LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – More than 70,000 Medicaid patients were removed from Arkansas rolls last month as the state continues its disenrollment process following the end of the pandemic health emergency.
On Friday, the Arkansas Department of Human Services reported that 72,519 beneficiaries were removed from its Medicaid program in August.
According to DHS, the total Arkansas Medicaid enrollment as of Sept. 1 was 877,544 patients, including 388,558 children, 239,990 on ARHOME, and 248,996 other adults.
Sec. Kristi Putnam said the enrollment review was a matter of responsible resource allocation.
“We have now completed redeterminations for five of the six months of our unwinding effort, and so far our incredible eligibility workers have confirmed eligibility for more than a quarter of a million Arkansans,” she said. “By discontinuing coverage for beneficiaries who no longer qualify for Medicaid, we are ensuring that these resources are available to eligible Arkansans who truly need them.”
Officials said the August disenrollments were primarily because enrollees failed to return their renewal forms or requested information, affecting 46,988 cases. The remaining disenrollments were for household income being above the limit, the client no longer met the program requirements or the client requested closure.
DHS has previously stated that some enrollees do not return renewals as they know they no longer qualify.
April 1 marked the end of the federal government’s coronavirus Public Health Emergency. During the PHE, states could not disenroll anyone from Medicaid. With the PHE’s end, states could review Medicaid enrollments.
According to the DHS report issued at the end of the emergency Arkansas gained 145,475 Medicaid enrollments since March 2020, pushing the total enrollment to 1,066,541 patients.
As of the Friday report, the state has removed 373,906 patients from Medicaid, according to DHS.
The agency stated that if beneficiaries believe their case was closed in error, they can visit AR.gov/Cover for information about requesting to have their coverage reinstated.
Beneficiaries who need assistance can call 855-372-1084 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. They can also submit questions through the Access Anywhere form at AR.gov/AccessAnywhere, or visit AR.gov/Renew for additional information.
The Medicaid program is funded jointly by the state and federal governments. It provides health care for those with low income, children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with disabilities.