Thank you to the thousands who signed the petitions calling on Governor Hutchinson and DHS to stop making excuses and start fixing the problems with Medicaid enrollment. Now we need to keep the pressure up until the problems are fixed. Please call Governor Hutchinson's office at 501-682-2345 and ask him to immediately reinstate the 55,000 Arkansas families who lost health care coverage.
We had four main requests of the Governor:
Start giving people more time to reply to income verification notices.
Dramatically improve outreach to Medicaid, Private Option and AR Kids First consumers so they know what is being asked of them.
Improve the capacity at DHS so that Medicaid recipients are treated fairly, consistently and timely.
And reinstate the more than 55,000 people whose health care access was terminated under the old, unfair system.
Last week the Governor, thanks to the outcry you helped make, extended the time for people to verify their income from 10 days to 30 days. Federal law allows up to 90 days, but this is an improvement. DHS is also taking some steps to improve a dreadful outreach process and to make sure people are treated fairly when they do respond.
Those are huge improvements -- but they don't go far enough.
The Governor is still insisting that the 55,000 people terminated under the unfair system are without health care until they contact DHS and have their cases reviewed -- which could take 90 days. 90 days without prescriptions, or access to a doctor. This is unfair and there's a simple solution. The Governor should reinstate coverage for all of those who were terminated in the unfair process, and require them to go through the new improved process.
Yesterday we held a press conference and rally where we heard from two consumers who are suffering because their health care was terminated. We can't thank Randy Dollar and Lindsey Reed enough for bravely sharing their stories. Randy nearly died because his insurance was cancelled in the middle of complicated heart procedures, and Lindsey has struggled to get the care that she and her daughter need since their health care access was terminated. We are hearing similar stories across Arkansas.
There is great coverage of their stories here on KATV (https://t.e2ma.net/click/2dg7k/68243d/29syrc), on the Arkansas News Bureau website (https://t.e2ma.net/click/2dg7k/68243d/i2tyrc), on KUAR Radio (https://t.e2ma.net/click/2dg7k/68243d/yuuyrc) and in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette (https://t.e2ma.net/click/2dg7k/68243d/envyrc).
Their stories and your actions made a difference, yesterday DHS announced some new improvements to their outreach efforts. But it's not enough as long as many families across Arkansas are still without the care they need.
Please call Governor Hutchinson's office at 501-682-2345 and ask him to immediately reinstate the 55,000 Arkansas families who lost health care coverage until they can go through the new income verification and re-enrollment process. Ask him to make sure DHS is equipped to handle the job and is doing effective outreach to notify and educate consumers before they cut off the health care of another Arkansan.
Please help us keep the pressure up to fix the problems and ask anyone who's lost their coverage to contact us.
If you want to receive further alerts about just one of the CFC's issues you can sign up for targeted alerts covering the issues you care about most HERE (https://t.e2ma.net/click/2dg7k/68243d/ufwyrc).
The Arkansas Citizens First Congress is a grassroots coalition of 54 community groups from across Arkansas that works on progressive reform at the Arkansas Legislature.
The Ten Priorities for A Better Arkansas:
Opportunities to learn for all students
A sound state budget, fair taxes and Reauthorize the Private Option Health Insurance
The Clean Air & Clean Energy Initiative for Arkansas' Economic Future
Arkansas State Water Plan
Oppose state-level or punitive immigration reform
Prison Reform & Judicial Equality for Mental Health
Fair Election Reform
Worker fairness and safety
Create an Arkansas Civil & Human Rights Commission
Reform eminent domain to protect citizens
1308 West Second Street | Little Rock, AR 72201 US
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