Arkansas legislators were briefed Thursday in advance of open-enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace, which becomes available on November 15th. 200,000 plus people in the private option and nearly 40,000 people earning above 138 percent of the poverty level using the exchange will be able to re-enroll. Enrollment will also be available to those who are not already participating in the healthcare exchange
Cindy Crone with the Arkansas Insurance Department says consumers should update their information on healthcare.gov.
“If they don’t go back but they have given the federal government permission to check their income they can stay in the same plan but they will get the same subsidy as they got this year. That may be more or less than their subsidy amount is figured to be which could mean they have to pay back or they aren’t getting the full benefit of the financial assistance available,” said Crone.
Republican Representative John Hutchison told Crone he is worried navigating insurance providers could be difficult. Hutchison’s concern was informed by incorrect figures that vary greatly from the current state of affairs.
Hutchison: I thought I read where it was 300 providers too. Is that correct?
Crone: 300 providers?
Hutchison: I swear I thought that’s what it is.
Crone: No sir, there are five issuers.
Hutchison: Maybe subcontracted maybe or something?
The Affordable Care Act provides a sliding scale of subsidies for private health insurance based on income. Reforms also have encouraged more providers to locate in the state.
(This story has been updated to clarify that those not currently using the Health Insurance Marketplace to purchase health insurance and access federal subsidies will able to enroll in addition to those that enrolled in the last enrollment period.)