By Christine Vestal
Less than a year after low-income Arkansans started receiving health coverage under the Affordable Care Act’s controversial Medicaid expansion, the state is declaring its so-called “private option” experiment a success.
Hospitals saw fewer uninsured patients, state coffers were spared millions in health care costs and private insurers reported record-low premium hikes.
Most important, Arkansas’ uninsured rate fell from 23 percent to 12 percent, the sharpest drop in the country.
Arkansas calls its ‘private option’ Medicaid plan a success, and early estimates indicate next year’s insurance rates in the state will be an average of 2 percent lower than this year.
Meanwhile, other states are customizing their own alternative approaches to expanding Medicaid to cover adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($16,105 for an individual). Continue reading