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Private Option Expected to Cost Slightly More than Projected

A consultant group told Arkansas lawmakers the private option will cost about $24 a month more than expected.
LITTLE ROCK -- Arkansas' compromise Medicaid expansion is projected to cost a little bit more than originally projected.

On Thursday, a consultant group told legislators the cost for the private option for each recipient will be about $24 a month more than expected.

The consultant Optimus says Arkansas' private option population is about two years older than they thought, which is part of the reason the cost is higher.

"All of us, whether you're for the [private option] or against [it], want to make sure we tamp down costs as much as possible," said State Senator Jonathan Dismang (R-Beebe), "I think you'll see that through some additional reforms in the future, whether you see that in non-emergency transport use or implementation of the [health savings accounts]."

Health savings accounts will be implemented later this year as part of the private option and Medicaid reforms.

More than 155,000 Arkansans have enrolled in private option coverage.
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