12K have lost Arkansas Medicaid coverage over work rule

The Associated Press

By: Andrew DeMillo

Arkansas removed more than 12,000 people from its expanded Medicaid program over the past three months for not complying with a new work requirement, the state said Thursday. Another 6,000 are at risk of losing coverage by December if they don’t find work. The state Department of Human Services said more than 3,800 people lost their Medicaid coverage for not complying last month with the rule, which requires them to work 80 hours a month. Beneficiaries lose coverage if they don’t meet the requirement three months in a calendar year, and they can’t re-enroll until January. Nearly 8,500 people had lost coverage over the previous two months.

“At the end of the day this is really just becoming a very punitive policy where people are getting cut off en masse and it’s not achieving its purported objective of helping people work,” said Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.

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