The Arkansas Department of Human Services has released the latest numbers on enrollment in the private option: More than 230,000 people have applied, with just under 150,000 deemed eligible and gaining coverage thus far.  The private option uses federal Medicaid funds to purchase private health insurance for low-income Arkansans. 

This continues the story that has been true from the get-go in Arkansas: while enrollment for non-private option customers (anyone making more than 138 percent of the federal poverty level, about $16,000 for an individual) shopping on the federally facilitated marketplace has floundered, enrollment in the the private option (covering people who make less than 138 FPL) has gone as successfully as advocates could have hoped. 


It’s worth saying: that’s 150,000 people (and counting) who would lose their health insurance if a rump group of Republicans defunds the private option in 2015. 

Here are the numbers from DHS:


233,676 – Total number of private option applicants from state and federal levels.*

Of those, 149,666 have been determined eligible for the private option so far and will begin receiving coverage.

Of those determined eligible for the private option, 106,324 have completed the enrollment process (as of 3/21/14). An additional 14,969 have been determined to be better served by traditional Medicaid for a total of 121,293 people who have fully completed the enrollment process.

This number includes 195,341 private option applicants through the State and 38,335 private option applicants received from the federally facilitated marketplace who have been determined eligible and their data has been processed by the state.