A judge’s invalidation of Arkansas’s work rule for Medicaid coverage means just that — no reporting is required to receive benefits, but those who lost coverage must reapply. Removal of recipients for failed reporting this year will cease.

All those 18,000 or so dismissed from the program for non-reporting in 2018 already were able to apply again this year. The smiling face at top is a Legal Aid lawyer, Kevin De Liban, who’s long labored in this cause. He said on Twitter last night that anyone encountering problems in reapplying for Medicaid coverage can call Legal Aid of Arkansas at  800-967-9224. Press 4 for special Medicaid line.


Attorney General Leslie Rutledge laid out the current situation in a statement lamenting the judge’s ruling in favor of the working poor of Arkansas. No decision yet on an appeal.

“I am disappointed in today’s decision and am reviewing the decision and coordinating with state and federal officials to determine the appropriate course of action.

“The effect of Judge Boasberg’s order is that the work and community engagement requirements cannot be enforced, and Arkansas must provide three months of retroactive coverage instead of the one month allowed under the Arkansas Works approval. Beneficiaries who did not comply with the work and community engagement requirements for three consecutive months in 2018 and were removed from the program have always been eligible to reapply for coverage through the Medicaid expansion program.

“Judge Boasberg’s decision does not change that, and it does not require that the Arkansas Department of Human Services automatically re-enroll any of those individuals in the program. Arkansans must reapply if they want coverage. Additionally, individuals who have not complied with the work and community engagement requirement from January to March 2019 cannot be removed from the program for noncompliance going forward.”