Open enrollment for My Arkansas Insurance now available online

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace (AHIM) announced that open enrollment for the state's My Arkansas Insurance Individual Marketplace began on Nov 1. The program provides health insurance plans for individuals who do not have access to employer-provided insurance and will use the federal enrollment platform on Healthcare.gov.

Individual plans, available through AHIM's website, myARinsurance.com, are designed to meet the needs of Arkansas families and provide a variety of options to fit household budgets. Each plan from which to choose provides comprehensive benefits and is administered by trusted insurance providers.

Each option includes standard health care benefits including inpatient care, outpatient services, and prescription drugs. The plans also emphasize the importance of preventative care and screenings, most of which do not require a co-payment.

Most importantly, there are no lifetime limits and no restrictions for pre-existing conditions. And, financial help is available to help pay for the cost of insurance.

"The My Arkansas Insurance Individual Marketplace is a partnership with the federal enrollment system but is managed in Arkansas with federal grant funding mandated for marketing, outreach and education," said Cheryl Gardner, executive director of AHIM.

As of 2016, there are approximately 285,000 Arkansans who have no health insurance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, many of whom are classified as minorities or millennials.

"Now is the time for those who have no insurance or those who need to renew their coverage to explore their options for 2017," said Gardner. "The place to start is myARinsurance.com. We have people in almost every community in Arkansas who can sit with folks and walk them through the process of selecting the health insurance options that are right for them."

The open enrollment period began Nov. 1. To avoid a federally-mandated penalty on 2017 tax returns, individuals and/or families must be enrolled by Jan. 1, 2017. For those uninsured in 2016, the penalties could range from $695 to $2,083 for a single adult. Arkansans who currently have coverage through the marketplace should also visit myARinsurance.com by Dec. 15 to explore new plans and prices.

"All it takes is one catastrophic illness to send an individual or family into deep financial debt," Gardner stated. "Uninsured Arkansans should view individual health insurance coverage through myARinsurance.com as an investment in the health and wellbeing of their families."

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