Critics say the Arkansas Private Option program is more expensive than predicted, but hospitals say it’s reducing the number of patients unable to pay their bills.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act encourages states to use federal money to make Medicaid available to all residents with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.
Arkansas received federal permission to use the money to help low-income residents buy private health coverage through the public exchange system.
Optumas actuaries said state spending on premiums has been in lines with what was budgeted, even though the participants are an average of about two years older than expected.
But Arkansas Medicaid Director Andy Allison has announced he’ll leave his job next month to pursue private sector opportunities.