Arkansas Governor Asks Panel To Put Exchange Plans On Hold

Sep 24, 2015

Gov. Asa Hutchinson in a file photo from January.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is asking a panel to put the state's plans to establish its own insurance exchange on hold as lawmakers look at the future of the state's Medicaid expansion.

Hutchinson on Thursday said he had asked the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace's board to "pause" the development of the state-run exchange, where consumers can shop for insurance. Hutchinson told U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell in a letter Wednesday he believed it was wise to delay the exchange while a task force works on recommendations for the future of the state's "private option" Medicaid expansion.

The Republican governor last month told lawmakers he supports keeping the private option if the federal government will allow Arkansas to impose new limits on eligibility and benefits.