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When researching your health insurance options in the state of Arkansas there are several questions you should ask yourself before beginning your search. If your employer does not offer benefits, are you healthy enough to obtain health insurance on the individual market? If so, Health Plan One can be of service to you in quoting plans appropriate for your needs and price range. Do you own your own business and employ between 2-50 employees? Health Plan One can also assist small business owners in obtaining small group coverage for their companies. Do you have any pre-existing conditions, disabilities, or are you below an income level which could qualify you for free or low-cost health care programs offered by the government? You may be eligible in Arkansas for Medicaid, ARKids First, Women's Health, or the high risk pool. Eligibility requirements for each of these options are available on this page.
What Every Arkansas Resident Should Know About Health Insurance
The type of health insurance familiar to most consumers is group coverage offered by an employer. With group health insurance through your employer the policy is partially paid for by the company on behalf of their employees. The company will contribute a large percentage toward the monthly premium and you (the employee) will be responsible for paying the difference, about 16-27%. With group plans you have little choice in the specific benefits of the plan (these are determined by negotiations between the company and the insurance carrier) but you also cannot be denied coverage under the group plan no matter what prescriptions you may take or preexisting conditions you may have. By insuring a large group of employees together under one plan of the company's choosing, individual employees are not subject to medical underwriting, rather the entire group is underwritten as a whole to determine the premium level everyone will pay. Therefore, the amount you pay in premiums as well as the quality of the coverage you receive are dependent not on how healthy you are or what benefits you would like to have, but how healthy your group is as a whole and what benefits the company has chosen for you.
Unfortunately, companies frequently have a waiting period before new employees can qualify to receive health insurance benefits. If this is the case with your new job, consider getting a short-term policy from the point where your previous coverage ends to the time when your new company's insurance kicks in. Such options are available through Health Plan One. Simply visit our Short-Term information page for your free quotes. It is important not to have a lapse in coverage of more than 63 days. If you do, your new insurance carrier may refuse to cover treatment for pre-existing conditions you may have such as asthma or acne for up to a year after your policy goes into effect. For this reason, having continuous health insurance coverage is particularly important.
What If I'm Between Jobs?
As previously mentioned, it is important not to have a break in coverage of more than 63 days. As a result, if you've recently lost your job look into extending the coverage you had with your employer through COBRA. With the COBRA program through the federal government you can extend your plan for up to 18 months after losing your job. You will however have to pick up the entire premium cost which your employer had previously been paying. For this reason, it is frequently more economical for people who've lost their jobs to invest in an individual/family insurance policy through Health Plan One.
With individual coverage, you choose the health insurance carrier and benefits you want with the help of Health Plan One. We will quote plans for you and your family from all the different carriers available in Arkansas so that you can choose from a wide price range and spectrum of options to tailor a plan that fits your needs. Even if you are not between jobs, a plan on the individual market through Health Plan One could still be the best option for your family. Many companies do not offer benefits to their employees, and often those companies that do offer benefits do so at an exorbitant cost for low quality plans. It is important to note that with individual coverage in Arkansas each person who applies is medically underwritten and may be approved, denied, or rated-up by the carrier depending on their health history in recent months.
If you're healthy and are unhappy with the health insurance offered by your employer, are between jobs, or are not offered benefits by your company, enter your zip code into the Health Plan One quoting engine at the top of this page to view the most competitively priced plans in your area with benefits tailored to your needs. Quotes are absolutely free, and you're under no obligation to buy. Our licensed insurance specialists are also available via LiveChat (see the button to the right) or toll-free at (877) 567-5267 to answer any questions.
If you're not healthy there are still many programs available to you. See below for details on the options which best fit your medical and financial situation.
Small Group Plans
If you own a small business you can apply for a small group plan at any point during the year. You must have 2 or more eligible employees who each work at least 30 hours per week. Small groups are subject to medical underwriting. This means that though no one in the group can be denied coverage, the carrier can increase the rates based on the health history of employees enrolling.
Health Plan One can help you by quoting plans for small groups. Simply call our toll-free number at (877) 567-5267.
To view small business group plans in Arkansas, view our Arkansas Small Business Group page.
Medicaid in Arkansas
Medicaid is a state-federal cooperative program that serves those individuals and families who lack adequate resources to pay for medical care. Full Medicaid benefits are available to those residents of Arkansas who are age 65 or older, under age 19, blind, disabled (including working disabled), pregnant, living in a nursing home, under age 21 and in foster care, have breast or cervical cancer, in medical need of certain home and community based services, or the parent or relative caretaker of a child with an absent/disabled/unemployed parent. For full details on eligibility requirements (including income limits) and summaries of benefits, visithttps://www.medicaid.state.ar.us/InternetSolution/Consumer/howapp.aspx
For information on Akansas Medicaid's managed care program for which more Medicaid beneficiaries are eligible, click here: https://www.medicaid.state.ar.us/InternetSolution/General/programs/ccare.aspx
For information on the TEFRA program which extends Medicaid home-care benefits to certain disabled children, click here: https://www.medicaid.state.ar.us/InternetSolution/General/programs/tefra/tefra.aspx
For more information of Arkansas Medicare, visit MedicareSolutions.com
ARKids First gives 2 coverage options to uninsured children in the state whose parents cannot afford health insurance. ARKids A offers low-income families coverage for their children through the Medicaid program. ARKids B provides coverage for children of families with incomes too high to qualify them for Medicaid. The benefits or the program are comprehensive and are offered at little to no monthly premium. For full benefits click here:http://www.arkidsfirst.com/bene.htm For additional details including specific income eligibility requirements click around on the program's homepage at http://www.arkidsfirst.com/
Women's Health (Family Planning)
Many states, including Arkansas, now offer basic women's health services to women of child-bearing age in the state who do not qualify for Medicaid. These services include physical exams, lab work, birth control, follow-up visits, and information on preventing HIV and STDs. For details, click here:https://www.medicaid.state.ar.us/InternetSolution/consumer/who.aspx and scroll down the page.
Arkansas Comprehensive Health Insurance Pool
The Arkansas CHIP was created in 1995 to provide basic health coverage to Arkansas residents with pre-existing conditions which had rendered them medically uninsurable on the individual market. Under regulations implemented by the federal HIPAA law CHIP has become a qualified high risk pool offering coverage to residents who exhaust their coverage options in the group market. In order to be eligible for CHIP you must fall into one of the following 3 categories:
- Federally Eligible Individual
- A resident of Arkansas
- Had 18 months of coverage without a break of 63 days
- Previous coverage through a group plan, government plan, or church plan
- Not covered by or eligible for other coverage
- Not have had previous coverage terminated because of nonpayment or fraud
- Have used up your COBRA coverage
- 2. Resident Eligible Person
- a. Have been an AR resident for at least 90 days and present evidence of notice of rejection by insurance carrier to issue similar coverage or refusal by insurer to issue except at a rate-up of at least 50% greater than CHIP's comparable premium OR
- b. Have been an AR resident for at least 30 days and present evidence of coverage under a qualified high risk pool from another state that ended no more than 63 days prior to applying for AR CHIP which was not terminated for fraud AND
- c. Not enrolled in or eligible for coverage through Medicaid or ARKids
- d. Not enrolled in other coverage (except while satisfying AR CHIP's pre-existing condition waiting period)
- e. Not have previously terminated CHIP coverage within the last 12 months
- f. Not have previously received CHIP benefits equaling $1 million or more
- g. Not be a resident of a public institution
- h. Not have premium paid on your behalf by any government sponsored program
- 3. Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) - an inliidual qualified under HCTC may be eligible for CHIP coverage without being subject to pre-existing condition exclusions if
- a. 3 months previous coverage without a break of 63 days or more
- b. Be legally domiciled in AR
- c. Not be incarcerated
- d. Not be eligible or enrolled in Medicare part A or B
- e. Present AR CHIP with a copy of a letter from the HCTC program
- f. Not be enrolled in Medicaid, ARKids, a federal employee health plan, a US military health plan, an employer health plan
For full eligibility requirements and detailed benefit information, click here: http://www.chiparkansas.org/about/
For additional information on all programs offered through the state of Arkansas explore the Insurance Department's website at http://www.insurance.arkansas.gov/