- Associated Press - Saturday, June 13, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Department of Human Services is set to begin rechecking the eligibility of Medicaid recipients in the state on Monday.

The checks are required annually, but DHS Director John Selig told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1GBX82E ) that they have been delayed by difficulties in replacing a 25-year-old computerized eligibility and enrollment system.

The department will begin reviewing the eligibility of enrollees by using wage information from state Department of Workforce Services records, according to DHS spokeswoman Amy Webb.

Those who appear ineligible will be given 10 days to provide proof of eligibility, otherwise the coverage will be terminated and they will be directed to apply for federal tax-credit subsidies to help buy health coverage on Arkansas’ federally run health insurance exchange.

Authorized under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and approved by the Arkansas Legislature in 2013, the expansion of the state’s Medicaid program extends eligibility to adults with incomes of up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level: $16,105 for an individual, for instance, or $32,913 for a family of four.

The records used for the eligibility verification won’t indicate when the enrollee became ineligible for coverage, and the department will not seek to recover money from those who continued to receive coverage after they were no longer eligible, Selig said.

“As it is, we don’t have the ability to go backwards” to verify what an enrollee’s income was in the past, Selig said.

As of April 30, 250,799 Arkansans had been approved for coverage under the state’s expanded Medicaid program, including 209,998 who had completed enrollment in the private option, which uses Medicaid funds to buy commercial insurance on the state’s health insurance exchange.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com


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