose applications were processed using the old system, Webb said.
She said some children’s coverage was initially set to end in December or January, but the department extended it while it made additional attempts to contact the parents, including through fliers sent to school nurses and pediatricians. A similar attempt to gather information needed to verify eligibility under the new rules resulted in coverage being terminated for about 34,000 children in March of last year.
Others whose coverage is being terminated Wednesday include low-income adults who failed to respond to notices requesting additional information or whose coverage should have been terminated earlier but wasn’t because of problems with the new system, Webb said.
The new rules don’t affect certain categories of Medicaid recipients, such as nursing home residents and disabled people. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 942,076 people, including 438,513 children, were enrolled in Arkansas’ Medicaid program as of Nov. 30.