Arkansas Governor Signs Bill Scaling Back Eligibility For Arkansas Works Program

LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) — Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law a bill scaling back eligibility for the Arkansas Works program on Thursday (May 4).

Under the new special session amendment, 60,000 Arkansans will no longer be eligible for the Arkansas Works program. The bill restricts eligibility to those who make 100 percent or less of the federal poverty level. Previously the program was open to those making 138 percent or less of the federal poverty level.

Additionally, the amendment imposes a work requirement to certain individuals on the Arkansas Works program ” to encourage beneficiaries to work and to support beneficiaries in the process of returning to the workforce,” the bill states.

The changes go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

The amendment also mandates that the State Insurance Department and the Department of Workforce Services conduct a study on small employer health insurance coverage and release the findings by Oct. 1, 2018.

Hutchinson announced that the Arkansas Works program would need additional reforms on March 6 to maintain the efficiency and sustainability of the health insurance coverage.