The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) has successfully completed eligibility redeterminations on Medicaid beneficiaries whose coverage was extended due to special rules that had been in effect during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE).
The continuous enrollment requirement during the PHE prevented DHS from removing most ineligible individuals from Medicaid, but normal eligibility rules resumed on April 1. Over a six month “unwinding” period that followed, DHS worked to reevaluate eligibility based on these normal eligibility rules, which are set by Congress and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“Medicaid resources should go to Arkansans who qualify for them, and not for those who are ineligible,” DHS Secretary Kristi Putnam said. “I’m proud of the work that staff across our entire agency performed over the last six months to ensure that our program is serving only those who truly need Medicaid. And I’m excited to finally put the pandemic and the special rules that had been in place behind us so we can focus on serving Arkansans under normal eligibility operations going forward.”
DHS is reporting updated figures today reflecting the sixth and final month of redeterminations conducted as part of its statutorily required six-month effort to unwind the Medicaid rolls. The latest figures are included in the report at the bottom of this release. In September, more than 45,000 cases were renewed after eligibility was confirmed, and 53,553 beneficiaries were disenrolled because they are no longer eligible.
The report below breaks down the top five reasons for closure and the top five categories of assistance for the September disenrollments. The 53,553 total closures as well as the 18,545 closures for beneficiaries whose coverage had previously been extended due to the PHE special eligibility rules are the fewest in a month during the unwinding to date.
If beneficiaries believe their case was closed in error, they can visit ar.gov/cover for information about requesting to have their coverage reinstated if they are still eligible, reapplying, or appealing the determination.
Beneficiaries who need assistance can call 855-372-1084 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. They can also submit questions through the Access Anywhere form at ar.gov/accessanywhere, or visit ar.gov/renew for additional information.