Arkansas Lawmakers to Discuss 'Private Option' Waiver


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Arkansas lawmakers are set to discuss the state's request to use federal Medicaid funds to provide private health insurance to thousands of low-income residents.

The House and Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor committees on Thursday were scheduled to meet jointly and discuss the state's "private option" plan to expand insurance coverage in the state.

The Legislature earlier this year approved the plan as an alternative to expanding Medicaid's enrollment under the federal health care law.

The plan still must be approved by the federal government. The state sent its formal request to the Obama administration earlier this month.

The committee also plans to discuss open enrollment for the insurance exchange and the implementation of a Medicaid eligibility verification system.

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