Arkansas Medicaid Primer

November 1, 2017


Elizabeth (Izzy) Montgomery, MPA
Policy Analyst



Arkansas Department of Human Services (Division of Medicaid Services)

Congressional deliberations regarding modification or elimination of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 have included discussions about the scope and costs of the Medicaid program. Since 1965, Medicaid has been a publicly funded federal and state partnership that provides healthcare coverage to predominantly low-income populations. A thorough understanding of Medicaid expansion in 2014 and the history of traditional Medicaid is critical, as various policy proposals are being considered in lieu of the ACA. This fact sheet looks at the role of Medicaid in Arkansas, including programmatic history, financing, covered populations and benefits, as well as key considerations

Key Takeaways

Medicaid is a jointly financed federal and state program which has historically provided coverage to the nation’s low-income children and families; Federal share for Medicaid financing is based off the Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (FMAP); Medicaid includes coverage for a number of mandatory services in order to receive federal funding; Arkansas took a unique approach to expanding Medicaid

This fact sheet provides a historical overview of the Medicaid program in Arkansas, including information on Medicaid eligibility and enrollment, program financing, covered services, background on Medicaid expansion, and discussion on Medicaid financing alternatives.