Arkansas Continues to Disenroll Medicaid Recipients at Alarming Rates, Which Includes the Removal of 15,000 Newborns

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Asks the State to Review its Renewal Process

August 10, 2023

LITTLE ROCK, AR – August 9, 2023 – More than 300,000 individuals were disenrolled from the state Medicaid program since the state began its Medicaid redetermination process four months ago, which includes 15,000 newborns removed since Arkansas resumed eligibility reviews in Medicaid following the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to data released by the Arkansas Department of Human Services, more than half are procedural denials, meaning an enrollee could not complete the full process because of burdensome paperwork or a lack of timely notification and may still be eligible for coverage.

“The state’s redetermination process must undergo a thorough evaluation when such a high number of people are being disenrolled from the Medicaid program,” noted Matt Glanville, Arkansas Government Relations Director at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “It’s critical that the state manages this process to ensure that children and adults keep the health care coverage they are eligible to receive, rather than put Arkansans at further risk for gaps in access to lifesaving care.”

According to a report by Kaiser Family Foundation, most Medicaid enrollees were not aware that states are now permitted to resume disenrolling people from the Medicaid program following the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, and nearly half report that they have not previously been through the Medicaid renewal process. ACS CAN staff have been closely monitoring the process to ensure Arkansas carries out best practices to keep eligible individuals enrolled and ensure continuity of their care, which is critical for patients who need access to timely screenings and continued treatment to survive cancer.

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