Arkansas Medicaid Termination Notices To Resume Tuesday

Aug 17, 2015

Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) discussing changes to eligibility verification for Medicaid in the Governor's Conference Room at the Capitol in early August.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas is expected to end a two week pause to sending out Medicaid termination notices on Tuesday. Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the moratorium on August 4th so that the Department of Human Services could process what he called an “information overload.”

 The governor’s spokesman J.R. Davis told KUAR to expect updates and additional information to be released Tuesday.

Nearly 40 percent of the state’s 600,000-plus Medicaid beneficiaries are being asked to verify their incomes in a 10 day window. Of the nearly 48,000 Arkansans that will have received Medicaid termination notices by the end of this month, DHS has said 97 percent either failed to respond to the income verification letter in time or DHS failed to process their paperwork in a timely manner.

Earlier this month the Republican governor said he would end a hiring freeze at DHS, re-assign workers, and hire temporary staff to help process a backlog of responses. The 10 day income verification window was not paused while the Medicaid termination notice process was on hold.

The Democratic Party of Arkansas has called for the governor to extend the 10 day timeframe and criticized the handling of Arkansas’s Medicaid income verification process.