Arkansas to Check Citizenship, Immigration Status of Medicaid Recipients

JULY 6, 2006 - Posted at 7:31 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - New Medicaid eligibility rules are in effect that require proof of citizenship or legal immigration status.  But the state Department of Health and Human Services says that many Arkansans in the program won't have to present documentation for weeks, if ever.

Spokeswoman Julie Munsell said the documentation rule will primarily affect new enrollees to Medicaid.

Munsell says that current recipients can wait to have their records checked during their annual re-enrollment, which could be months from now.  And some won't have to provide documentation at all if a check of vital records shows they were born in Arkansas.

Munsell says that if state archives don't have a record of the birth, the recipient must show a birth certificate, passport or other documentation.

Congress passed a law this year requiring Medicaid recipients to prove they are U.S. citizens or qualified legal immigrants.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)