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Arkansas Overhauls Medicaid Program To ARHome

Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

ARKANSAS MEDICAID UPDATED— Arkansas will submit its proposal to overhaul its Medicaid expansion program to the federal government next month.  The new program:  ARHOME  stands for Arkansas Health & Opportunity for Me which will still use the private insurance model and use Medicaid funding to purchase health plans for participants under the private option  similar to the previous  plan  Arkansas Works.  At a press conference yesterday,  Governor Hutchinson explained  the ARHome program takes a different approach. 

" . . . we are tired of being low on the totem pole, low in terms of the state rankings of health outcomes; we want to improve those in every area." Asa Hutchinson, Governor of Arkansas

"The new approach that we have sends the message that we are serious about the healthcare of Arkansans," Hutchinson said. "We're serious about improving their health and we are tired of being low on the totem pole, low in terms of the state rankings of health outcomes; we want to improve those  in every area."

Credit Courtesy: Governor Asa Hutchinson YouTube
Courtesy: Governor Asa Hutchinson YouTube
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson explains the new state Medicaid program ARHome at a press conference 06.15.21.

Unlike Arkansas Works,  ARHome has no work requirement, but offers incentives to do so. The program would provide coverage for low-income families who make below 138% of the federal poverty level.  The federal government will cover about 90% of the funding, while the state pays for the remaining 10%, which is about $200 million per year.  Hutchinson  expects federal approval  of ARHome  by November or December.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.