Arkansas Insurance Program Hits Target, Avoids Funding Cuts

LITTLE ROCK, AR - State officials say an insurance program offered for low-income workers won't see a reduction in its federal funds because the state hits its target number of participants.

The state reached 1,125 subsidized participants in the ARHealthNet program.  The federal government has an agreement with the state and could have reduced its support of the program if the state didn't hit that number by the end of September.

The program began January 1 and allows the state to bring in up to 15,000 employees.  The program is paid for with $2 million out of the state's tobacco settlement fund, as well as $10 million of federal money a year.  Companies employing between two to 500 people that haven't offered health coverage for employees for a year will be eligible for the program.

As of today, nearly 1,200 subsidized participants from about 230 businesses had signed up for the program.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)