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Private Option Funding Bill Signed into Law

With the stroke of a pen, Governor Mike Beebe puts Act 257 on the books.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Private Option funding bill has been signed into law by Governor Mike Beebe.

The governor made it official this morning, putting Act 257 on the books.

His signature ensures the continuation of the Arkansas Private Option through June of 2015.

Earlier this week, the Arkansas House of Representatives approved the funding bill after taking its fifth vote since Feb. 18. The Arkansas Senate had approved the funding bill on Feb. 20.

Here's a timeline of the Arkansas Private Option:
  • In April 2013, Arkansas expanded its Medicaid program as described by the Affordable Care Act and developed a new model called the “Private-Option.”
  • On April 23, 2013, Governor Mike Beebe signed the Arkansas Private Option into law.
  • In Sept. 2013, the Arkansas Department of Human Services began sending letters to Arkansans who were determined to be eligible for the coverage.
  • In Oct. 2013, Arkansans began signing up by the thousands for the Private Option. 
  • On Jan. 1, 2014, coverage under the Private Option (formally known as the Health Care Independence Program) began.
  • As of Feb. 6, 2014, 96,950 people had gained health care coverage through the Private Option according to the Arkansas Department of Human Services. (Of that number, 87,061 were covered by a private health insurance plan and 9,889 had been determined to be better served by the traditional Medicaid program because of exceptional health care needs).
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