See your Arkansas health insurance coverage options now.
Find affordable individual and family, small-group, short-term, or dental plans through licensed agency partners.
Arkansas Health Insurance Consumer Guide
Since 2016, Arkansas has enrolled residents in ACA-compliant plans through a state-based exchange that utilizes the federal enrollment platform (SBE-FP). This means people enroll through HealthCare.gov, but the state oversees the exchange plans and runs its own outreach and assistance programs.
For many people, an Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace plan – also called Obamacare – is a cost-effective choice. But finding the right health insurance plan can be tricky. This guide will help you understand how these plans work, so you can focus on staying healthy.
Dental coverage in Arkansas
In 2023, there are three insurers that offer stand-alone individual/family dental coverage through the health insurance marketplace in Arkansas.1 Learn about the various dental coverage options in our state guide.
Arkansas’ Medicaid program
Arkansas adopted the ACA’s Medicaid expansion in 2014. As of 2023, more than 340,000 people were enrolled in the expansion program – known as Arkansas Health and Opportunities for Me (ARHOME).2
Medicare coverage and enrollment in Arkansas
There are nearly 670,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Arkansas as of 2023.3 Read our overview of Medicare enrollment and coverage options in Arkansas.
Short-term coverage in Arkansas
Arkansas residents can buy short-term health insurance plans with initial durations up to 364 days. And as of 2023, at least nine insurers sell short-term plans in the state.4
Frequently asked questions about health insurance in Arkansas
Who can buy Marketplace health insurance?
To be eligible for health coverage through the Arkansas Marketplace, you must meet certain criteria. Typically, you can apply if you:5
- Reside in Arkansas
- Are either a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawfully present in the U.S.
- Are not incarcerated
- Are not enrolled in Medicare
When can I enroll in an ACA-compliant plan in Arkansas?
The open enrollment period to buy individual and family health coverage in Arkansas runs from November 1 to January 15. Here are some key dates:6
- November 1: Open enrollment starts! This is when you can first sign up for or change plans for the 2024. If you enroll by December 15, your coverage will start on January 1.
- December 15: Last day to enroll or change plans to start on January 1. After this date, any changes or new plans won’t start until February 1.
- January 15: Open enrollment ends. After this, you only change or enroll in coverage through a special enrollment period (SEP).
An SEP allows you to make plan changes outside open enrollment if you’ve had a qualifying life event, like getting married, having a baby, or losing other health coverage.7
But some people can sign up without a qualifying life event. For example:
How do I enroll in a Marketplace plan in Arkansas?
If you’re eligible for an ACA Marketplace plan, you can enroll:
- Online through HealthCare.gov
- By phone at (800) 318-2596
- In person through local insurance agents, brokers, certified application counselors or an approved enhanced direct enrollment entity.11
How can I find affordable health insurance in Arkansas?
You can find affordable health plans in Arkansas on the ACA Marketplace (HealthCare.gov).
During the 2023 open enrollment period, over 90% of enrollees qualified for premium subsidies. With an average subsidy of $481 per month, the average premium (after subsidy) was $104 per month.12
Subsidies are called Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTC) and help reduce your premiums. If your income is under 250% of the federal poverty level, you may also qualify for cost-sharing reductions (CSR) to lower your deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.13
You may enroll in affordable Medicaid coverage if eligible.
Short-term plans are a low-cost coverage option for people not eligible for Medicaid, Medicare, or subsidized Marketplace coverage.
How many insurers offer Marketplace coverage in Arkansas?
The Arkansas exchange offers individual and family health plans from five insurers for 2023:14
- Celtic Insurance Company (Ambetter)
- HMO Partners, Inc (Health Advantage)
- QCA Health Plan, Inc.
- QualChoice Life and Health Insurance Company, Inc.
- USAble Mutual Insurance Co. (AR Blue Cross & Blue Shield)
Are Marketplace health insurance premiums increasing in Arkansas?
The Arkansas Insurance Department announced the following proposed rate changes for their 2024 individual/family Marketplace health plans:15
Arkansas’ ACA Marketplace Plan 2024 Proposed Rate Increases by Insurance Company
|Celtic Insurance Company (Ambetter)||3.3%|
|HMO Partners, Inc (Health Advantage)||2.13%|
|QCA Health Plan, Inc.||1.4%|
|QualChoice Life and Health Insurance Company, Inc.||3.2%|
|USAble Mutual Insurance Co. (AR Blue Cross & Blue Shield)||7.72%|
The rate changes are for full-price premiums. But most people in Arkansas receive subsidies to lower their costs, so their rate change may be different.12
How many people are insured through Arkansas’ Marketplace?
During the 2023 enrollment period, a record-breaking 100,407 Arkansans signed up for individual and family health plans through the ACA Marketplace.12
This increase in enrollment is likely due to the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Under the ARP, ACA’s premium subsidies are more significant and widely available.16
So what does this mean for you?
- More people than ever before can get financial help paying for health coverage, even if they didn’t qualify before.
- Most people currently enrolled may now qualify for even more tax credits and savings.
- Many will see health insurance premiums go down thanks to the new law.
What health insurance resources are available to Arkansas residents?
This is the ACA Marketplace where you can enroll in a health insurance plan online. You may also get help by calling (800) 318-2596.
Arkansas Center for Health Improvement
Nonprofit focused on improving healthcare access and public health in Arkansas.
Arkansas Insurance Department Consumer Services Division
Regulates insurance companies and assists consumers. Can help with health insurance questions, complaints, and more.
Arkansas’ Children’s Health Insurance Program. Provides low-cost health coverage for children in families who earn too much for Medicaid but can’t afford other insurance.
Arkansas Senior Health Insurance Information Program
Provides local Medicare counseling and assistance. Can help answer questions, resolve issues, and enroll in Medicare plans.
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
- “Arkansas dental insurance guide 2023” healthinsurance.org, Accessed September 2023
- “Medicaid eligibility and enrollment in Arkansas” healthinsurance.org, March 28, 2023
- “Medicare Monthly Enrollment” CMS.gov, April 2023
- “Availability of short-term health insurance in Arkansas” healthinsurance.org, Sept. 7, 2023
- ”A quick guide to the Health Insurance Marketplace” HealthCare.gov
- “When can you get health insurance?” HealthCare.gov, 2023
- “Understanding special enrollment periods” CMS.gov, March 2023
- “Who doesn’t need a special enrollment period?“ healthinsurance.org, Accessed August 2023
- “An SEP if your income doesn’t exceed 150% of the federal poverty level” healthinsurance.org, Feb. 1, 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
- “Health Insurance Rate Changes for 2023” Arkansas Insurance Department, Accessed September 2023
- “Health Insurance Rate Changes for 2024” Arkansas Insurance Department, Accessed September 2023
- “Health Insurance Marketplaces 2023 Open Enrollment Report” CMS.gov, 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