State legislators decided that we will wait to see what premiums will be charged for plans offered on the state’s health-insurance exchange before giving the OK to spend more money to promote it. It was discussed that if the information turns out that it is not a good deal for the people of Arkansas, that the state should not advertise it. Enrollment is expected to begin Oct 1 for plans on the exchange, which is expected to make subsidized coverage available to about 500,000 Arkansans. The insurance commissioner said that premiums for plans on the exchange will be higher than those for plans that are available now in the individual market because insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage to people with health problems, and it will cover some services, such as therapy for the developmentally disabled that most plans do not cover now. However, he said Medicaid and the tax credit subsidies will make the coverage affordable.
During the 2011 legislative session a Financial Transparency Act was passed. It created a free web site on which state government spending is more easily examined. It lists expenditures of all state government agencies and divisions, as well as salaries of state agency personnel. It lists vendors who do business with the state and the value of contracts they have with state agencies. Another informative page on the web site outlines revenues, by type and by source and which agency receives it. That page shows web browsers how much the state brings in from general taxes as well as how much is generated by “special revenue” taxes levied on specific items like mixed drinks or cigarettes. The web site is at Transparency.Arkansas.Gov. In addition to budget information available on the site there are valuable links to other government web sites, which you can access by clicking on the :additional info” box.
The Game and Fish Commission has set a 60 day season for waterfowl. The dates for duck season are: Nov. 23-Dec. 1: December 5-23; December 26-Jan. 26. The youth hunt will be February 1st and 2nd. Last year Arkansas had the highest harvest of Mallards in the country, with 529,500 mallards harvested
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