DHS To Extend Window For Medicaid Income Verification In Arkansas

Aug 28, 2015

The federal government has told the state of Arkansas to give Medicaid beneficiaries more time to prove they are eligible for the program before terminating their coverage.

Federal Medicaid officials have requested the state extend a deadline for recipients to provide income verification from 10 days to 30.

Amy Webb, Spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Human Services, said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requested the extended 30-day window Thursday night.

"CMS contacted us and told us though they were aware, and approved of the approach we were taking, they were going to change their guidance to us," she said.

The change comes after weeks of political sparring over the deadline. Last week, Governor Asa Hutchinson defended the 10-day timeframe. On Friday, he issued a statement acknowledging the extension. 

"The state of Arkansas will follow the most recent federal regulatory directive concerning the redetermination of enrollees on Medicaid," he said.

"It is my hope that no more changes in guidance will come from Washington in the near future."

Roughly 58,000 Medicaid recipients in Arkansas have been dropped from the program for failure to provide income verification within a 10-day window. 3,200 of those individuals have had their benefits reinstated.

According to Webb, individuals who receive cancelations have 90 days from the date of closure to re-open their claims.