Governor Notifies HHS of Intent to Extend and Amend Medicaid Expansion Waiver

In line with the recommendations of the Arkansas Health Reform Legislative Task Force, Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) submitted an application to the federal government to extend the State's Medicaid expansion waiver past its current end date of December 31, 2016 and informed HHS Secretary Burwell of his intent to submit an application in spring 2016 to amend the expansion program. The amended program, called "Arkansas Works," may include reforms currently supported by the Governor's Advisory Council on Medicaid Reform and the Task Force, including mandatory premium assistance for employer sponsored insurance, a work referral program, and premiums for beneficiaries with incomes above 100% of the federal poverty level. Following submission of the extension application, the Governor announced that he will meet with Secretary Burwell on February 1 to discuss the proposed changes, and plans to call a special legislative session later this year on Medicaid expansion.