75,000 Arkansans’ Med­i­caid to ex­pire this week

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES - ANDY DAVIS

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.