Thousands Of Arkansans Enroll In “Private Option” Health Insurance Program

Oct 15, 2013

Officials with the state’s Department of Human Services are releasing figures on the number of Arkansans who want to enroll in the “private option” health insurance program. 

According to data released Tuesday, after two weeks of enrollment efforts, over 56,000 adults have expressed an interest in joining the new program.

Amy Webb with DHS says these figures differ from enrollment numbers for the AR Health Connector web portal.

“These online numbers are strictly for the DHS portal, the system where people can go and apply for different public assistance programs online,” Webb said. “The difference is the state has a site where people can apply for public assistance programs and also apply for the “private option” through that program.”  

Webb says the DHS website primarily targets lower income Arkansans and the working poor who need health care coverage. Arkansans at higher income levels are encouraged to use the federal web portal,, to apply and shop for plans.

According to department data, from Oct. 1 through Oct. 12, DHS received 1,509 applications through its state-run web portal and 1,119 telephone and paper applications.

There are also 53,660 current DHS clients who are considered eligible for the "private option" program and returned letters saying they wanted coverage.  

DHS says, so far, 10,454 people have completed the enrollment process.