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The federal government has offered to pay the health-care costs for the estimated 250,000 eligible Arkansans until 2017. By 2020, the state would take on 10 percent of the cost of health care for this new population. There would still be some expense to the state in the first three years because the federal offer does not cover administrative costs.

Arkansas legislators are weighing three options, all of which will cost the state something. They can help 250,000 poor Arkansans purchase private health insurance, expand the traditional Medicaid program or do nothing.
SOURCES: Arkansas Department of Human Services and Optumas Consulting; Graphic by Google/ Katie Doherty, ArkansasOnline

Savings predicted in coverage option

The cost to the state is expected to be offset by less spending on the state Medicaid program and uncompensated care, and increased collection of premium taxes, as well as the federal spending. These offsets are estimated to have a net positive effect on the state.