Local & Regional News
12:22 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Arkansas Private Option Gets Formal Approval From Feds

Mike Beebe
Gov. Mike Beebe

The bi-partisan plan crafted by the Arkansas Legislature this year to use federal Medicaid dollars to buy private health insurance got a formal approval Friday from the federal government.

It came directly from the head of the Department of Health and Human Services, says Matt DeCample, a spokesman for Governor Mike Beebe.

"Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called Governor Beebe to tell him that our Medicaid waiver request that we needed to get the Arkansas private option to become a reality, that waiver request had been approved and we can move forward with the Arkansas Private Option," DeCample said.

Arkansans can begin to sign up for the program on Tuesday when the Health Insurnace Marketplace opens. Hundreds of thousands of low-income Arkansans are expected to sign up for coverage.

DeCample says the potential threat of a shutdown of the federal government won’t have any impact on the insurance marketplace.