Arkansas Formally Requests Making Changes To 'Private Option'

Sep 15, 2014

Arkansas is asking the federal government to allow changes to the state's compromise Medicaid expansion that would require some participants to contribute monthly to health savings accounts and would impose new limits on transportation for non-emergency services.

The state Department of Human Services on Monday submitted its proposal to change the "private option" program. The program uses federal Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents. It was created last year as an alternative to the Medicaid expansion envisioned under the federal health law.

More than 194,000 people are enrolled in the private option. Lawmakers earlier this year required the state to win approval for the changes by Feb. 1 in order to keep the program alive.