What Arkansas Residents Need to Know About Obama Care (the Affordable Care Act or ACA) Coverage for 2018

Arkansas Obamacare

What Arkansas Residents Need to Know About Obamacare

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What Arkansas Residents Need to Know About Obamacare

Open enrollment for 2018 health insurance plans begins November 1, 2017 and ends December 15, 2017.

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has not been repealed. You are still required to comply with the ACA and you are still entitled to its benefits.

This website provides information about getting health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including:

To begin, keep in mind these key points about health insurance in Arkansas:

1. You are legally required to have health insurance unless you qualify for an exemption.

The Affordable Care Act requires you to enroll in a health insurance plan unless you qualify for an exemption from the law. You must report whether you have coverage -- or whether you are exempt -- when you file your taxes in April.

To learn whether your current health plan satisfies the requirements of the Affordable Care Act or to find out whether you qualify for an exemption, see Do I Need to Get Obamacare in Arkansas?

2. Open enrollment for 2018 health insurance plans runs from November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017.

For 2018 health plans, open enrollment runs from November 1, 2017 through December 15, 2017. That's only half the time of previous open enrollment periods, so act promptly to be sure you are covered.

During open enrollment, residents of Arkansas may use the website HealthCare.gov to choose their health insurance plan, apply for cost-saving subsidies, and get other help they need.

To get coverage beginning January 1, you must enroll by the end of the day on Friday, December 15.

If you are currently uninsured, you can use the state marketplace to compare plans and enroll in a plan that meets your needs. 

If you already have health insurance, you will be automatically re-enrolled in your existing plan if it is still available. Even if you can continue in the plan you have now, however, open enrollment provides an opportunity to review your coverage, compare plans, and switch to a new one if you find a better option.

To learn more about enrollment, see How To Sign Up for Obamacare in Arkansas.

3. Tax credits are still available to save you money.

Many people who sign up for insurance at the Arkansas exchange will be eligible for cost savings. For 2018 health insurance plans, savings are available in the form of tax credits to help you lower your premiums.

In addition, if your income is very low, you may qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid in Arkansas.

For more information, see Ways to Save Money on Obamacare in Arkansas.

4. Trump's cancellation of subsidies for insurers may not hit your pocketbook in 2018.

On October 12, 2017, the Trump administration ended subsidies for insurers called "cost-sharing reductions." These payments to insurance companies allowed them to reduce deductibles and co-payments for Americans with incomes between 100% and 250% of the federal poverty level.

In the long run, this decision could destabilize the Affordable Care Act's insurance marketplaces. For 2018 coverage, however, many people's pocketbooks may escape direct effects because HealthCare.gov tax credits will increase to cover the damages.

If you do NOT qualify for tax credits through HealthCare.gov, you may get a better deal by purchasing an insurance plan directly from an insurance company. Be sure to compare the costs of plans available to you through HealthCare.gov to those available directly from insurers in your area.

An insurance agent or broker may be the best bet for sorting out your options. To find one, see How To Sign Up for Obamacare in Arkansas.

5. You can get help signing up if you need it. 

This year, it may be more difficult to find enrollment help if you need it. The Trump administration has drastically cut funding for the programs that provide enrollment help. But that doesn't mean you have to fend for yourself. 

For the resources available to you, see Get Help Finding a Health Insurance Plan in Arkansas.


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  • Do I Have to Get Obamacare in Arkansas?

    Learn which Arkansas residents must have health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) and find out about the penalty you'll pay if you don't have a qualifying health plan.

  • How To Sign Up for Obamacare in Arkansas

    Learn where Arkansas residents should go to get health plans under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and how to get help with the application process.

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