Dozens Attend Sign-Up Event on 1st Day of Arkansas Health Insurance Exchange

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press  on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 3:07 pm  

About half of the people expected to sign up through the exchange will do so under a plan the federal government approved last week allowing Arkansas to use Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for 250,000 low-income workers. The plan was approved as an alternative to expanding Medicaid's enrollment under the federal health care law.

Bradford said his department is looking at alternatives for promoting the exchange, after lawmakers on Monday rejected a $4.5 million advertising contract. Gov. Mike Beebe has said he doesn't plan to move forward with the contract, which would use federal funds to air ads on television, radio and other platforms.

"We certainly need to have some process where we can educate the public on how to navigate this pretty complicated system," Bradford said. "This is new to everyone, so hopefully the Legislature will reconsider that decision."

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