In Arkansas, Sign Up for Medicaid in a SNAP!

By Liz Hagan

Earlier this year we highlighted Arkansas’ success with enrolling people in their Medicaid “private option,” and we’re excited to report the latest numbers!

More than 63,000 have enrolled in the Medicaid private coverage option thus far (up from about 55,000 since our last blog post in early October), which has cut the number of uninsured adults aged 18 to 64 by around 14 percent. A big reason these numbers are so high is due to Arkansas’ enrollment approach.

People using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) benefits —who are known to be eligible for Medicaid since they already qualify for SNAP benefits due to their income—were mailed a letter about the new Medicaid option. All they had to do was sign the letter and return it to the Department of Human Services (DHS).

Take a look at the letter that people using SNAP in Arkansas received here

With such a simple, consumer friendly letter and process, it’s no surprise so many consumers (about 43 percent of those who received the letters) sent the letter back! The next step for these consumers is to pick their plan (if they don’t pick a plan, DHS will pick one for them, which they can then change) and begin coverage.

This expedited enrollment approach is one of five strategies the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is allowing states to implement to streamline their eligibility and enrollment process. This approach is one we hope other states will adopt, as it is an option through 2015. We’re hoping to continue to highlight states taking advantage of these five options. Stay tuned to hear more! 

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