October, 2017 - In This Issue:


Under the new special session amendment, 60,000 Arkansans will no longer be eligible for the Arkansas Works program. The bill restricts eligibility to those who make 100 percent or less of the federal poverty level. Previously the program was open to those making 138 perc ent or less of the federal poverty level.
Additionally, the amendment imposes a work requirement to certain individuals on the Arkansas Works program " to encourage beneficiaries to work and to support beneficiaries in the process of returning to the workforce," the bill states.
Arkansas Works under the Trump Administration: new rules coming in 2018, pending HHS approval
The Arkansas Works waiver allows the state to continue to implement Medicaid expansion using private coverage, and to implement some modifications to the program. But some modifications - like a work requirement and an asset test - were not permitted by CMS under the Obama Administration.
The changes suggested include:
  • A work requirement
  • Capping eligibility at the poverty level, instead of 138 percent of the poverty level.
  • Using Medicaid expansion funds to pay premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance for employees who earn between 75 percent and 100 percent of the poverty level (as opposed to only for employers who are newly offering coverage, as is the case with the current Arkansas Works waiver).
  • Allowing state control of eligibility determination, which the state says it can now do with a new computer system it has put in place.
The bills call for Arkansas to seek a waiver from HHS allowing a work requirement for some Medicaid enrollees, and a Medicaid expansion eligibility cap of 100 percent of the poverty level. Assuming HHS approves the lower eligibility limit and the work requirement, they would take effect in January 2018. The legislation also calls for the state to "study and analyze" small employer coverage in Arkansas, and determine ways to strengthen employer-sponsored insurance and help more businesses offer coverage to their workers.
Capping eligibility at the poverty level instead of 138 percent of the poverty level would make 60,000 current Arkansas Works enrollees ineligible for coverage. They would be switched instead to regular premium subsidies (and cost-sharing subsidies if they pick Silver plans) for plans purchased in the exchange. However, their premiums and out-of-pocket medical costs, even after subsidies, would be substantially more than they are with Medicaid, making coverage and health care unaffordable for some of them.
The state is currently paying 5 percent of the cost of covering that population on Arkansas Works, and that will increase to 10 percent in 2020. But if current enrollees with income above the poverty level switch to regular exchange plans instead of Arkansas Works, the state will no longer be paying for any of their coverage. Instead, enrollees will pay some premiums and the federal government will pay the rest, via premium subsidies.
Who is eligible?
Children from 0-18 with incomes up to 211% of FPL
Pregnant women with incomes up to 209% of FPL
Parents with incomes up to 133% of FPL
Non-elderly adults with household incomes up to 133% of FPL
The changes go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018

For Questions, call Robin Fletcher or Kelly Daniel at 501-375-3737  

Medicare Lunch and Learn Oct 17th
You're invited to our Lunch and Learn on October 17th, regarding MEDICARE
Location: Twin City Limousines   901 Main St.,Little Rock, AR 72202 
Lunch is Provided!
Please RSVP to Kristy@hatcheragency.com

Urgent: Attention Group Administers...
Medicare Part D 'Creditable Coverage' Disclosures 
Due October 15 th

Each year, group health plan sponsors that provide prescription drug coverage to individuals eligible for Medicare Part D must disclose to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) whether that coverage is "creditable" or "non-creditable." The disclosure obligation applies to all plan sponsors that provide prescription drug coverage, even those that do not offer prescription drug coverage to retirees. All plans must submit this year's disclosure to CMS by October 15th.

Check the beneficiaries on Your Policies and Accounts Today

When is the last time you checked to see who you named as the beneficiary on your retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and annuities? It is amazing the number of people who have prior spouses or deceased relatives still named as a beneficiary on a retirement account at a former employer, or on a life insurance policy purchased long ago. 

Why Review Beneficiary Designations?
Many people neglect to update their beneficiary designations after marriage, divorce, or other change in their family situation.
It's easy to forget to do this, and of course, it involves paperwork, and who likes paperwork?
The problem with this; the beneficiary designation is a legally binding document, and it supersedes your will. That means regardless of your current relationship status, and regardless of what your current will says, the asset will go to the person you named in the beneficiary designation whenever you last updated it.

Beneficiary Designations Trump the Will
Some people think an updated will is all you need. Your will or trust will not override what is named in the beneficiary designation on a life insurance policy, annuity, or retirement account (like an IRA or 401(k) plan). The  beneficiary designation takes precedence, or as one poker player put it "the beneficiary designation trumps the will."  And if you don't name anyone on an IRA account?  State laws can then determine who it goes to. For this reason, it is important you update your beneficiary designations to reflect your current wishes.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month
Stay Safe Online.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month which is an annual campaign to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. The Internet touches almost all aspects of everyone's daily life, whether we realize it or not. National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity, provide them with tools and resources needed to stay safe online, and increase the resiliency of the Nation in the event of a cyber incident.


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Little Rock AR 72203
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