So what will this health reform bill mean?

Health reform is a major victory for Arkansas children and families. It delivers what families need: affordable, reliable health coverage that won’t disappear if they lose a job or get sick. What, specifically, does the bill passed late last night do?

Delivers quality coverage for the whole family ….

  • Requires insurance companies to provide pediatrician-recommended care for children so they can grow and thrive
  • Continues ARKids First, which has successfully worked in partnership with Medicaid to cover over 350,000 kids in Arkansas
  • Allows parents to keep their college-age children (up to age 26) on their family health plans.

That they can rely on when they need it most …

  • Ends insurance companies’ discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. Starting right away, children who have insurance can’t be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition.
  • Ensures that losing a job no longer means families also have to worry about becoming uninsured.

At a cost families can afford …

  • Makes coverage more affordable for middle class families by boosting their bargaining power and providing tax credits to those who need extra help through health insurance exchanges.
  • Provides Medicaid coverage to low-income families, allowing children and parents to be covered together.

Through family-friendly systems with less red tape.

  • Protects families from insurance bureaucracies that today deny coverage and care to millions of kids.
  • Encourages elimination of red tape, so taxpayers’ scarce resources are used covering kids and families, not pushing paper.

Thanks to ARKids First and Medicaid, we can start to cover uninsured children right now.

Now is the time to roll up our sleeves and start working to make sure that it works for the millions of America’s families who will be expecting results.

As a first win for families, we can help the 43,000 uninsured children in Arkansas who already qualify for ARKids First or Medicaid to secure coverage

Families can apply for coverage today by going to https://www.arkidsfirst.com/apply.htm or calling 1-888-474-8275.
Our leaders in Little Rock can help, by implementing the ARKids First expansion passed in 2009 and doing more to make enrollment and re-enrollment easier for Arkansas families.
For more information, see the following summaries from: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University, Community Catalyst, and the Kaiser Family Foundation