Arizona health insurance exchange
Federal marketplace, Medicaid expansion will help nearly 1 million uninsured Arizonans
By Carla Anderson
October 18, 2013
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.
The federal marketplace, HealthCare.gov, is experiencing a variety of technical problems in its first weeks of operation, and one of them is preventing the transfer of enrollment data from the federal system to Arizona’s Medicaid eligibility system. Federal officials say the data-transfer problem should be resolved by November. Local community groups are reminding Arizona consumers that they have until Dec. 23 to get coverage that starts Jan. 1, 2014. If you are having problems with the federal website or have other questions, you are urged to contact community health center. You can find a nearby center by visiting the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers website or calling 602-253-0090.
Eight insurers are selling policies through the federal marketplace in Arizona: Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Cigna, Health Choice, Humana, Health Net of Arizona, and Meritus Health Partners. Together, they are offering more than 100 plan options.
Arizona residents will see lower than average premiums on the marketplace. According to a report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the average cost for a bronze plan —the lowest-cost option — in Arizona is $214 a month. The national average for a bronze policy is $249 a month.
According to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, about 948,000 Arizona residents are uninsured and eligible to use the online marketplace. About 350,000 of those individuals will qualify for the expanded Medicaid program, which has been approved by the Brewer administration. The Medicaid decision allows people earning less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level — $15,282 for an individual — to gain health coverage.
Arizona health insurance exchange links
State Exchange Profile: Arizona
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation overview of Arizona’s progress toward creating a state health insurance exchange.