The Arkansas Constitution allows the Governor to call the General Assembly to the Capitol for an Extraordinary Session. This is often referred to as a special session.
The Governor will be calling the General Assembly into session next week to address health care. We are also expecting to address technical corrections from the previous session. The constitution states that only business set forth in the Governor’s proclamation may be considered.
Currently, more than 268,000 Arkansans receive health care coverage through Arkansas Works. Arkansas Works provides private market insurance for low-income families by using federal Medicaid funding. The program was previously known as the Private Option.
One of the changes we will be asked to consider is to cap the income eligibility. Currently, anyone making at or less than 138% of the federal poverty level can receive coverage. The proposed changes include capping eligibility at 100% of the federal poverty level.
Currently, a family of 4 bringing home $24,600 is equivalent to 100% of the federal poverty level. A family of four making 138% of federal poverty level makes $33,000 year.
Under the proposed changes, those making currently between the 100% and 138% FPL would move to the marketplace where they would be eligible for subsidies.
The legislation will also include implementing a work requirement for able-bodied individuals on Arkansas Works. Individuals could meet the requirement through work training or certain volunteer opportunities.
The changes proposed would have to be approved by the federal government before implementation.
Before we gavel in for the special session, we must first formally adjourn from the 2017 Regular Session. We will adjourn Sine Die at 1pm on Monday. The Governor is then expected to address the General Assembly at 2pm as we convene for the special session.
You can watch the proceedings live at www.arkansashouse.org.