Thousands of Arkansas Residents Confirm Private Option Enrollment

Oct 2, 2013

More than 55,000 Arkansans have opted to enroll in new healthcare covered under the private option law, according to the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

The agency, which contacted more than 132,000 eligible households in September, will begin sending out letters this week that explain the enrollment process. Reports also indicate a total of 2,539 children were deemed uninsured and automatically enrolled in ARKids First.

The number of positive responses quashed initial uncertainty, according to DHS Communications Director Amy Webb.

"There are people literally in every county in Arkansas who have said they wanted to enroll," Webb said. "It really is a statewide program and it really does appear to be something that'll be good for Arkansans all across the state."

The private option, part of the state's healthcare reform law, allows low-income Arkansans to use Medicaid funding to pay for insurance, which may be purchased through a new marketplace that went online Oct. 1.

New healthcare coverage will begin Jan. 1, 2014.