Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurance marketplaces are available in every state, where people can purchase coverage on their own. Those who do not have affordable coverage from an employer or other source may be eligible for subsidies to make it more affordable.
Arkansas has several affordable health insurance options. You can insure through your employer, buy your plan directly from an insurance provider, sign up for Medicare or Medicaid, use the Health Insurance Marketplace created by the Affordable Care act, or even look into low-income insurance programs for children.
People who buy coverage through the Marketplace can’t be denied or charged more because they have a pre-existing condition, including HIV or COVID-19.
Marketplace plans are also required to provide a minimum package of “Essential Health Benefits,” which include prescription drugs, doctor visits, hospital care, mental health care, and certain preventive services. Health plans sold outside of the Marketplace may not offer the same comprehensive benefits or protections.
People can buy coverage in the Marketplace during the open enrollment period, a specific time at the end of the year, for coverage to be effective on the first day of the following year.
People experiencing certain changes in their lives can join or change plans at other times of the year. If you qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), you can sign up at any time.
Monetary aid may be available to help with monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
Name: Arkansas Medicaid
Helpline: 1-800-457-4454 or 1-501-376-2211
Medicaid is the nation’s health insurance program for people with the lowest incomes who are US citizens or have been legal residents for at least five years. If you earn about $17,774 or less annually as a single person (or $24,040 or less as a family of two), you may be able to get coverage through the program.
Also important for a person with HIV is that it is no longer necessary to have an AIDS diagnosis or be very ill or disabled to be covered under this expanded program. You can apply and enrol in Medicaid at any time of the year.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program for retirees and young people with disabilities. To be eligible, you must also be a US citizen or legal resident for at least 5 years.
The open enrollment period for those who are already Medicare beneficiaries is from October 15 to December 7. If you’ll soon be eligible for Medicare because of your age, you can sign up for a seven-month period that starts three months before you turn 65 and ends three months after.
If you’re under 65 and have a disability, you can sign up for Medicare during a seven-month period that begins three months before your 25th month of getting benefits and ends three months after your 25th month of getting benefits.
Finding The Best Health Insurance Coverage in Arkansas
How much does health insurance cost in Arkansas?
Health insurance plans are shared out into quartet metal categories, which point to how costs are shared between you and your indemnity provider.
These categories are Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each metal category has different costs for your insurance premium, deductible, and the fraction of wellness care cost you pay compared to how much your plan pays, which are copays and coinsurance costs.
The best affordable health insurance plan in Arkansas varies depending on the policies available in your county, as well as your chosen grade of coverage.
Higher metal tier health plans, such as Gold plans, typically contain more expensive monthly premiums, but they likewise come with reduced out-of-pocket expenses, like deductibles, copays and coinsurance.
If you believe you may become sick or already have high recurring medical costs, like prescriptions, a higher metal grade health insurance policy may be the best alternative for you.
Alternatively, if you’re youthful, healthy and have the financial means to pay higher medical costs in the event of an emergency, a lower metal tier health plan may be the better choice to cut costs.
Gold plans: Best for high expected medical costs
Gold plans are considered higher metal tier health plans, which typically cover the greatest share of out-of-pocket expenses. Nonetheless, these benefits come with more expensive premiums.
Despite the higher monthly rates, these health insurance plans can be the most cost-efficient for those with high expected medical costs or continuing medical conditions. On average, you can expect a Gold plan to cover about 80% of your health care expenses, while you pay the other 20%.
Silver plans: Best for those with low incomes or average medical costs
Silver plans are best for those looking for a counterweight between the higher monthly premiums in a Gold plan and the lower coverage found in Bronze or Catastrophic metal tiers.
For example, the average monthly cost of the Ambetter Balanced Care 12 Silver health plan for a 40-year-old is $387, and it has a deductible of $6,500.
The Ambetter Secure Care 5 is a Gold plan with a significantly lower deductible of $1,45 but costs an average of $102 more per month.
Furthermore, lower-income households can qualify for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies with a Silver health plan, which would lower out-of-pocket expenses.
Typical Silver plans cover about 70% of your health care costs, while you pay 30%. But under CSR subsidies, you could qualify for a Silver plan that covers up to 94% of your health care costs. conformably, these health policies repeatedly offer the best value for lower-income families.
Bronze plans: Best for young, healthy people
Bronze plans present cheaper monthly premiums than higher metal tier plans at the expense of reduced coverage and higher out-of-pocket costs.
This means paying more out of pocket before your health insurance kicks in. On average, you can expect a Bronze plan to cover about 60% of your health costs, while you pay for the other 40%. Expanded Bronze plans increase coverage to about 65%, while you pay roughly 30%.