Arkansas Governor Signs Bill Keeping Medicaid Expansion

Mar 8, 2018

File photo of Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaking in January 2015.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas' governor has signed into law legislation to continue the state's Medicaid expansion, which will impose a work requirement on thousands of participants this year.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson's office said Thursday the Republican signed the budget bill for Medicaid and the expansion, which uses federal and state funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents. More than 285,000 people are on the program, which was created as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law.

Lawmakers reauthorized the program this week after federal officials approved the state's plan to require thousands on it to work or volunteer in order to keep their coverage. Arkansas is the third state allowed to impose a work requirement on Medicaid.

The requirement won't affect those on the state's traditional Medicaid program.