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Arkansas Private Option Wins Federal Approval

Plan expands Medicaid by using the private-insurance market.
LITTLE ROCK, AR (News release) - Governor Mike Beebe received a call Friday morning from U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius informing him that the Medicaid waiver request, which is needed to implement the Arkansas Private Option, has received official federal approval.

"Arkansas came up with its own plan to expand Medicaid using the private-insurance market, and Secretary Sebelius and her team worked to ensure that we had the flexibility to make that plan a reality," Governor Beebe said. "Our actions have drawn positive attention from across the country, and now we will focus on getting this insurance to the Arkansans who need it to lead healthier, more productive lives. Hopefully, this bipartisan, intergovernmental achievement can be an example for Congress as the government shutdown looms."

The Arkansas Private Option will use federal Medicaid funds to provide insurance-premium assistance to more than 200,000 Arkansans living near or below the Federal Poverty Line. It is part of the State's Health Insurance Marketplace, which becomes active on October 1st. Arkansans can get information and personalized help through the Arkansas Health Connector, available online at arhealthconnector.org, or by calling 1-855-283-3483.

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