Federal officials have cleared the way for an Arizona cost-saving measure that will prevent thousands of low-income residents from seeking Medicaid coverage in the next year.
Arizona had authority to reduce eligibility for a non-federally mandated part of its program, but needed federal clearance to implement the plan.
The partial freeze begins next Friday _ a week later than originally scheduled.
It will apply to new enrollments and re-enrollments by childless adults.
Federal officials who weren't ready Thursday to act on the latest version of the implementation plan in time for Friday's original start date say they regret the state's decision to reduce eligibility and they were only acting on the implementation plan.