Arkansas Medicaid and SCHIP Waivers

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Health Insurance Flexibility and Accountability (HIFA) Waiver – On March 3, 2006, Arkansas received approval for their HIFA initiative, the Arkansas Safety Net Benefit Program, designed to increase health insurance coverage through a public/private partnership that will provide a ‘safety net’ benefit package to approximately 50,000 uninsured working individuals over 5 years. Recently renamed ARHealthNet, the program will provide coverage to adults who work for employers who agree to participate in the demonstration and meet participation requirements. Eligible are parents and spouses of Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) children and childless adults aged 19-64 who do not have other insurance coverage, are ineligible for Medicaid or Medicare, and have family incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). Employees with incomes above 200 percent of the FPL may also elect ARHealthNet coverage; however, such individuals do not receive subsidized premium assistance.  The demonstration will occur in two phases, with Phase I (years one and two) being capped at 15,000 parents and childless adults. Phase II will begin in year three and will target approximately 35,000 parents and childless adults.

Section 1115 Waiver - In 1997, Arkansas received approval for a Medicaid 1115 waiver for their ARKids B program. The waiver expanded eligibility to currently uninsured children through age 18 with family incomes at or below 200 percent of the FPL. ARKids B included a reduced benefit package, modeled on the Arkansas State Employee and State Teachers plans. The benefits have some limitations on Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) services, inpatient mental health services, transportation, and therapy services.