Medicaid is the nation’s public health insurance program, providing coverage to 1 in 3 Arkansans, many of whom have complex and costly needs for care. The Medicaid program has continued to evolve and expand since its establishment in 1965, resulting in historic reductions in the number of Americans without health insurance coverage.
State and federal policymakers frequently explore changes to the Medicaid program, including efforts to rein in costs while also ensuring sufficient access to quality care. To better understand the impacts of proposed policy changes, a thorough understanding of Medicaid and its history is critical. This updated explainer provides an overview of Medicaid in Arkansas, including its history, its financing structure, covered populations and benefits, and key policy considerations.