LITTLE ROCK, AR – Several Arkansans say they have been left to scramble as the state makes rollbacks on Medicaid coverage for the first time since the pandemic.

Earlier this year, Arkansas started unwinding Medicaid rolls following the ending of the public health emergency that started during the pandemic. So far, more than 219,000 Arkansans have been disenrolled from the program.

In a report from The Arkansas Department of Health Services, leaders say the disenrollment is necessary to keep the program fair and “protect Medicaid resources for those who truly need it.”

Reasons for disenrollment include failure to return the renewal form, an ineligible household income, and failure to meet program requirements.

“I’m so emotional, it’s upsetting, it’s heartbreaking,” Shonnie Druilhet said.

Druilhet is an Army Veteran who says she has been on Medicaid for the last two decades.

“I was 24,” she said. “It got me where I couldn’t feel anything from the neck down at first.”

That lifeline, though, is about to be cut. “I mean, I’m panicking. I’m stressed,” Druilhet said.

Druilhet was paralyzed in the early 2000s. She says the money she gets from Medicaid keeps her life moving, funding necessary appointments with doctors, specialists, and caregivers.

Druilhet is one of more than 219,000 in the same boat as the state cuts back on the number of Medicaid recipients.

“The reason they gave me for my disconnection was because they said I didn’t turn in a bank statement from and old bank that doesn’t even exist,” Druilhet said.

Shonnie’s benefits end on August 31.

“I am on the phone every day,” she said. “If you look at my call log and how many times I’ve called these numbers.”

Druilhet said she is in a state of disbelief, using the strength from within to push her forward.

“I just have to have hope,” Druilhet said. “I can’t give up and think that there is not going to be a resolution to this.”

Druilhet said she has filed an appeal to get her benefits reinstated.

She said she doesn’t know when she’ll get an answer but is hoping it’s soon.

DHS says Arkansans who no longer qualify for Medicaid can transition to an employer-sponsored plan or one available on the federal Health Insurance Marketplace.

Arkansans can apply for coverage at