Private Option Enrollment High Among Arkansas Parolees

Apr 30, 2015

Arkansas prison and parole officials say about 70 percent of the state's more than 52,000 parolees and probationers have signed up for the state's compromise Medicaid expansion.

They told the Legislative Criminal and Justice Oversight Task Force on Thursday that enrollment in the 'private option' Medicaid program could reduce recidivism in the state's overcrowded prison system.

Republican state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson chairs the task force and said providing medical insurance provides parolees and probationers with mental health or substance abuse treatment at lesser costs.

Hutchinson also asked the three insurance companies that provide plans under the Medicaid expansion program to examine a requirement regarding mental health and substance abuse treatment referrals in rural areas.