Federal Medical Assistance Percentages and Arkansas Medicaid

May 4, 2023


Elizabeth (Izzy) Montgomery, MPA
Policy Analyst


ACHI Communications

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Established by Title XIX of the Social Security Act of 1965 as an optional program for states, Medicaid was adopted by all states by 1982. Arkansas adopted Medicaid in 1970 and adopted the complementary Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) established by Title XXI in 1997. The two programs together serve as the primary source of healthcare coverage for low-income families, children, and the disabled, as well as long-term care coverage for the aged and disabled.

The Medicaid program is a joint arrangement between each state and the federal government, with most states depending on the federal government for the lion’s share of the funding. As the primary funder, the federal government sets minimum program standards while allowing for some state flexibility and innovation. The congressionally established formula for the share of each state’s Title XIX Medicaid program costs covered by the federal government is known as the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP). This updated explainer provides information about FMAP calculation, match rates for Arkansas programs, FMAP variation across states, and way that states may use federal funds differently in the future.

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