SHARECOMMENTMORE

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas officials are holding two public hearings next month on the state's plan to use federal Medicaid dollars to purchase private insurance for thousands of low-income residents.

The Department of Human Services on Monday released a draft of the waiver it plans to submit to the federal government for the "private option" approach to expand insurance coverage in the state. Gov. Mike Beebe signed the plan into law earlier this year, but it still must receive federal approval.

The private option was approved as an alternative to expanding Medicaid's enrollment.

The state is accepting comments on the plan during the next 30 days. DHS says it will hold a July 2 hearing in Little Rock and another July 8 in Fort Smith on the proposal.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)