LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has announced a plan for putting a work requirement in place for Medicaid enrollees.
The governor announced a plan Wednesday morning that would impact those enrolled in the Medicaid-funded ARHOME program. Sanders said the proposal would remove anyone enrolled in ARHOME who did not “participate in the community” by either working, going to school, or volunteering.
Anyone removed from ARHOME would then be enrolled in standard fee-for-service Medicaid, she said.
ARHOME provides private insurance for people who would otherwise be enrolled in the Medicaid fee-for-service model.
The governor repeated her interest in breaking the cycle of what she called “government dependence” on welfare.
The plan was different from the Medicaid work requirement previously proposed by the Hutchinson administration, Sanders said. That proposal was overturned in a federal court ruling.
Sanders said this new plan, which keeps people on Medicaid but moves them from ARHOME to fee-for-service Medicaid, meets the requirement since the enrollee remains covered.
The proposed work requirement for ARHOME has been submitted and is currently being reviewed by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the governor said.
Department of Human Services Secretary Kristi Putnam said the tentative timeline for the work requirement would be submitting the proposed legislation on April 23 for public comment, then the proposal moving to the legislature on June 1, followed by implementation of the requirements on Jan. 1, 2024. The timeline is dependent on the CMS review being completed in time, she said.
During questions, Putnam said to qualify for ARHOME an individual must have income below 138% of the federal poverty level, or $18,000.