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Arizona Health Insurance Consumer Guide
This guide was created to help you better understand the Arizona Marketplace and pick the right health plan for you and your family. For many, an Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace plan – also called an Obamacare plan – may be a good choice.
Arizona uses the federal Marketplace (exchange), so people enroll through HealthCare.gov. People who need to buy their own insurance use the exchange. This includes self-employed people, workers at small businesses without health benefits, and early retirees under 65 who need coverage until Medicare.
Dental coverage in Arizona
Arizona's health insurance Marketplace has certified individual and family dental plans from nine insurers in 2023.1 Learn about other dental coverage options in the state.
Arizona’s Medicaid program
Arizona made Medicaid available to more people through ACA Medicaid expansion in 2014. By July 2023, the number of people enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP in Arizona had nearly doubled.2
Medicare enrollment in Arizona
As of April 2023, more than 1.4 million people in Arizona had Medicare coverage.3 Our guide answers your questions about Medicare enrollment in Arizona and how the state regulates Medigap plans for people under 65.
Short-term coverage in Arizona
In Arizona, seven carriers offer short-term health plans in 2023.4
Frequently asked questions about health insurance in Arizona
Who can buy Marketplace health insurance?
To buy Marketplace health coverage in Arizona:5
- You must live in Arizona.
- You must be lawfully present in the U.S.
- You can’t be incarcerated.
- You can’t be enrolled in Medicare.
When can I enroll in an ACA-compliant plan in Arizona?
Arizona’s open enrollment period to sign up for ACA Marketplace individual and family health plans is between November 1 and January 15. This applies whether you enroll through the exchange or directly with an insurer.
If you want your coverage to begin on January 1, enroll by December 15. If you sign up between December 16 and January 15, your coverage will start on February 1.6
If the open enrollment deadline passes, you may still be able to sign up for or make changes to an ACA Marketplace health plan through a special enrollment period (SEP). To qualify for a SEP, you’ll need a qualifying life event.
But there are instances where you don’t need a qualifying life event to apply outside of open enrollment. For example:
- If you’re eligible for premium tax credits and your income is not more than 150% of the poverty level, you can enroll anytime until at least 2025.7
- If you’re a Native American, you can enroll whenever necessary.8
If you lose Medicaid or CHIP between March 31, 2023 and July 31, 2024, you can enroll through the extended SEP.9
How do I enroll in a Marketplace plan in Arizona?
Here are the main ways to enroll in a Marketplace health plan in Arizona:
- Directly through HealthCare.gov
- By phone at (800) 318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). Talk to an agent 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except for holidays.
- With the help of agents, navigators, or certified application counselors or an approved enhanced direct enrollment entity.10
No matter which of the above methods you use, you’ll still purchase your health plan through HealthCare.gov since Arizona uses the federally facilitated Marketplace. The website will walk you through the application process and determine your subsidy eligibility.
How can I find affordable health insurance in Arizona?
In Arizona, individuals and families have several options to find affordable health insurance coverage:
- HealthCare.gov: By enrolling through HealthCare.gov, you could be eligible for income-based subsidies known as Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTC) that help lower your monthly premiums. About 86% of Marketplace enrollees in Arizona qualified for premium subsidies, saving on average $472 monthly. With subsidies, enrollees paid an average of $105 per month for health coverage.11
- Cost-Sharing Reductions: If your income is below 250% of the federal poverty level, you may qualify for cost-sharing reductions (CSR). CSRs help reduce your out-of-pocket costs, making coverage more affordable.12
- Medicaid: If you’re eligible for Medicaid, you can enroll through Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (azahcccs.gov) or Health-e-Arizona (healthearizonaplus.gov).
- Short-Term Health Insurance: Consider short-term health insurance if you need a more budget-friendly option. Currently, seven insurers in Arizona offer short-term plans.
How many insurers offer Marketplace coverage in Arizona?
For 2023, there are eight insurers offering plans on Arizona’s exchange:13
- Aetna CVS Health/Banner Health
- Arizona Complete Health (formerly Health Net of AZ)
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Inc. (HMO and PPO options)
- Imperial Insurance (new for 2023)
- Medica Community Health Plan
- Oscar Health Plan
- UnitedHealthcare of Arizona
Are Marketplace health insurance premiums increasing in Arizona?
Insurance providers in Arizona’s individual market have requested the following rate changes for 2024: 14
Arizona’s ACA Marketplace Plan 2024 Proposed Rate Increases by Insurance Company
|Aetna CVS Health/Banner Health||2.02%|
|Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona, Inc.||-4.54%|
|Arizona Complete Health||-2.42%|
|Medica Community Health Plan||7.17%|
|Oscar Health Plan, Inc.||-1.04%|
|UnitedHealthcare of Arizona, Inc.||-1.20%|
Source: HealthCare.gov 14
When looking at overall average rate changes, it’s important to understand:
- Published rates are for full-price plans. Most enrollees receive subsidies, so their net rate change depends on their plan and subsidy amount.15
- Averages don’t account for premiums increasing with age. People pay more each year as they get older.
- A weighted average lumps all plans together. But rate changes vary by insurer and plan.
How many people are insured through Arizona’s Marketplace?
What health insurance resources are available to Arizona residents?
The official federal website where you can sign up for health insurance plans through the ACA Marketplace.
Arizona Department of Insurance
Regulates and licenses health plans, agents, and brokers. Provides consumer information about insurance.
Arizona Health Matters
A resource that provides information about health concerns in Arizona.
Arizona Association of Community Health Centers/Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers
Community health centers that are also Arizona’s federally-funded Navigator. Help with exchange enrollments.
Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System
Administers Medicaid in Arizona. Provides coverage to low-income residents.
Medicare Rights Center
National service with a website and call center to assist Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers.
Arizona State Health Insurance Assistance Program
Local counseling, advice, and assistance with Medicare issues.
Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.Footnotes
- “Arizona dental insurance guide 2023” healthinsurance.org, Accessed September 2023
- "Total Monthly Medicaid & CHIP Enrollment and Pre-ACA Enrollment" KFF.org, April 2023
- “Medicare Monthly Enrollment” CMS.gov, April 2023
- “Availability of short-term health insurance in Arizona” healthinsurance.org, June 19, 2023
- “A quick guide to the Health Insurance Marketplace” HealthCare.gov
- “When can you get health insurance?” HealthCare.gov, 2023
- “An SEP if your income doesn’t exceed 150% of the federal poverty level” healthinsurance.org, Feb. 1, 2023
- “Who doesn’t need a special enrollment period?“ healthinsurance.org, Accessed August 2023
- “Temporary Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for Consumers Losing Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Coverage Due to Unwinding of the Medicaid Continuous Enrollment Condition– Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” CMS.gov, Jan. 27, 2023
- “Entities Approved to Use Enhanced Direct Enrollment” CMS.gov, April 28, 2023
- “2023 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, March 2023
- “Federal Poverty Level (FPL)” HealthCare.gov, 2023
- “Insurers Offering Individual/Family Health Insurance in Arizona for Plan Year 2023” Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions, September 2022
- “Arizona Rate Review Submissions”HealthCare.gov, Accessed August 2023
- “Effectuated Enrollment: Early 2023 Snapshot and Full-Year 2022 Average” CMS.gov, March 15, 2023
- “ASPE Issue Brief (2014)” ASPE, 2015
- “Health Insurance Marketplaces 2015 Open Enrollment Period: March Enrollment Report”, HHS.gov, 2015
- “HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACES 2016 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD: FINAL ENROLLMENT REPORT” HHS.gov, 2016
- “2017 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2017
- “2018 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2018
- “2019 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2019
- “2020 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2020
- “2021 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2021
- “2022 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Public Use Files” CMS.gov, 2022
- “Health Insurance Marketplaces 2023 Open Enrollment Report” CMS.gov, 2023