Affordable Care Act and Arkansas

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has pushed billions of dollars into state economies, mostly through expanding Medicaid to cover low-income adults and creating Health Insurance Exchanges with subsidies for those who don’t have access to employer plans or other sources of coverage. The law has also significantly reduced uncompensated healthcare costs for the poorest residents, saving the state significant money on care that would otherwise go unpaid. The RAND Corporation estimates that Arkansas’ share of the national reduction in uncompensated care costs is about $430 million annually.

The Affordable Care Act Arkansas by EHG most insurance companies that offer individual and small group policies to spend at least 80% of every premium dollar on claims and activities that improve quality, rather than administrative expenses. It also requires most insurers to offer a choice of at least two qualified, competing plans for individuals and small groups.

This competition has led to a large shift in enrollment. Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and QualChoice have combined to enroll more Arkansans in private plans than any other company. In the government-subsidized Arkansas Works program, Blue Cross and Blue Shield has enrolled twice as many people as Centene.

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Many Arkansans are eligible for a tax credit that will allow them to choose an Arkansas Blue Cross plan with a very low or zero monthly premium. This means they can see any Blue Cross doctor they want, get preventive care at no cost to them and have the kind of high-quality healthcare that has earned Arkansas Blue Cross a national reputation.

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