Arkansas Community Organizations released a report today on the difficulty of getting Medicaid coverage in Arkansas and some suggestions to improve the process.

In a state where Republican politicians are bent on reducing the number on Medicaid and even passed a law preventing spending on programs to help people sign up, you can imagine the legislative reception.


Some specifics cited in the group’s news release:

“Delays in coverage can be tragic, because bills aren’t delayed. Illness and injury aren’t delayed,” said Valencia White, a Medicaid recipient who also serves on the Board for Arkansas Community Organizations. “It was a struggle getting healthcare for my youngest son. The online application was confusing, the workers didn’t have the training to answer my questions, and it was very frustrating. Please, let’s break down the barriers and help those in dire need of healthcare live a better life.”

Other Arkansas applicants said they experienced problems like no one answering the phone or calls being dropped, not understanding how to apply for the program, trouble navigating the website, and long wait times.

Older people, for example, may not understand new online technologies, or they can’t read the application forms, or their eyesight is too dim to complete the application themselves. Other people eligible for Medicaid may be experiencing homelessness, or they’re transient, without permanent addresses, or their phone contact may change. The very people most in need of healthcare are also the ones most in need of assistance getting coverage.

Here’s the executive summary of the work, delivered today to the Department of Human Services.


Help to Keep Great Journalism Alive in Arkansas

Join the fight for truth and become a subscriber of the Arkansas Times. We've been battling powerful forces for 48 years through our tough, determined, and feisty journalism. With over 63,000 Facebook followers, 58,000 Twitter followers, 35,000 Arkansas blog followers, and 70,000 daily email blasts, our readers value great journalism. But we need your help to do even more. By subscribing and supporting our efforts, you'll not only have access to all of our articles, but you'll also be helping us hire more writers to expand our coverage. Together, we can continue to hold the powerful accountable and bring important stories to light. Subscribe now or donate for as little as $1 and be a part of the Arkansas Times community.

Previous article UPDATE: COVID today: 55 deaths added to state toll Next article Today’s news: Politics and more politics