November 1st, 2017 BY HealthNetwork
Owing as much to history as its position in the South, Arkansas has remained red in presidential contests aside from southerners Carter and Clinton. The state hovers near the middle in terms of both size and population. It’s the 33rd most populous and 29th largest state in the United States. Large economic sectors of the diverse Arkansas economy include agriculture, manufacturing and military production. Arkansas has seen one of the sharpest drops in uninsured citizens since 2014 when the ACA took effect.
Enrollment through the Years
Arkansas uses the federal marketplace for enrollment in Obamacare plans. Since 2015, the state has seen an increase in the number of people signing up for coverage through the marketplace.
- 65,684 Arkansans enrolled in 2015
- 73,648 Arkansans enrolled in 2016
- 70,404 Arkansans enrolled in 2017
In 2017, there were 21,395 new enrollees in an Obamacare marketplace plan. The remaining 49,009 people who signed up re-enrolled from the previous year. Political uncertainty surrounding the presidential election undoubtedly affected enrollment given the this year’s decline in signup numbers. Exchange customers in Arkansas tend to be older. The 55-64 demographic had the highest enrollment tally in 2017.
Arkansas has also benefited from Medicaid expansion. Over 321,000 Arkansans have enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program due to ACA expansion guidelines.
Cost assistance is available to eligible enrollees who choose a plan on the marketplace, typically those earning between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty limit. In 2017, 84 percent of people who enrolled in a marketplace plan in Arkansas received cost assistance in the form of federal subsidies, reducing the monthly cost of premiums.
For certain enrollees – those earning up to 250 percent of the federal poverty limit – cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) are also available if they choose a silver-level health plan. In 2017, 56 percent of Arkansas exchange customers received CSRs.
Carrier Participation & Plan Availability
Arkansans have just one carrier option in the marketplace for 2018, down from four in 2017. This year, there were 1,896 plans offered by four carriers across the state: Celtic Insurance Company; QCA Health Plan, Inc.; USAble Mutual Insurance Company; and QualChoice Life & Health Insurance Company, Inc. This does not mean that every county in Arkansas has the same options for health insurance. Plan availability varies by county even in states that only have one carrier.