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Advocates beg for assistance as Medicaid coverage difficulties plague citizens of Arkansas



Little Rock, Arkansas – The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) has received a letter from Arkansas Community Organizations (ACO) requesting a meeting regarding Medicaid applicants’ difficulties obtaining and maintaining coverage.

ACO also voiced concerns about possible Medicaid program cuts in Arkansas in the letter.

ACO volunteer Landon Skouras assists those who have been kicked off Medicaid in regaining coverage. He says he has seen a decline in the number of people receiving assistance this year.

“One of the Medicaid recipients that I was working with, Ms. Jasmine Hood from the Delta, qualifies by every metric I can find. She makes less than 20,000 dollars a year, she has kids that have health issues, and she has debilitating health issues herself. She has been fainting and falling down repeatedly, and she’s been in and out of the hospital because of that. And so with us submitting her information, we expected her to get her Medicaid back.” Said Skouras. “It’s been 3 times that we submitted her information and got no responses or responses saying that they have the incorrect info for her, that it was caught up in the glitch, the online systems. So, she still does not have her Medicaid nearly a year later even though her qualification has not changed at all.”

He continued by saying that she was unable to make the mail delivery since driving from the Delta to Little Rock would put her in risk due to her health concerns.

ACO members and DHS Secretary Kristi Putnam had a conversation last year about a number of topics, opening up a channel of communication.

“We appreciate Arkansas Community Organizations coming out, we share that goal, we want to make Medicaid as strong as it can be. We’ve worked closely with them in the past to achieve that goal.” Said DHS spokesman Gavin Lesnick, who received the letter. “Since October when they had an event similar to this and announced they were trying to find folks who had been removed from Medicaid who were still eligible, they’ve sent about 24 names and each of those have been followed up on.”

Lesnick stated that the DHS has never before heard of problems obtaining a response and that it will be investigated. Lesnick said that there were no particular funding reductions that he could identify as the source of the Medicaid concerns in the letter when questioned about them.

To apply for Medicaid for the first time or to have your eligibility restored, you can:

• Visit a DHS county office, for locations click here.
• Go online to
• Submit a question through access anywhere at
• Call the DHS hotline at 855-372-1084


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