Beebe Asks Feds to Weigh in on Medicaid Proposal

AP

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Gov. Mike Beebe has asked the federal government whether Arkansans who earn just above the poverty level could choose private health insurance on the state's exchange rather than Medicaid coverage.

Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample says the governor asked U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius whether private insurance is an option for people making 100 percent to 138 percent of the poverty level – or between $11,170 and $15,415 – if Arkansas agrees to expand Medicaid.

The government has not yet responded to Beebe's inquiry.

A private-coverage option has been floated by some Republicans, including Sen. Jonathan Dismang of Searcy. Dismang tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he doesn't know if the plan could muster full support from GOP lawmakers, but says it's a step in the right direction.

Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, www.arkansasonline.com

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