Arkansas Healthcare

Local & Regional News
3:08 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Arkansas Formally Requests Making Changes To 'Private Option'

Arkansas is asking the federal government to allow changes to the state's compromise Medicaid expansion that would require some participants to contribute monthly to health savings accounts and would impose new limits on transportation for non-emergency services.

The state Department of Human Services on Monday submitted its proposal to change the "private option" program. The program uses federal Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents. It was created last year as an alternative to the Medicaid expansion envisioned under the federal health law.

Local & Regional News
2:59 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Gov. Beebe Touts Private Option Despite Concerns In GAO Report

Gov. Mike Beebe speaking Wednesday at the Capitol.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Mike Beebe dismissed concerns over a report this week by the Government Accountability Office saying Arkansas’s private option plan will cost the federal government more than had been estimated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which approved the program.

Auditors had said the state’s alternative Medicaid expansion program will not be “revenue-neutral” compared to a standard Medicaid expansion under the federal healthcare law.

Read more
Local & Regional News
9:24 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Private Groups To Help Enrollment After Arkansas Lawmakers Stopped Help

An screenshot from healthcare.gov near its launch.
Credit healthcare.gov

A joint effort of non-governmental organizations under the name Arkansans For Coverage launched an effort Tuesday to help people enroll in health care plans made available through the Affordable Care Act. Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families is among five groups in the joint effort to assist with navigating the health insurance marketplace or exchange.

AACF Executive Director Rich Huddleston said a vote by the state legislature earlier this year blocking state-funded outreach efforts makes this effort necessary.

Read more
Local & Regional News
5:03 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

GAO: Arkansas Medicaid Plan Not Revenue-Neutral

Government auditors say Arkansas' private option Medicaid plan will cost taxpayers an extra $778 million over the next three years rather than being "revenue-neutral" to the federal budget.

The Department of Health and Human Services disagreed with the findings, which were released Monday. It said the federal Government Accountability Office didn't take into consideration major program changes within Arkansas' Medicaid system.

Read more
Local & Regional News
12:16 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Arkansas Private Option Enrollment Keeps Growing

Almost 200,000 people have signed up for the Medicaid expansion program—the “Private Option”—aimed at extending health care coverage to low-income Arkansans.

Arkansas Department of Human Services said Monday that 194,257 people have completed enrollment.

Spokeswoman Amy Webb said they expect the number to continue to increase.

“From our perspective interest in the program continues to be strong and we think the private option is working as it was anticipated,” she said.

Read more
Local & Regional News
5:55 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Governor Beebe Says Insurance Expected to Cost Less Next Year

The governor's office says Arkansas' health insurance premiums under the "private option" Medicaid expansion are projected to decrease by 2 percent next year. In a Tuesday news release, the governor's office said there won't be a blanket reduction - some premiums may rise slightly and others may stay the same or go down.

Overall, policyholders will pay 2 percent less in the coming year. The governor's office says it is releasing the projection because incomplete information was mistakenly posted on a state Insurance Department website.

Read more
Local & Regional News
4:40 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

West Memphis Hospital To Close Down

Officials say the Crittenden Regional Hospital in West Memphis will stop admitting patients Monday and close down permanently on Sept. 7. The hospital says it's faced financial troubles caused by a drop in patients and reimbursements.

Officials also cited several physician departures and two recent fires that damaged the facility as reasons for the closure.

Local & Regional News
1:43 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

AARP Survey Shows Long-Term Care Key Issue in Arkansas Gubernatorial Race

90 Percent Want Care Other Than At A Nursing Home
Credit AARP / AARP

A survey released Tuesday from AARP finds 91 percent of Arkansans age 50 and older have a desire for services to shift to at-home care rather than at institutions like nursing homes.

Herb Sanderson with AARP Arkansas said state and federal spending on long-term care is an issue the organization for seniors would like to see addressed by electoral candidates.

Read more
Local & Regional News
12:13 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

AARP Poll Shows Pryor With Slim Lead Over Cotton Among Seniors

AARP Poll Results In US Senate Race
Credit AARP / AARP

The AARP released poll results Monday showing Arkansans age 50 and older are experiencing a high level of anxiety about retirement issues, and in the race for the U.S. Senate, a slim margin of voters prefer Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor over Republican challenger Tom Cotton.

48 percent support Pryor while 43 percent support Cotton. The margin of error is 2.9 percent. 9 percent were undecided. The survey did not ask about Libertarian Nathan LaFrance or Green Mark Swaney.

Read more
Local & Regional News
2:32 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Number Of Arkansans Approved For Private Option Nears 200,000

The number of Arkansans enrolled in the private option continues to grow. The Arkansas Department of Human Services said Friday that as of the end of July,192,210 had been determined eligible for the program. Spokeswoman Amy Webb says of those, about 183,000 have completed the enrollment process.

Read more

Pages