Governor's Radio Address Touts 'Private Option'

Apr 26, 2013

Arkansas is moving forward with a new plan to implement part of the Affordable Care Act to pay for health insurance for the state’s working poor now that the legislature has wrapped up its business.

Governor Mike Beebe used his weekly radio address to highlight the benefits of the state’s new “private option” of expanding health insurance with money intended for Medicaid.

“Instead of using current Medicaid services, they will receive coverage from private companies competitively bidding through our new insurance exchange,” Beebe said. “While still administered by the Medicaid program, our plan will give working Arkansans more choices and a greater range of available services. After three years Arkansas will decide whether to continue the ‘private option’ as the state begins paying its small share.”

Arkansas’s plan is contingent on federal approval which state officials say may take several months to get. They say they will begin setting up the plan in the meantime.