ObamaCare came into being in 2010 when then-president Barack Obama passed the Affordable Care Act. Since then, ObamaCare has assisted many Americans in several different states with gaining access to affordable healthcare.
Arkansas has slowly but surely become the poster child for ObamaCare after it was well embraced since its early years.
If you have not yet signed up because you don’t know what it means or how it works – look no further than this comprehensive guide.
We take a look at what ObamaCare is, the enrollment periods in Arkansas, and all the documentation you need.
About ObamaCare In Arkansas
ObamaCare refers to the Affordable Care Act. Its primary purpose is to assist Americans with purchasing health insurance that suits both their needs and their budget.
The key feature of ObamaCare is that health insurance companies are required by law to provide certain levels of coverage with each healthcare plan. This is regardless of the type of plan or premiums paid.
Originally, the Act required that all Americans have health insurance to qualify for the benefits under ObamaCare.
Since 2019, however, this is no longer required at a Federal level but may still be required in some states. So, be sure to check the rules and regulations applicable to your state. Arkansas, for instance, no longer requires this.
Another great feature of ObamaCare is the marketplaces that assist Americans with obtaining the perfect healthcare plan. They do so by providing platforms on which the users have easy access to plan comparisons and reviews.
What Does ObamaCare Cover?
The Affordable Care Act requires that all health insurance plans have a standard level of coverage. Other events and health issues not listed below will depend on the type of plan you choose.
The standard coverage under ObamaCare includes:
- Preventative care
- Emergency care
- Pregnancy and newborn care
- Outpatient care when not admitted to the hospital
- Mental health services and substance use disorders
- Pediatric care
- Laboratory services
What Are The Different ObamaCare Plans?
There are four main plans for the ObamaCare program. These plans may differ when it comes to premiums payable and certain levels of cover not listed as standard cover.
The four plans are:
- Bronze plan: This plan has lower deductibles and lower levels of coverage than the silver, gold, and platinum plans.
- Silver plan: This plan has moderate costs and a lower deductible.
- Gold plan: Here you will have higher monthly premiums but lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.
- Platinum plan: This plan has the highest monthly premium with one of the lowest deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.
When Did ObamaCare Come To Arkansas?
ObamaCare-compliant plans first came to Arkansas in 2014. As a result, many of the rates and premiums at this stage were guesswork. This is because there had not yet been claims in the ObamaCare-compliant market.
The Impact Of ObamaCare In Arkansas
Overall, Arkansas has welcomed ObamaCare and this means a positive impact on the state. For example, since ObamaCare landed in Arkansas up until 2016, the number of uninsured individuals decreased by 50.1%.
Another positive is that Arkansas will see an influx of federal dollars as a result of ObamaCare. This is because the increase in federal spending for subsidies and medical aid outweighs decreased spending on Medicare and increases in taxes and fees.
Who Is Eligible For ObamaCare Enrollment?
Any legal citizen is eligible to enroll in ObamaCare – no matter their income.
Requirements for being eligible for ObamaCare include:
- You live in the U.S.
- You are a U.S. citizen
- And you are not incarcerated
In addition, you must not be covered by Medicare and you must be purchasing private healthcare insurance.
Further, it’s important to note that qualifying for ObamaCare enrollment does not necessarily mean you qualify for all subsidies.
If you have medical insurance through your employer, you will use this channel to sign up. If you wish to sign up for Medicaid or CHIP, you can do so using the marketplace. Individuals who qualify for Medicare, however, must sign up for this insurance separately.
How To Sign Up For ObamaCare In Arkansas
There are several ways to sign up for ObamaCare in Arkansas.
The first method involves heading to HealthCare.Gov. On the homepage dashboard, select ‘take the first step and apply.’ If you are renewing, choose the ‘log in to change/renew plans’ option.
Once you have selected the option to apply, you will be asked to insert your state. Click the drop-down and select Arkansas. Then, create an account to store all your personal medical information for yourself and your family.
Arkansas Health Insurance Marketing
Another option is to sign up for ObamaCare by heading to your state’s health insurance marketplace. For Arkansas, it’s My Arkansas Insurance.
Here you will follow a similar process but you are also given the advantage of comparing plans and reading reviews.
Use A Recognized Insurance Company That Offers ACA Plans
There are several health insurance carriers in Arkansas that offer ACA plans. These include:
Get Help From A Marketplace Rep
You could also sign up through in-person help by heading to https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/, or you could contact the 24/7 marketplace hotline at 1-800-318-2596. As a last resort, you can mail in an application.
Enrolling In ObamaCare: What You Need To Know
When signing up for ObamaCare, no matter what platform you use, it must be done during open enrollment.
Open enrollment is the only yearly period in which you can enroll and determine whether you qualify for cost assistance.
The open enrollment period differs from state to state so it’s important to check the different deadlines. For most states, it is between November 1 and January 15th.
If you miss the open enrollment period, you can only enroll if you qualify for special enrollment. This relates to a life-changing event like divorce, getting married, moving, or having a child.
If you miss early enrollment and do not qualify for special enrollment, then you may have to look at short-term insurance policies until the next enrollment period.
What Do You Need To Sign Up For ObamaCare?
Before starting any application, be sure that you have all the necessary information on hand.
You will need the following:
- Your medical history. Thanks to ObamaCare, pre-existing conditions are not taken into account when it comes to setting your insurance premium. But, your smoking habits, age, and weight may still affect the cost and so you’ll need to disclose this information.
- Social security number or document number immigrants in the country legally.
- Projected income for the upcoming year.
- The previous year’s tax information for your household.
- Policy numbers and information relating to current medical health schemes you are on.
- Employer information and salary slips for each member of your household that requires coverage.
- Any other information you deem to be important or that may affect your medical health insurance scheme.
ObamaCare is a revolutionary addition to the American healthcare system. Since 2010, it has helped millions of Americans gain access to affordable healthcare. From having access to cost and plan comparisons on marketplaces to the exclusion of pre-existing conditions, ObamaCare has changed the way we see healthcare and provide healthcare.
So, if you haven’t already, be sure to sign up. Follow this guide if you are unsure of how to enroll or what you need to do so. Or, feel free to reach out to one of our agents at Enhance Health to assist with the process from start to finish!