During the recent Fiscal Session, the federal government informed our state officials that we received approval to have a work requirement as part of our Medicaid program known as Arkansas Works.
Arkansas will be the first state in the country to actually implement this requirement.
As of March 1, there were about 284,000 Arkansans receiving health coverage from Arkansas Works. Arkansas Works enrollees ages 19-49 will be subject to the requirement. If you are one of them, you will receive a letter from the Department of Human Services (DHS) outlining the steps you need to take to continue coverage.
This requirement is designed not to reduce the number of Arkansans receiving coverage, but rather help people move up the economic ladder.
It requires Arkansas Works beneficiaries who are 19-49 to work, go to school, do job training/searching/certificate classes, or volunteer for at least 20 hours each week – or 80 hours a month – in order to keep their health care coverage. One hour of most educational classes will count for more than one hour toward the requirement.
People who have dependent children in the home, who are disabled, who already work the equivalent of 80 hours a month, who are caring for an incapacitated person, or those in drug or alcohol treatment are exempt from having to report work activities. If you do have an exemption, it is important that you report to DHS which exemption applies to you at access.arkansas.gov.
There are ways the state can help you find jobs or activities to meet the work requirement. You can get free job search help at any Arkansas Workforce Center across the state. Arkansas JobLink lets you post your information and skills for employers to see and search for current openings at www.arjoblink.arkansas.gov. There are also job training, certificate programs and other assistance available.
During 2018, the requirement does not apply to anyone who is 29 or younger. Enrollees who are 19-29 year olds will be phased in in 2019.
Those who are subject to the work requirement will have to begin reporting based on their renewal month. Clients will receive a notice the month before their requirement takes effect. The first 9,100 will be notified in May. They will have to report their work activity by July 5th and then the 5th day of every month from then on. If you fail to report your work activities for three months in a calendar year, you will lose your coverage.
For additional information call 1-855-372-1084.
If you are non-compliant for 3 months in one calendar year, your insurance will stop at the end of that third month and will not be able to resume Arkansas Works coverage for the rest of that year.
People who are subject to the work requirement must report their work activities at access.arkansas.gov.