In 2013, bipartisan legislation was passed by the Arkansas General Assembly to extend coverage to low-income Arkansans through Medicaid, establishing the Health Care Independence Program(HCIP). The program utilized Medicaid dollars to purchase individual qualified health plans for newly eligible Arkansans in place of traditional fee-for-service Medicaid.
After year-long deliberations of the Health Reform Legislative Task Force and recognition that balancing the state’s budget was contingent upon continued expansion funding, the General Assembly passed legislation for a new program—Arkansas Works. The program retains individual plan premium assistance while adopting additional provisions to strengthen employer-sponsored coverage, along with promoting wellness and personal responsibility.
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