Arkansas panel approves Medicaid policy for immigrants

     (AP) – A policy change now allows immigrants who apply for
Arkansas Medicaid benefits to have up to 90 days to provide documents on their
legal status.
     The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports a state legislative panel approved the
change Tuesday. Under the new policy, immigrants would receive Medicaid coverage
during that 90-day period.
     The state currently gives applicants 10 days to verify their immigration
status.
     The policy was adopted was approved by the panel after state Department of
Human Services officials said the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services would potentially withhold about $270 million annually in Medicaid
reimbursement for administrative expenses if the policy wasn't adopted.
     Department deputy director for health and Medicaid Dawn Stehle says the policy
has been a federal requirement since the 1980s, and that Arkansas is the only
state that hasn't implemented it.

   

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