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More than 56K Arkansans Ready to Signup for Private Option

State officials report number of applications received since healthcare marketplace opened October 1.
LITTLE ROCK, AR (News release) - After two weeks of enrollment, a total of 56,288 adults have told the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) they want to enroll in the “private option” health insurance program, according to data released Tuesday.

From Oct. 1 through Oct. 12, DHS received 1,509 applications through its state-run web portal and 1,119 telephone and paper applications. That is in addition to the 53,660* current DHS clients who have already been determined eligible and returned letters saying they wanted coverage. Information about the number of people who have applied for the Arkansas Health Care Independence Program (the official name of the private option) through the federally-facilitated marketplace has not yet been provided to the state.

Of the 53,660 who said they wanted to enroll and have been notified to complete the enrollment process, 10,454 have already answered the health needs assessment questions and completed the enrollment process. About 28 percent (2,973) of the individuals enrolling were notified that the traditional Medicaid program would better meet their exceptional health care needs.

“We knew those with the greatest medical needs would be most eager to enroll. Many have probably been without coverage for a while so I’m not surprised by the number,” DHS Director John Selig said. “This shows a need for us to continue our outreach efforts to younger and healthier people who are eligible for the program.”

*DHS originally received letters from 55,440 current clients. After further additional analysis, it was determined that some of these clients were eligible other programs or no longer wanted coverage.
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