Arkansas has removed thousands of individuals from its Medicaid program for failing to comply with work requirements — a first in the 53-year history of the federal health insurance program for the poor.
More than 4,300 Medicaid recipients in Arkansas have lost coverage after failing to meet the state's new work requirements, which were approved by the Trump administration and took effect in June.
“Personal responsibility is important. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure those who qualify for the program keep their coverage, but it is equally important that we make sure those who no longer qualify are removed," said Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
A total of 4,353 individuals have been booted from the program for not reporting to the state how they're meeting the requirements or for not working enough hours. Under the new program, those who are out of compliance three months in one year become ineligible for coverage the remainder of the year.
The state's Department of Human Services said it conducted outreach from April through August to let beneficiaries know about the new requirements.
But "some simply chose not to comply. Those are the ones who will lose their Arkansas Works coverage for the remainder of 2018," Hutchinson said.