When you begin a huge new entitlement like Arkansas’s “private option” Medicaid expansion program, it’s always a good idea to check if enrollees are actually eligible for the program.
After a year and a half of enrolling people into the program, Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) hasn’t found the time to begin checking if enrollees remain eligible for “private option” Medicaid Expansion benefits, according to a new Forbes article.
From the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) crew over at Forbes:
Internal e-mails from the Arkansas Department of Human Services reveal that Arkansas has yet to begin verifying whether individuals enrolled in Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion are still eligible for benefits.
Federal law requires states to verify Medicaid enrollees’ eligibility at least once per year, and more frequently if the state receives information indicating they may no longer be eligible. But John Selig, director of the Arkansas Department of Human Services, recently admitted that not a single redetermination had ever been done for those enrolled in the Medicaid expansion.
Selig explained that he hopes to begin eligibility verification later this month, but the state began enrolling individuals in the expansion in October 2013 – more than 18 months ago. Really, the state should have already begun checking eligibility.
So, according to Forbes, Selig says he’ll get on that whole verification thing required by federal law soon…about half a year after DHS should’ve first begun checking whether enrollees were still eligible for the program’s benefits.
Average taxpayers usually get into trouble when they miss a deadline set by federal law. (Example: try paying your taxes in October instead of April and see what happens.) With this new information from Forbes, it’ll be interesting to see what, if anything, changes with or happens to the higher-ups at DHS.
In the meantime, we hope Selig can finally get around to checking enrollees’ eligibility so taxpayers can see how much of their money is going towards enrollees who no longer qualify for the program.
You can read the rest of the Forbes article here.
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