KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Arkansas Files Notice With Feds That It Will Seek Changes In Landmark Medicaid Plan

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, when taking office last year, suggested he wanted to change the hybrid program known as the "private option" that was set up under the Medicaid expansion in the health law.

The Associated Press: Arkansas Governor Asks For New Limits On Medicaid Plan
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has told federal officials he wants to impose new limits on the state's hybrid Medicaid expansion that's providing coverage to more than 200,000 people. Hutchinson's office on Monday released his formal request to overhaul the state's "private option," which uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents. (1/4)

KUAR (Little Rock Public Radio): Arkansas Governor Asks Feds To Explore Medicaid Expansion Changes
As expected the governor of Arkansas is asking federal officials to consider changes to the state's version of Medicaid expansion. ... In the letter Governor Hutchinson said Arkansas "anticipates submitting an application" in the Spring of 2016 to amend the existing private option program under a section 1115 waiver. The administration's letter to Secretary Burwell includes a waiver application extension. The current incarnation of Medicaid expansion known as the private option expires at the end of 2016. The governor was required by federal officials to continue or seek changes to the waiver, or deviation from traditional Medicaid, a year in advance. (Kaufman, 1/4)

Arkansas Online: Let Private Option Stay, State Urges
The extension request, submitted on the day of the deadline, notes that state officials expect to seek amendments to the waiver this spring to enact changes such as those proposed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Those changes include charging premiums to enrollees with incomes above the poverty level, subsidizing coverage through employer plans for those with access to job-based coverage, and requiring referrals to job-training programs for unemployed enrollees. (Davis, 1/5)

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