Arkansas

Several new numbers out of Arkansas. QHPs were at 21,763 at the beginning of February; I'll assume "late February" means around the 26th(?), so that's 4,237 in around 25 days.

On the Medicaid side, Arkansas' unusual "private option" system (in place of the standard Medicaid expansion) is a bit confusing as usual; technically the 94,000 people referred to are enrolled in "private" QHPs, but their bill is being footed 100% by Medicaid money, which is the more important factor here. The other 11,500 referenced were placed in "Medicare" although I'm pretty sure that's a typo and that it's supposed to read "Medicaid" (as in, "normal" Medicaid). It doesn't really matter, though; either way, both of these groups end up on the Medicaid side of the aisle, bringing Arkansas' total up from 79,000 to 105,500 new, ACA-enabled Medicaid recipients.

Already, as of late February, Wilson said 26,000 people had enrolled in the Health Insurance Marketplace and "had been transmitted to the (health) insurance carriers."

Yesterday the Obama administration announced several new modifications to ACA implementation. The one that's getting the most attention is a 2-year extension on non-compliant, pre-ACA healthcare plans. After getting criticized for "lying" about his "if you like your plan you can keep it" statement last fall, Pres. Obama gave individual states the option of extending existing plans by 1 year if they wanted; this just extends that period further, out to pretty much the end of Obama's term of office:

Americans with health coverage that predates Obamacare can stay on their plans for two more years, insurers will have an extra month to enroll customers next winter and states will get more time to decide whether to manage the law themselves, officials said. Also, a program aimed at covering financial losses for insurers will be adjusted to help ensure it doesn’t cost taxpayers, the Obama administration said.

Arkansas' unusual "Private Medicaid Option" already had 74,000 enrollees at the end of December; it looks like they've added another 5,000 people since then. The other 74K are already included in the "CMS Direct" report columns on the spreadsheet, so I'm only increasing the tally by the new 5K.

More than 79,000 people have enrolled in Arkansas' private option program, and state officials say they expect it to hit 100,000 when the Legislature convenes next month for a session focused primarily on the state's budget. 

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