LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The federal government has approved Arkansas' plan to use Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for thousands of low-income workers.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Friday approved Arkansas' request to implement its "private option" plan to expand insurance coverage as an alternative to expanding Medicaid's enrollment under the federal health care law.
Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe and the Republican-led Legislature approved the plan earlier this year, but it still needed federal clearance.
Under the private option law, Arkansas will accept the federal money allocated for Medicaid expansion under the federal health care overhaul but would use it to buy private insurance for about 250,000 eligible low-income residents through the insurance exchange. Open enrollment for the exchange is set to begin Tuesday.