Look for the Most Suitable Health Insurance Option in Arkansas

Most Suitable Health Insurance Option in ArkansasThe rising cost of health insurance may be a cause of concern for Arkansas but the state and federal governments are taking measures to reduce the cost of health insurance. This allows more and more people to purchase individual health insurance plans to have adequate health coverage for themselves and their families. Around 2.9 million Arkansas residents receive health insurance either through employers, private individual markets, or through government health insurance programs like Medicaid, Children’s Health insurance Program, Medicare, or ACA-compliant health plans. Around 42% of the state residents have employer-sponsored coverage and 27% of the state residents have Medicaid coverage and around 16% of residents are enrolled in Medicare.

The state has around 8% of the uninsured rate who may be looking to purchase individual health insurance plans to have proper coverage. The uninsured state’s residents should enroll in ACA-compliant health plans, as these plans provide coverage for essential health benefits like inpatient hospital care, prescription drug coverage, and free preventive care. Arkansas currently has a state-based marketplace and the Arkansas insurance department created a division called the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace that manages and implements the state-based health insurance exchange following state and federal law. However, Arkansas can check the federal website to know about eligibility and enrollment criteria.

Individuals can buy ACA-compliant health insurance either through exchanges or certified agents and brokers. For the majority of the state residents, ACA-health plans may prove to be the best low-cost health insurance plans mainly because of the subsidies that greatly reduce premiums. Self-employed individuals having no employees can also enroll in the same health insurance options. While shopping for health insurance plans in Arkansas, residents will come across different health insurance options from which they can choose a health plan that is right for them. Some of the individual health insurance plan options available in the state are:

Medicaid is a health insurance program jointly funded by the Federal and state government. This health insurance program is designed for low-income adults, children, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities. Due to the Affordable Care Act, the Medicaid program was expanded and the states individually decided to opt-in or out of the expansion, and Arkansas has also expanded its Medicaid programs. Before the ACA, low-income individuals were not eligible for Medicaid, as this program only covered low-income parents with dependent children, qualifying children and pregnant women, individuals with specific disabilities, and qualifying people over 65 years of age. After the ACA, individuals with a household income of less than 138% of the federal Poverty Level became eligible for Medicaid.

Besides government-funded health insurance programs, individuals can purchase health plans directly from any of the six health insurance companies operating in the state. These carriers offer on-Marketplace individual qualified health plans through the Arkansas exchange. The cost of the individual health insurance plans will depend on the age, area of living, and the benefits opted by the individual. The qualified individual health plans offered on and off the marketplace are categorized into different metal-tiers based on the levels of cost-sharing. Health insurance premiums in Arkansas have moderately increased in the past three years but individuals earning between 100% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level are eligible for a subsidy that help them pay for any metal plan. Though, subsidies are only available for plans purchased through the marketplace.

Besides all these individual health plan options, low-income children younger than 19 years of age also have access to health insurance through CHIP known as ARKids First. ARKids First plans do not have premiums or deductibles and there are two options in this plan. The ARKids plan A offers coverage through Medicaid and charges no copayments for children under 18, and nominal copays for children of 18 years of age. ARKids plan B provides coverage to children who don’t have employer-sponsored or group health insurance and who have not had insurance for at least 90 days.

Summary – The uninsured residents of Arkansas while shopping for an individual health insurance plan in the state will come across different health insurance plans. With diverse options available, individual need to pick a health insurance plan that aptly meets their healthcare needs and is within their budget.

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