MELISSA FARRELL: This mother of two will be one of more than 120,000 (and counting) Arkansans who will lose their health insurance if 27 of 100 representatives succeed in ending the private option.

As Max mentioned in an earlier post today, the latest enrollment numbers from the Department of Human Services have been released and 127,051 people have now gained coverage under the private option. That’s 127,051 Arkansans who would lose coverage if a minority of the Arkansas legislature gets their way and defunds the program. The overwhelming majority of those Arkansans would then fall into a coverage gap and be left without options. In the words of Rep. John Hutchison, who has voted against the private option during the fiscal session after supporting it last year, they would be left “out in the cold.”

One point of clarification: we mentioned yesterday the approximately 105,000 who had fully completed the enrollment process, either enrolling in a private plan or in the case of the medically needy, being routed to the traditional Medicaid program. But that actually understates the number who have gained coverage. As soon as folks are deemed eligible, as 127,000 and counting now have, they are immediately covered by the traditional Medicaid program until they fully complete the enrollment process into private plans.


Meanwhile, there are more than 60,000 who have applied and are still going through the eligibility-determination process, meaning the state may soon be nearing 200,000 Arkansans who would have their health insurance taken away if the private option is defunded. 

Here’s the full enrollment information from DHS:


As of 2/22/14:

189,379 – Total number of private option applicants from state and federal levels.*

Of those, 127,051 have been determined eligible for the private option so far.

Of those determined eligible for the private option, 93,966 have completed the enrollment process (as of 2/23/14). An additional 11,595 have been determined to be better served by traditional Medicaid for a total of 105,561 people who will now have coverage.

* This number includes 160,831 private option applicants through the State and 28,548 private option applicants received from the federally facilitated marketplace who have been determined eligible and their data has been processed by the state.