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Arizona health insurance exchange

arizona guide to health insurance

Arizonans show continued preference for gold, platinum plans

April 21, 2014

The open enrollment period to purchase health insurance for 2014 through the marketplace has ended. People who get married or divorced, change jobs, have a child or experience another qualifying event may be eligible for a special enrollment period. Enrollment for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) continues throughout the year. You may be able to buy private insurance outside the marketplace. Individuals who don’t have health insurance that provides “minimum essential coverage” may have to pay a penalty: $95 or one percent of income, whichever is greater.

Open enrollment for 2015 coverage through the marketplace begins Nov. 15.

About 57,600 Arizonans selected a health plan through between Oct. 1 and March 1, which is below the federal government’s target of about 84,000 enrollments during that timeframe. An additional 67,000 people qualified for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Continuing a trend seen in earlier months, Arizonans showed a greater preference for higher premium/lower deductible plans than the national average. In Arizona, 17 percent selected gold plans and 17 percent selected platinum plans; nationally, the figures were 11 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Premiums in Arizona are lower than in many other parts of the country, which is likely a factor in the tilt toward higher end policies. Nineteen percent of those who have enrolled in a health plan are between the ages of 18 and 34, and an additional 19 percent are 17 or younger.

Arizona is among the 26 states that opted to use the federal health insurance marketplace, While Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signaled a preference for a state-run health insurance marketplace, she ultimately chose the federally operated exchange for her state. In her letter informing the federal government of her decision, Brewer said the state had made significant process toward establishing its own exchange. However, she continued, a lack of information from federal officials made it impossible for the state to commit to implementing its own exchange.

About 300,000 Arizona residents will qualify for the state’s expanded Medicaid program, which was passed by the Legislature with some Republican support and approved by Brewer. The Medicaid decision allows people earning less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level — about $15,000 for an individual — to gain health coverage. Some Republican legislators and conservatives challenged the expansion. They first launched a petition to put the Medicaid expansion on the November 2014 ballot. The referendum push failed, prompting a legal challenge. The suit claimed that because the tax plan to fund the state’s portion of expansion costs was passed with less than a two-thirds majority, it was unconstitutional. Oral arguments were made in mid-December, and a judge dismissed the case in early February. However, the Goldwater Institute (the conservative group that filed the lawsuit) appealed the decision, and a three-judge panel is deciding if the Arizona Court of Appeals will review the case.

Arizona health insurance exchange links

Cover Arizona

Arizona Department of Insurance: Health Insurance Exchange

Office of Health Insurance Exchange

State Exchange Profile: Arizona
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation overview of Arizona’s progress toward creating a state health insurance exchange.

AZ health insurance exchange news

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Arizona legislators vote to regulate ACA navigators

Arizona Daily Star — A bill requiring licensing and background checks more extensive…

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Curious to see how your state is handling the open enrollment deadline?  Most states…

Arizona House votes to require licenses for marketplace navigators

 Associated Press — The House voted 35-23 to require criminal background checks and…

Judge throws out challenge to Arizona Medicaid expansion

The Washington Post — A Maricopa County Superior judge dismissed the  Goldwater…

Arizona health insurance shoppers go for the gold — and platinum

Arizona Daily Sun — Forty-one percent of Arizonans who picked a new health plan through…

Court battle over Arizona Medicaid expansion

The Republic — A lawsuit challenging the provider tax approved to fund Medicaid…

Rates on AZ health insurance marketplace lower than national average

Associated Press — The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that…

Cover Arizona helping uninsured access new marketplace

The Republic — A coalition of 300 community organizations is leading efforts to help…

Eight insurers apply to participate in AZ health insurance marketplace

Arizona Daily Star — Eight insurers filed application with the Arizona Department of…

Voice your concerns to your
Arizona elected officials

tell your elected officials

Let your Arizona governor and legislators know how you feel about the state’s proposed health insurance exchange.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer
1700 West Washington
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
PHONE: (602) 542-4331
FAX: (602) 542-1381
Contact by e-mail
Contact your Arizona State Senator and State Representative