LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) – Letters will start appearing in the mailboxes of Arkansas Works beneficiaries to tell them if they fall under a new work requirement.
In March, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services approved the state’s work requirement for adults on the Medicaid expansion program.
In June, enrollees ages 30 to 49 will be required to work or volunteer 80 hours each month or have a valid exemption, such as caring for someone who cannot care for themselves, enrolling as a full-time student or being temporarily disabled.
According to the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, roughly 60 percent of recipients are expected to be exempt.
DHS is requiring all Arkansas Works beneficiaries to link their health care coverage to an online account with an email address. But the 30 to 49-year-old ones need the account to go a step further: report their work or volunteer activities, or exemptions.
“We want people to succeed and be able to take the steps that they need to be able to keep their health care coverage,” said Marci Manley, the deputy chief of communications at DHS. “And we recognize that there are potential barriers, whether it’s internet access in rural areas and transportation or reading skills.”
That’s why DHS announced a new “registered reporter” process Tuesday that allows a beneficiary to designate someone else to fill out the information for them.
“We’re hoping that this will be useful for faith leaders, for hospital personnel, for insurance agents and brokers, even friends and family,” Manley said.
If enrollees would rather make the account themselves, they can get help at one of the 85 DHS county offices in the state. Look up the one in your county here.
For more information on the work requirement and Arkansas works, visit this page on the DHS website.
Nineteen to 29-year-old beneficiaries will be subject to the work requirement in 2019. It does not apply to those 50 or older.