Enrollment in Arkansas' 'private option' Medicaid expansion grows to nearly 205,000

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — The Arkansas Department of Human Service says nearly 205,000 people have enrolled in the state's Medicaid expansion program that extends health care coverage to low-income residents.

The department announced Wednesday that 204,811 people had completed enrollment in the "private option" program as of Sept. 30. That's an increase of more than 10,000 from the Aug. 31 tally.

The agency says the majority of enrollees are between the ages of 19 and 44.

The private option plan uses federal Medicaid dollars to buy private health insurance for poor residents. Arkansas was the first state given federal approval for such a compromise approach.

The program's future is up in the air, pending the outcome of state legislative races in November. The Legislature must reauthorize the program when it meets early next year.

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