Arkansas Health Insurance

arkansas health insurance text overlaying image of the bridge into little rock Affordable health insurance in Arkansas is easy to come by. Residents can find coverage starting as low as $322 a month, with the option to add on supplemental insurance like dental and vision to their plans. Dental insurance rates start at $45 a month and vision starts at $10. Your premiums and coverage are based on your age, gender, general health, and household size among other things, but if you’re a resident of Arkansas, on average you can expect to pay around $410 a month for a full-coverage plan. You might find, though, that you qualify for discounts or even free coverage! 

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Arkansas Health Insurance Companies

In 2022, there were essentially three private insurance companies that offered statewide health insurance in Arkansas: Ambetter, Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Oscar. But starting in 2023, Oscar will no longer offer insurance in Arkansas. While there are a few other company names out there, including QualChoice, USAble, and HMO Partners, these insurers are affiliated with the two main companies, and offer their plans through them.

Ambetter, Centene, and Qualchoice

As of 2022 Centene, which owns Ambetter, also owns QualChoice: these companies are now grouped together as one company with a variety of plan options. It’s important to note that Qualchoice offers plans under two names, QC Life and Health and QCA Health Plan, so if you choose to purchase a Qualchoice plan, your insurance can come from any of those companies’ plan options. 

All of the plans offered are based on the metal tier system: you can choose from Gold, Silver, and Bronze plans. These tiers do not indicate the quality of care you receive, but how much you will pay out-of-pocket for your medical services. Gold plans have the highest premiums but lowest deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs. Silver plans are moderately priced, and Bronze plans have the cheapest monthly premiums, but higher deductibles and out-of-pocket-costs. Essentially, the more you pay a month in premiums, the less you’ll pay later for medical services.

Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield (USAble Mutual)

Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield is a not-for-profit organization, according to their website. This means that almost all of the money they collect in premiums is paid out in benefits to their policyholders. USAble and HMO Partners are affiliated with Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield. HMO Partners is new to the Marketplace as of 2021. All three insurance companies offer plans under the metal tiers noted above


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Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace

Originally, Arkansas used the federal Health Insurance Marketplace for their residents to find and compare plans. But as of 2019, the state government has taken over, and runs its own marketplace called My Arkansas Insurance. During the Open Enrollment Period (OEP), residents can use this exchange to compare plans and enroll. 

The Marketplace offers excellent options for health insurance. It was created by the Affordable Care Act, and is the place you can go to buy plans that offer certain consumer protections, guarantee coverage for pre-existing conditions, and include coverage for the “10 essential health benefits”:

  • Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care)
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization
  • Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care (both before and after birth)
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment (including counseling and psychotherapy)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
  • Pediatric services, including oral and vision care (but adult dental and vision coverage aren’t essential health benefits)

ACA-compliant plans are grouped into metal tiers, and as mentioned above, the metal tiers describe the difference in coverage and out-of-pocket costs. The quality of care you receive is not affected by your plan’s metal tier.

Not every plan in the state is available on the Marketplace, though. So, whether you want a Marketplace plan, or a plan from a private insurer, an EZ agent can help. We work with all carriers across the country in order to compare all options available.


Over half of the uninsured in Arkansas who qualify for Marketplace insurance coverage could get a Bronze plan for FREE.


Arkansas’s Short Term Health Insurance Guidelines

If you’ve missed the OEP or have a need for health insurance for a short amount of time, short-term plans are a great option. It’s important to note, though, that these policies tend to only cover the basics, and you can be denied one of these plans if you have a pre-existing condition. 

There are some rules around short-term plans, though, both at the federal and the state level; every state has their own guidelines for short-term health insurance. But Arkansas has chosen to go by the federal guidelines, meaning you can get an initial plan for 364 days with an option of renewal up to three times. So your short-term plan can only be in effect for up to 36 months. 


Arkansas Health Insurance Options

There are several different health insurance providers and plans available in Arkansas, but there are also always other options available. An employer-sponsored plan is one option, if your employer offers a healthcare plan. Arkansas employers are not required by law to provide their staff with health insurance, yet many still do. Since group plans are frequently less expensive than purchasing a plan on your own, it’s a fantastic method to obtain coverage for less money.

Or, if you are older or low-income, you can get insurance that is funded by the government. Residents who are over 65 or have a qualifying disability are eligible for Medicare coverage. Medicaid provides low-income individuals with free or inexpensive coverage.

Whether you pick private health insurance, employer-provided insurance, or financial aid from the government, you should compare prices and coverage in your area to get the most cost-effective health insurance option. Working with a trained agent who can quickly compare all of your alternatives is the best approach to compare plans.

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How To Get the Most Savings

Arkansas is in the moderate range for healthcare costs per capita but tends to be on the cheaper side of the spectrum, ranking 33rd out of all 50 states. The average cost of healthcare in Arkansas is $8,912 per person for the year.

But even though healthcare is on the cheaper side in Arkansas, you can still find ways to save even more – and who doesn’t love to save? You can save on your healthcare costs if you live in an area with cheaper insurance, or – even easier – by taking care of your general health. For example, did you know Arkansas has an obesity rate of 30.40%? Your BMI can affect your health insurance premiums, so maintaining a healthy weight will make a difference. Tobacco use is another huge factor: smoking can raise your insurance premiums by 50% alone! 

Another great way to save on health insurance is by working with a professional agent. EZ’s agents can help find you any discounts available to you, and the best prices based on your needs. In fact, by working with an EZ agent you can save hundreds of dollars a year on health insurance costs. And the best part? All of our services are free and have no obligations.


Arkansas Health Insurance FAQS

  • Does Arkansas require you to have health insurance?

While the ACA still says citizens must have health insurance, there is no longer a federal tax penalty for not having insurance. Arkansas does not require its residents to have health insurance, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a policy.

  • What is the cheapest health insurance in Arkansas?

The cheapest health plan will most likely be a Marketplace Bronze plan, which can start as low as $322 a month. Remember, though, health insurance plan prices can vary depending on age, zip code, gender, and other factors.

  • How much does health insurance cost in Arkansas?

The average monthly premium for health insurance is $410, or $4,920 per year, with plans as low as $322 a month to as high as $1,400. But do not let these numbers scare you. More than half of uninsured people in Arkansas qualify for a $0 Bronze plan and don’t even know it.


 How to Enroll in Health Insurance in Arkansas

Enrolling in health insurance is easy! You can utilize My Arkansas Insurance’s site to compare and shop for plans. Or you can do it yourself by shopping through a private insurance company’s site. Either way, EZ is here to help guide you! You can get assistance from an EZ agent as you complete the application for a low-cost health insurance plan. We will discuss your financial and medical requirements, as well as any assistance you may be eligible for. We will compare all of the health insurance plans available after going over the information provided and give you all your options!

If you still have questions, feel free to give us a call at 877-670-3557. When you call you will be directly connected to a local insurance agent who can answer all of your questions and help you find the health insurance plan that works best for you.

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About The Author:
Cassandra Love

With over a decade of helpful content experience Cassandra has dedicated her career to making sure people have access to relevant, easy to understand, and valuable information. After realizing a huge knowledge gap Cassandra spent years researching and working with health insurance companies to create accessible guides and articles to walk anyone through every aspect of the insurance process.

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