In June, Arkansas became the first state to ever implement a work requirement in Medicaid, after winning approval for the reform from the Trump administration in March. This speedy implementation—and pursuit of the work requirement in the first place—was, arguably, the most significant policy achievement of Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson’s tenure. And the implementation wasn’t just swift—it was methodical and thoughtful as well, and the Hutchinson administration has bent over backwards to make compliance as simple as possible, giving more able-bodied Arkansans a path out of the welfare trap.
Yet advocates of perpetual welfare dependency have been apoplectic, even filing a lawsuit to move Arkansas backwards. They claim that reporting work is too complex and onerous for Medicaid enrollees to possibly understand. In addition to being incredibly condescending, this claim couldn’t be further from the truth.
Each month, non-disabled, working-age enrollees in Arkansas’s Medicaid expansion are simply asked to self-report their work activities and the Hutchinson administration has made this process very easy: enrollees can, at the touch of a button, report their work hours online, using a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
The administration has provided an abundance of tools to teach enrollees how to use this online portal, including an instructional video and a detailed presentation with sample forms and step-by-step instructions for filling them out.