12,000 Arkansans Lose Medicaid Coverage Over Work Rule

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NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, Ark. (KNWA) — More than 12,000 people lost Medicaid coverage over the past three months after failing to meet the state’s new work requirements. 

The Arkansas Department of Human Services said Thursday more than 3,800 people lost their Medicaid coverage in October for not complying with the rule.

Under a law that went into effect in June, thousands of people receiving health insurance under Medicaid have to go online to report their work hours to continue that coverage.

The department says another 6,000 people will lose coverage if they don’t meet the work requirement by the end of this month.

Rural Madison County resident Karen Yohn says she lost her Medicaid coverage because she failed to file proof of income at both the local d-h-s office and the online Arkansas works website.

“I believe submitting it online should have been the only step that i needed to do. They canceled it and now it takes 30 days to get re-approved so i cannot go to the doctor with my four children or anything until it goes back through without having to pay a lot of money.”

Governor Asa Hutchinson promoted the requirement as a way to move people into the workforce.

He released this statement to KNWA:

“Since the work requirement went into effect on June 1, approximately 2,800 Arkansas Works beneficiaries have moved into work. The primary goal of this initiative is to connect people with work and to help them move people up the economic ladder. This is a good sign as we’re still in the early stages of its implementation. I’m also pleased by the large majority of Arkansas Works recipients that have fully complied with the work requirement this month. These individuals are taking advantage of the work opportunities under the work requirement and should be commended for their efforts. As I’ve stated before, others have either found work, moved onto other insurance, or moved out of state. Some chose not to comply, and that is their right. They will have an opportunity to re-enroll in January.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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