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State lawmakers to discuss 'private option'

By The Associated Press

This article was published March 27, 2014 at 7:07 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas lawmakers are discussing the progress of the compromise on Medicaid expansion that they just reauthorized for another year.

The House and Senate public health committees were scheduled to meet Thursday to discuss the "private option" plan to use federal Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for the poor. Approved last year as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health overhaul, the program was reauthorized by the Legislature during the session that ended earlier this month.

More than 106,000 people are receiving subsidized health coverage through the program, the first of its kind in the country. Several other states are pursuing or exploring similar models.

The panels also planned to discuss enrollment in the insurance exchange set up through the federal health law.

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