The impact of the Affordable Care Act is not the same on all the states, as in some states its impact has been more than others. Arkansas is one such states that saw a great reduction in the uninsured percentage after the Obamacare became effective in the U.S. Before the Affordable Care Act, the state of Arkansas has struggled with its health status, as it was the second-worst state in terms of health, but things got improved after the ACA and the state started to pick up in America’s Health Rankings. Though the public health funding for the state has reduced, it is still among the top 25 states having the most Public Health funding. However, with better Public Health Funding and the increased number of residents having health insurance coverage, the state has raised its Health status.
State Health Insurance Options
As far as health insurance options are concerned, the state provides a variety of coverage options to the Arkansas, who generally buy health insurance on their own. Residents of this state can either shop for plans through the state-based exchange or the private insurance marketplace. Besides, people who qualify for a government-funded plan can enroll in Medicaid and CHIP. Arkansans who want to take advantage of premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies must shop for the state’s health insurance marketplace to get enrolled in a plan offered by the state’s marketplace. This is because only marketplace plans are eligible for income-based premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies. This state has also expanded its Medicaid coverage to single, low-income adults.
ACA-Plans in Arkansas
The Affordable Care Act was designed to provide both individuals and families access to affordable health insurance plans along with medical, dental, vision, and other health plans that may not be available individually or through an employer. Under the ACA, residents of Arkansas can purchase healthcare plans through a state or federal marketplace offering a variety of plans. Health insurance companies cannot deny coverage to people based on their pre-existing conditions or gender. These plans no more have lifetime and annual coverage limits. Young individuals under the age of 26 years can stay on their parent’s plans. The senior population who have hot the Medicare Prescription Drug plan coverage gap can avail discounts on medications. Individuals shopping for ACA-plans should also check their eligibility for any subsidy, which they may be entitled to depend on their income.
Residents of Arkansas who are of age 65 years or older, or younger residents having some disability or people with end-stage renal disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis have the option of Medicare plans. Medicare is a national health insurance program administered by the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Medicare plans on the average cover about half of the healthcare expenses of the beneficiaries enrolled in the plan and according to the annual Medicare Trustees reports, individuals enrolled in the plan always cover remaining out-of-pocket costs along with private insurance by joining a public Medicare Health Plan.
Arkansans also have the option of Medicare Advantage plans, which are Medicare-approved plans offered by private health insurance companies designed on the provisions of Medicare Part A and Part B, the federal health insurance plan. Medicare Advantage plans allow individuals to customize their plans to cater to their individual needs.
In Arkansas, employer-based health insurance plans are quite common among people and it covers around 46% of the state population. Employer-sponsored plans come with similar benefits as the individual and family plans, but generally at a lower cost and without undergoing any medical examinations. The cost of the monthly premium of the plan is shared between both the employer and employee and the tax advantage is availed by both. Just like the individual plans, these plans also offer a choice of managed care plans that meet the essential health benefits requirements and are chosen to satisfy the specific business requirements.
Best Health Plan in Arkansas in 2020
In 2020 the average health insurance plan cost in Arkansas is $405 for a 40-year old. After carefully analyzing all the health insurance plans in the state it was determined that the Ambetter Balanced Care 12 was the cheapest Silver plan in every county of Arkansas. Though this may be the cheapest Silver health plan, the best health plan for every individual may vary depending upon their medical and financial situation.
Best Health Insurance Companies in Arkansas
On the Arkansas state marketplace currently following four health insurance companies are operating:
- Celtic Insurance Co.
- QCA Health Plan Inc.
- QualChoice Life & Health Insurance Co. Inc.
- USAble Mutual Insurance Co.
Apart from QualChoice, all health insurance companies are available in every county. However, people are advised and recommended to start their search of best and cheap health insurance plan with Celtic Insurance Co. because this provider offers the cheapest Silver plan in almost every county.