Arkansas Health Insurance: 2021 Coverage Guide
As a resident of Arkansas, you have a few options for health insurance. Whether you’re buying an individual plan or you’re buying coverage for a family, you can get the best value for a plan that fits your needs by comparing rates with SmartFinancial. But first things first. Make sure to shop before the deadline for Open Enrollment. Unless you have a qualifying event, you may have to wait another year to buy a plan if you don’t buy within this designated period.
When Is Open Enrollment in Arkansas?
November 1, 2020 - December 15, 2020. Coverage begins on January 1, 2021.
How to Get Health Insurance in Arkansas
It’s important to look beyond the premium price when shopping for health insurance. There are deductibles, copays, and other out-of-pocket expenses, even with prescription medications. Take a look at your last year’s coverage. Did you spend a lot of money out-of-pocket? If you did, you may want to consider a higher tier plan, which costs more each month but it also covers more. You may have not seen the doctor at all or maybe you saw a doctor once. You may want to consider a catastrophic plan or a bronze plan, both of which are very inexpensive and are perfect for young and healthy people who need very little coverage.
Regardless of how much coverage you need, you’ll want to compare health insurance companies and health insurance quotes before choosing a plan. After you submit a brief questionnaire, you’ll get several competing health insurance rates to choose from, and we’ll connect you with an agent in your area so you can buy the coverage or ask questions about the plan you’re considering.
What Types of Health Insurance Are Available in Arkansas?
Most people in Arkansas buy HMOs, EPOs, PPOs, and POS plans. HMO and PPO plans are the most popular. You also can choose a tier of coverage based on your needs: bronze, silver, gold, or platinum. Bronze is the least expensive but only covers 60% of costs. Platinum plans have the most cost-sharing benefits, covering 90% of expenses, but they cost more monthly. Also available are short-term health plans, Medicare (if you qualify, scroll down to that section), and catastrophic plans, which only cover emergencies.
Compare Health Insurance Plans in Arkansas
Does Health Insurance Cover Pre-existing Conditions?
It is illegal for marketplace health plans to deny anyone health insurance coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
Do I Qualify for a Special Enrollment Period?
Common reasons people qualify for a special enrollment period:
- If you lose or quit a job or switch jobs where you are not offered health insurance you can buy a plan. You may also buy a plan outside the Open Enrollment Period if you start your own business and need health insurance.
- If you turned 26, you have a little while to buy an individual plan. You can no longer remain on your parents’ plan!
- If your health coverage becomes invalid due to a move, you can buy a new plan that covers your area.
- If you had a Cobra extension from a previous plan and it reaches its end, you can buy a new plan.
- If you share health insurance with a spouse and you divorce, you can buy a new health plan.
- When you get married, you can buy a new plan together or add a spouse to an existing plan.
- The birth or adoption of a child allows you to buy health insurance for that child.
- If the death of a spouse or partner causes you to lose coverage, you can buy a new health plan.
- If a spouse or partner loses coverage for any qualifying reason, which causes you to lose shared coverage, you can buy an individual plan or buy coverage with that spouse/partner again.
Is Health Insurance Required in Arkansas?
No, only California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Rhode Island, and DC fine residents with a tax penalty. Even though you’re not required to have health insurance in Arkansas, buying it may prevent medical bankruptcy.
How Much Is Health Insurance in Arkansas?
The average cost of health insurance in Arkansas for a 40 year old is about $405 a month. Health insurance is less expensive, the younger you are. Tobacco use increases health insurance rates.
How to Save on Health Insurance in Arkansas
The best way to save on health insurance in Arkansas is to compare rates based on the tier system. Beforehand, you’ll want to estimate your medical costs
Medicare in Arkansas
Medicare is health insurance coverage for Americans ages 65 years and older. The government also allows younger people with disabilities to enroll in the program. Individuals with End-Stage Renal Disease (a permanent kidney failure treated with dialysis or a transplant) can also sign up as can some individuals with severe mental health issues. Others who qualify for Medicare disability coverage are individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Most beneficiaries will receive Original Medicare (Parts A and B). Some people buy Medicare Advantage, which includes Part A and B as well as offering vision, dental and prescription drug coverage.
How Many People Are on Medicare in Arkansas?
21% of the people living in Arkansas are on Medicare.
How Much Is Medicare in Arkansas?
People who do not qualify for Medicare can buy it for $458 a month for Part A in 2020 and a standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B was $144.60 for 2020, or even higher depending on income.
Original Medicare vs Medicare Advantage: What’s the Difference?
Medicare is a government subsidized health plan that is available to qualified Americans age 65 and older. Medicare Advantage is sold through private health insurance companies, but these policies are also regulated by the government. Medicare Advantage plans offer the same benefits as Medicare Parts A and B. Medicare Advantage plans also offer more coverage for dental, vision, hearing and prescription drugs. Medicare Advantage plans have a maximum out-of-pocket limit. For 2020, it was $6,700 but many plans set their maximums at a much lower cost. That is why it’s important to compare companies. People who opt for original Medicare can buy Medicare Supplements to help with out-of-pocket costs. You cannot buy both Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplements. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan during open enrollment, you will automatically be disenrolled from original Medicare.
How to Get Medicare Coverage in Arkansas
If you receive social security payments, you may automatically enroll in Medicare, but you may have to sign up if you do not receive payments. The easiest way to enroll in Medicare is by working with a trusted insurance agent to get the coverages you want. Just enter your zip code and answer a few simple questions.
Types of Medicare Plans Available
Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Cost Plans (only offered in certain areas), Demonstration/Pilot Programs (also called Research Studies; only offered in certain areas) and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).
How Do I Qualify for Medicare?
To qualify for Medicare you must be a citizen of the U.S. or have been a legal resident for at least five years. If you are age 65 or older and you/your spouse have worked for at least 10 years (40 quarters) or you have a disability, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), you most likely qualify for Medicare.
How Can I Save on Medicare in Arkansas?
You can save on Medicare by signing up for Part B as soon as you’re eligible. People who enroll late must pay a penalty every year. If you’re interested in buying Medicare Advantage, you can shop and compare Medicare plans for the best value.
Arkansas State Health System Ranking
Ever wonder how your state stacks up when it comes to quality healthcare? The Commonwealth Fund published a report in 2020 on State Health System Performance. They took into consideration the access to quality care, health outcomes, and disparities in all 50 states. The scores for the Arkansas Health System are listed below:
- Arkansas: Overall Ranking: 42 of 51
- Arkansas: Overall Performance: Below U.S. Average
- Arkansas: Access and Affordability: 37
- Arkansas: Prevention and Treatment: 46
- Arkansas: Avoidable Hospital Use and Cost: 36
- Arkansas: Healthy Lives: 45
- Arkansas: Health Care Disparities: 37
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Arkansas Health Insurance Coverage
The people of Arkansas have different kinds of health insurance while some Arkansas residents are not insured at all. See the breakdown below:
- Private coverage: 42%
- Medicaid: 27%
- Medicare: 21%
- Uninsured: 10%
Report: America's Health Insurance Plans
Arkansas Health Insurance Companies
- United Healthcare Services, Inc (Arkansas)
- UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company (Arkansas)
- Aetna Life Insurance Company (Arkansas)
- Compass Rose Health Plan
- QualChoice Arkansas Health Plan, Inc.
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Choosing a higher deductible plan will help to lower your health insurance premium. So this is a smart financial move. As is keeping a small emergency fund to pay for medical expenses until you reach that deductible.
Behavioral health refers to mental health, psychiatric health, marriage and family counseling and addiction treatments. Is it covered by health insurance?
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It’s always a good idea to get acquainted with the way plans are set up and what you’re responsible to pay before open enrollment which takes place in late fall. If you have a qualifying event, like a new job or if you’ve moved, had a baby, gotten divorced or had any life change that affect your coverage, you may be able to buy a new health insurance plan today.
Like auto and homeowners insurance healthcare insurance also has a deductible which needs to be paid before insurance begins to cover expenses. However, healthcare deductibles work a little differently. For instance, your healthcare insurance will pay for some services even before you meet your deductible.
You may be shopping for health insurance because you got a new job, which doesn’t offer health insurance. Some people even prefer to have a health plan separate from their jobs. It’s usually a more expensive option to buy an individual health insurance policy when an employer offers to pay a portion of your premiums each month. However, some people prefer to choose their own insurance company and a plan that fits their needs.