LITTLE ROCK â€” Gov. Mike Beebe has signed into law legislation that will allow Arkansas to use federal Medicaid dollars to purchase private health insurance for thousands of low-income residents.
Beebe signed the bills Tuesday. The measures set up the "private option" program that supporters have touted as an alternative to the Medicaid expansion called for under the federal health care law. The proposal would allow the state to purchase private insurance through an exchange set up through the law.
The federal government must still approve Arkansas' plan. Federal officials have said the concept is consistent with Medicaid's requirements.
Arkansas lawmakers gave final approval to the private option bills last week.