LITTLE ROCK, ARK. (KTVE/KARD) — The Biden Administration, along with the Center for Medicaid Services, have approved an amendment that will expand Arkansas’ Medicaid program, ARHOME, at Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s request. The expansion is focused on improving maternal care, mental health services, addiction services and added support for people coming out of foster care, prison and veterans ages 19-30 at risk of homelessness.

The federal approval intention is to improve the health of these vulnerable populations while spending less money on health care by offering more preventative care. Governor Hutchinson announced in August that he was making the request, and he announced in a press conference on Tuesday, November 1, 2022, that the request was approved.

The approved amendment is called Life360 and is focused on increasing medical care in rural hospitals. As many as 49 hospitals could be eligible for expanding services such as establishing mental health crisis units.

The Medicaid expansion will cost $16 million, including $3.2 million in state funds and $12.8 million from the federal government. Officials have said previously that they expect this expansion to take place in January 2023.