The Health Care Independence Act of 20131 is a novel approach to improving health in Arkansas through meaningful transformation of the state’s healthcare system using federal Medicaid funding to pay private market premiums. It has received bipartisan legislative support, three times achieving the supermajority vote required in Arkansas to authorize the necessary appropriation. The Act’s implementation – called the Health Care Independence Program (HCIP), or “Private Option” – provides a new coverage option for low-income Arkansans. It also supports the state’s broader health care system transformation efforts by requiring insurers that offer plans through the federally facilitated Health Insurance Marketplace (HIM) to participate in the Arkansas Health Care Payment Improvement Initiative (AHCPII) in 2015.
Anthony (Tony) Goudie, PhD
Director, Research and Evaluation