LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) is urging Arkansas Works beneficiaries who haven’t met the work and community engagement requirement for the past two months, to take action quickly to avoid losing healthcare coverage.
“If a beneficiary who is required to report activities fails to meet the work requirement for any three months in a calendar year, he or she will lose coverage for the rest of the calendar year. The deadline to report activities for the month of August is Sept. 5, 2018, at 9 p.m.,” according to a news release from DHS.
About 5,400 beneficiaries who receive their healthcare coverage through Arkansas Works didn’t meet the requirement for June and July, according to the release.
“There is still time for people to act so they can keep their coverage,” said DHS Deputy Director for Health and Medicaid Director Dawn Stehle. “Beneficiaries can take action by visiting the Access Arkansas website to report their activities or exemptions, making a phone call to their insurance carrier so that one of the carrier’s registered reporters can submit their activities for them, or visiting one of our 85 local county offices for help.”
Under the work and community engagement requirement, beneficiaries must report 80 hours of activities each month to keep their healthcare coverage. Those activities can include working, taking educational classes, volunteering and job searching or job training activities (or a combination of any of those activities).
“If a life-changing event like hospitalization or a natural disaster prevented a beneficiary from being able to complete activities to meet the requirement or report activities, the individual can ask for a Good Cause Exemption. The request can be emailed to AWGoodCauseRequest@dhs.arkansas.gov. Beneficiaries can also make a request by calling their local county office. Good cause exemption requests are considered on a case-by-case basis,” according to the release.
This year, Arkansas Works beneficiaries ages 30-49, who make less than $680 a month and don’t have a child living with them are required to report activities or an exemption from reporting what they are doing to meet the work requirement.
Beneficiaries should report activities and exemptions each month through www.access.arkansas.gov. The website is available for reporting activities between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily.
If a person doesn’t have a computer or Internet access, they can:
• Visit their local DHS county office for in-person assistance. Each office has a computer available to use for reporting activities and staff to help.
• Call their insurance carrier’s Registered Reporter line to have an insurance carrier representative help them enter their information over the phone. Those phone numbers are: Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield: 1-800-800-4298; AmBetter: 1-877-617-0390; or QualChoice: 1-866-838-9186.
If a beneficiary needs help or has questions about the Arkansas Works work and community engagement requirement they can call the Access Arkansas Call Center at 1-855-372-1084 each day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.