SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Arkansans are at risk of losing Medicaid coverage starting April 1.
An attorney with Legal Aid of Arkansas, Jaden Atkins, said no one has been taken off Medicaid for the past three years because there was a pause during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, that practice will stop next month.
“If they’re suddenly cut off of these services that can have really devastating effects for those people,” Atkins said.
Atkins said some people will be cut off because they’re no longer eligible, while others could be taken off because of administrative issues.
“Some of these people are going to be cut off for benefits for purely administrative reasons, like they forget to update their address with DHS,” Atkins said.
Atkins said losing coverage could have serious impacts on people’s ability to pay for the health care they need.
“Their ability to go to the doctor and have coverage to have a surgery whenever they need it,” Atkins said.
Melissa McManus is another attorney with Legal Aid of Arkansas who is working to get the word out about the change coming to Medicaid coverage in Fayetteville.
“You say the term Medicaid unwinding, and they don’t understand, they’ve spent nearly three years where it’s been continuous coverage with no renewals and now it’s brand new,” McManus said.
Arkansans on Medicaid coverage could be getting notices in the mail requesting information or giving notice about changes to coverage. McManus and Atkins recommend calling Arkansas DHS if you get a notice in the mail or if you have any questions about your coverage.
“If they do receive a denial notice or they receive a request for information, reply to those as quickly as possible with the requested information,” Atkins said.