Patrick Ishmael

Since as far back as 2015, we have talked about the idea of performing regular audits of the state's Medicaid rolls. The purpose of such audits is several-fold: not only to ensure that taxpayer money is going to qualified beneficiaries and to detect malfeasance, but above all else to ensure that the state's limited resources are making it to the most vulnerable members of our society. 

Arkansas has an auditing program similar to the one we've talked about, and it appears the state just turned up a lot of ineligible beneficiaries.

Nearly one-third of those cases involved people who did not report changes of address as required by the state. More than 25,000 people were removed from the program because they were receiving public benefits from more than one state. [Emphasis mine]

DHS says more than 16,000 people were removed because of unreported employment. Others were removed from the program because they were eligible for Medicare, while another 4,100 cases involved inmates who still had Medicaid coverage.

In all, about 80,000 Arkansans ineligible for Medicaid were removed from the program's rolls. 

As we've noted before, there are lots of non-nefarious reasons that someone may be on Medicaid but ineligible for it, including unfamiliarity with its rules and regular fluctuations in their own income. But whatever the reason for that ineligibility, the more efficiently the state can steward funds and direct them to needy beneficiaries who actually qualify for the program, the better the results will be for the program, its beneficiaries, and the taxpayers who fund those benefits.

About the Author

Patrick Ishmael
Director of Government Accountability

Patrick Ishmael is the director of government accountability at the Show-Me Institute.