LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Department of Human Services stated Monday that it had completed its six-month unwinding of Medicaid subscribers.
DHS stated that 53,553 recipients were disenrolled in September, the final month of the unwinding period as mandated by state law.
Disenrollment began on April 1, when the federal declaration of a coronavirus health emergency ended. While the emergency declaration was in place, states were not permitted to remove anyone from their Medicaid provisions.
With the September disenrollments, Arkansas has removed 427,459 patients from Medicaid during its mandated six-month unwinding period. According to a DHS spokesperson, 298,257 patients were renewed during the same period.
Act 780 was signed into law by then-Gov. Asa Hutchinson in 2021 to provide a six-month deadline for determining Medicaid eligibility, which went into effect with the April 1 end of the health emergency.
DHS Secretary Kristi Putnam said she was proud of her staff’s work in completing the disenrollment on schedule.
“Medicaid resources should go to Arkansans who qualify for them, and not for those who are ineligible,” Putnam said. “I’m proud of the work that staff across our entire agency performed over the last six months to ensure that our program is serving only those who truly need Medicaid. And I’m excited to finally put the pandemic and the special rules that had been in place behind us so we can focus on serving Arkansans under normal eligibility operations going forward.”
Also in September, the agency renewed the enrollment of 45,536 Medicaid recipients.
Of those disenrolled in September, 21,630 cases were due to recipients not returning their enrollment forms. According to the DHS report, 9,750 people failing to return requested information led to them being removed from Medicaid, primarily ARHOME and ARKids services.
Beneficiaries who need assistance can call 855-372-1084 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. They can also submit questions through the Access Anywhere form at AR.Gov/AccessAnywhere.