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2021 Arkansas Health Insurance
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No one wants to get sick or injured, but everyone wants the reassurance that someone is going to care for them if something unfortunate happens. Rather than worrying about whether or not you can afford medication for your child or for yourself, it is essential to enroll in a major medical plan in Arkansas. Even if you have employer-sponsored coverage, it may not be enough for the days to come.
Protect yourself and your family from outrageous medical costs and get peace of mind. That is just one reason to begin comparing the cost of coverage for medical insurance in Arkansas.
Here is everything you need to know to guide you towards the best insurance plan for you:
Types of Health Plans
Plans are also called provider network types. These apply to individual health insurance, family, and sometimes even group plans. Some medical plans will restrict who you can visit, while others offer more flexibility at a higher price. Aside from metal levels—bronze, silver, gold, and platinum—you can also consider the following kinds of health plans:
One of the most popular types of medical coverage. HMOs limit coverage by restricting your choice to a network of doctors, one of which will become your primary care physician. You will need referrals to visit specialists. The advantage of HMOs is the reduced cost.
Unlike an HMO, you are allowed to visit anyone you want, although there are preferred doctors on the network. You also pay less to see those on the preferred list. An advantage of PPO plans is never needing a referral.
Similar to an HMO, services are only covered by insurance if you use the indicated doctors, specialists, and medical facilities within the network. The only exception is if you require emergency care.
A hybrid of HMOs and PPOs, a POS plan allows you to pay less using in-network providers. You will need a primary care physician and referrals, but you can go to anyone you choose.
Why You Should Have Arkansas Medical Insurance
Did you know that over 57 percent of all Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts? That means that few people have enough money saved up to pay off something as exorbitant as out-of-pocket healthcare. Residents of Arkansas are no different. With the average cost of a single inpatient day at an Arkansas hospital being around $1,707, you could put yourself into bankruptcy fast.
When you have Arkansas medical insurance, you are guaranteed state-mandated health benefits as well as the essential health benefits listed in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The benefits are:
Consider health insurance an investment in your well-being. Without it, you may even be denied care. In Arkansas, you are required to have some kind of health insurance coverage, whether it is through an employer-sponsored group plan, a government program, or a private insurer.
Short Term Health Insurance
If you do not qualify for a special enrollment period for a long-term major medical plan, you have some options. The first is short term health insurance. Arkansas has defaulted to federal guidelines for such medical insurance, meaning that the initial term is 364 days. After that, you can renew for a full 36 months of short term health insurance.
Short term rates go through review by the state. Arkansas also requires short term health insurance benefits to match those mandated by the state’s government.
Start to compare Arkansas health plans today to see which kind and tier is best for you!
What You Need To Know About Arkansas Health Insurance
Arkansas consistently ranks low in nationwide health ratings. In 2015, the state ranked 49th out of 50 states on the Scorecard on State Health System Performance. In 2017, it ranked 48th on the Scorecard then rose another spot in 2019. With Arkansas individual health plans or family plans, however, you are ensured more comprehensive care.
There are nearly 3 million people dwelling in Arkansas, and about 42 percent of them receive healthcare benefits from their employer. Another 8 percent is uninsured. In times like these, you absolutely need coverage.
In 2018, employer-sponsored coverage had an average annual premium of $17,995 for families, with a deductible of $3,144. Qualifying health plans are provided by insurance companies like QCA Health Plan, QualChoice Life and Health, Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield, and Ambetter from AR Health & Wellness.
Like many other states, the cost of major medical plans in Arkansas has increased over the past three years (2018-2020). For instance, in 2018, the average cost of a bronze plan was around $296 per month for a 40 year old. Now, it is around $320 a month. Silver tier premiums were around $340 in 2018 but increased to $358 in 2020. Similarly, gold premiums rose from $409 in 2018 to $461 in 2020.
Family health insurance plans followed the trend as well. Right now, the average cost per month for a health plan for a family of three is over $1,000. A family of four runs around $1,280. This is assuming the adults are 40 years old, not younger.
You can anticipate a similar increase for the 2021 enrollment season. Be prepared. Compare Arkansas health plans now, so you will be ready for the future.
Unemployed, Part-Time, and Self-Employed
Health insurance for unemployed individuals comes with a few options. Most people know about COBRA; they also know how expensive it can be. Since COBRA is not sustainable, you could look into other affordable options, like catastrophic coverage if you are younger than 30 years old. Optionally, short term health insurance in Arkansas can cover you until open enrollment, or you can look into eligibility for the Special Enrollment Period.
Whether you are part-time or self employed, you can look into supplementary health insurance. One option for health insurance for self employed individuals is a low cost bronze tier plan. Since part-time workers are often unable to cover employer-sponsored coverage, you should also consider the same route.
You may also be eligible for subsidies if you make below the Federal Poverty Line (FPL) or have other qualifying factors. Be sure to look into the subsidies to see how much you could save.
Differences Between 2020 Open Enrollment and 2021
Arkansas open enrollment runs from November 1 to December 15 every year. Whether you are planning on using the federally run major medical plan marketplace or a private option, that is the period you can use—unless you have experienced a qualifying life event. Typically, coverage begins January 1.
During the 2020 open enrollment period, 64,360 residents enrolled through the exchange in Arkansas. The Marketplace has been utilized since 2016, and enrollment numbers go up a little more each year. Yet, only about 2 percent of Arkansas residents enroll using the Marketplace.
Open enrollment also has a special enrollment qualification. If you have lost your job or lost your employer-sponsored medical coverage, you are eligible to use a Special Enrollment Period. In other words, you can enroll into a federal exchange major medical plan anytime throughout the year should you meet the requirements. From the time you lose your Arkansas Health Insurance, you have 60 days to enroll.
Some qualifying life events for a Special Enrollment Period include:
- Losing eligibility for Medicare or Arkansas Works
- Losing coverage through family members
- Losing job-related coverage
- Losing COBRA
- Getting married, legally separated, or divorced
- Having a baby, placing a child in foster care, or adopting/fostering a child
- Changing residence – moving outside coverage range, leaving prison, or gaining citizenship
- Turning 26 and leaving parents’ plan
- Gaining status of a recognized tribe
- Getting access of Small Business QSEHRA or an Individual HRA
There are other qualifications as well, so if you are unsure, get in touch with a trusted insurance advisor to learn more. You can also visit HealthCare.gov for more information.
Keep Yourself and Your Family Protected
The cost of medical care is higher than ever, thanks to the 2020 global pandemic and other factors. Take care of yourself and your family by getting medical insurance today. You will have less out of pocket costs, a dedicated network, and even essential benefits and other free preventative care options.
Looking for 2021 health insurance quotes for Arkansas? Look no further. We have a broad selection of health plans available for individuals, families, self employed, unemployed, small businesses, and more. Start comparing the cost of coverage today!