‘Private Option’ Insurance Gets Green Light Letter From Feds

by Roby Brock (roby@talkbusiness.net) 3 views 

A day after House Speaker Davy Carter (R-Cabot) and Senate President Michael Lamoureux (R-Russellville) announced their endorsement of Arkansas’ “private option” approach to expanding Medicaid through health insurance exchanges, the federal government sent official confirmation.

“On behalf of the Administration, I would like to express our interest in the innovative approach to further expanding access to health insurance coverage through plans participating in the Health Insurance Marketplace that Arkansas is considering, which you submitted to us in a memo on March 13,” said Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

GOP legislators have been requesting official written confirmation of the permission that was obtained when Gov. Mike Beebe met with Sebelius early last month.

Lawmakers have said the letter would be essential to moving forward with a plan to take 100% of Medicaid expansion money for the next three fiscal years and shift into subsidized health insurance plans for low-income workers in a forthcoming insurance exchange being planned under the federal health care law.

“Recognizing the decisions facing your General Assembly and the impact on your health insurance Marketplace, let me assure you that we will work with you on this innovative approach for Arkansas,” Sebelius said.

You can read the full letter here.