As the Health Reform Legislative Task Force continues to review reforms for the Private Option and the larger Medicaid program, it’s important to look at how big of an impact these programs have in Arkansas. Since 2014, we’ve seen great success with the Private Option:
- We dramatically cut the rate of uninsured adults, from 22.5 percent in 2013 to 9.1 percent midway through 2015, making Arkansas a national leader.
- In the first year, Arkansas hospitals saw a 55 percent or $149 million reduction in financial losses from treating uninsured patients.
- The state is estimated to save at least $438 million by 2021, even after including the state’s share of costs for the Private Option.
- When parents have coverage, their children are more likely to enroll in coverage, stay enrolled, and receive preventive care and other health services. In one year of enrolling adults in affordable coverage, over 30,000 children also got covered in Arkansas.
For more information about how expanded health coverage has benefited Arkansas families and the economy, check out AACF’s fact sheet.
The program may soon become Arkansas Works, which includes proposed changes like work-training referrals and monthly premiums. Lawmakers are expected to vote on the proposed changes during a Medicaid special session in April 2016. AACF hopes that affordable health coverage continues to be a priority for policymakers.
Let your lawmakers know how important Medicaid and the Private Option (Arkansas Works in the future) are to Arkansas, our health, and our economy. Here is a complete list of Task Force members. If you don’t know who your lawmaker is, you can find out how to contact them here (see the search bar on the right-hand side of the screen).
Consumers agree that expanded health coverage is working in Arkansas! Watch the series of videos below to hear from Arkansans: