Sen. David Sanders tells John Lyon of the Arkansas News Bureau that the number of people being dropped from private option insurance coverage for failure to respond in 10 days to mail about their income is “troubling.”



Ten days isn’t a lot of time, particularly given that it’s summer. People are out,” he said. “And if you’re an individual who happens to be in a hospital receiving treatment, you might not even get your notification.”

People who lose coverage have 90 days to file an appeal and seek to have it reinstated, and people who miss the 90-day deadline can re-apply. But Sanders said uninterrupted coverage is preferable, particularly for people on the private option.

“You’re talking about people who will be reassigned to a new plan,” he said. “They could be in the middle of treatment. It creates panic. So it’s incumbent on the state to get this right.”

Marquita Little, health policy director at the nonprofit Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, said federal law allows states to give Medicaid recipients up to 90 days to respond to an income verification notice, but Arkansas has chosen to require a much shorter turnaround.

“It would create some ease if we extended the time for consumers to respond,” Little said.

Do you get the feeling Gov. Asa Hutchinson and other legislative leaders — less enlightened than David Sanders — don’t want to create ease for the deadbeat working poor that qualify for insurance coverage under the expanded Medicaid program established by Obamacare that we call the private option? Everybody should be like an Arkansas legislator, with gold-plated health insurance heavily subsidized by taxpayers. Want insurance? Run for the legislature? Don’t have time from your minimum wage job, child care and all the rest? Tough.

Hat tip to David Sanders. He feels the pain of the 48,000 about to lose insurance, nearly all of them for not responding fast enough to a mailed notice, not for a finding that their income makes them ineligible.