Health Insurance

Best Cheap Health Insurance in Arkansas 2020

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Arkansas residents can purchase affordable health coverage through the state health insurance exchange or through Medicaid if your income qualifies.

For 2020, the average health insurance cost is $405 — rising 4% or $17 — for a 40-year-old.

We analyzed all the health insurance policies in the state and found that the Ambetter Balanced Care 12 (2020) was the cheapest Silver plan in every county. Although this may be the lowest-cost Silver health plan, the best health insurance policy for you may differ depending on your medical and financial situation.

Cheapest health insurance by metal tier

We compared health insurance plans in Arkansas to find the cheapest policies available for each tier of coverage. The available insurers and policies may change depending on the county you live in, but the table below can serve as a good starting point in comparing the costs and benefits you can expect from a given metal tier.

For example, the Bronze Plan 1 has a minimum monthly premium of $320 for a 40-year-old in Arkansas, which is about $60 less than the Ambetter Balanced Care 12 (2020) Silver plan. But while the Bronze plan may have a lower monthly rate, that comes at the expense of higher out-of-pocket costs such as copays and deductibles.

Metal tierCheapest planDeductibleMaximum out-of-pocketMonthly cost for a 40-year-old
Expanded BronzeBronze Plan 1$7,000$8,150$320
SilverAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$6,500$8,150$358
GoldAmbetter Secure Care 5 (2020)$1,250$5,900$461

Metal tier and age are both important factors that affect your monthly health insurance premiums. Higher metal tier policies will have a higher monthly rate, but they also have lower out-of-pocket costs, meaning you'll pay less in the event you need to use your health insurance. Regardless of metal tier, as your age increases, your monthly premium will increase. A 40-year-old, for instance, would pay 53% lower health insurance rates than a 60-year-old in Arkansas, regardless of their plan's metal tier.

Average Monthly Cost of Health Insurance Plans by Metal Tier in Arkansas

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Finding the best health insurance coverage in Arkansas

The best cheap health insurance plan in Arkansas will vary depending on the policies available in your county, as well as your chosen level of coverage.

Higher metal tier health plans, such as Gold plans, will typically have more expensive monthly premiums, but they also come with lower out-of-pocket expenses, like deductibles, copays and coinsurance. If you think you may become sick or already have high recurring medical costs, like prescriptions, a higher metal tier health insurance policy may be the best choice for you.

Alternatively, if you're young and healthy — and have the financial means to pay higher medical costs in the event of an unexpected emergency — a lower metal tier health plan may be the better choice to cut costs.

Gold plans: Best for high expected medical costs

Gold plans are considered higher metal tier health plans, which typically cover the greatest share of out-of-pocket expenses. However, these benefits come with more expensive monthly premiums.

Despite the higher monthly rates, these health insurance plans can be the most cost-effective for those with high expected medical costs or recurring medical conditions that require regular care. On average, you can expect a Gold plan to cover roughly 80% of your health care expenses, while you pay the other 20%.

Silver plans: Best for those with low income or average medical costs

Silver plans are best for those looking for a balance between the higher monthly premiums in a Gold plan and the lower coverage found in Bronze or Catastrophic metal tiers.

For instance, the average monthly cost of the Ambetter Balanced Care 12 (2020) Silver health plan for a 40-year-old is $358, and it has a deductible of $6,500. The Ambetter Secure Care 5 (2020) is a Gold plan — it has a significantly lower deductible of $1,250 but would cost an average of $103 more per month.

Furthermore, lower-income households can qualify for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies with a Silver health plan, which lowers out-of-pocket expenses. Typical Silver plans cover about 70% of your health care costs, while you pay 30%. But under CSR subsidies, you could qualify for a Silver plan that covers up to 94% of your health care costs. Therefore, these health policies often offer the best-value coverage for lower income families.

Bronze plans: Best for young, healthy people

Bronze plans offer cheaper monthly premiums than higher metal tier plans at the expense of reduced coverage and higher out-of-pocket costs. This would mean paying more out of pocket before your health insurance kicks in. On average, you can expect a Bronze plan to cover about 60% of your health costs, while you pay for the other 40%. Expanded Bronze plans increase coverage to about 65%, while you pay roughly 35%.

Health insurance rate changes in Arkansas

Health insurance premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums are set annually by insurance providers and then approved by the federal exchange regulators.

In Arkansas, Gold health insurance plans has the biggest rise — increasing 10% since 2018. Additionally, Silver plans decreased by 2% over the same period.

Metal tier2018 Premium2020 Premium% Change
Expanded Bronze$322$3436.66%
Silver$410$400-2.32%
Gold$438$48210.00%
2018 and 2020 premiums are for a 40-year-old adult.

Best cheap health insurance companies in Arkansas

There are currently four health insurance companies on the Arkansas state marketplace:

Arkansas Health Insurance Companies

  • Celtic Insurance Co.
  • QCA Health Plan Inc.
  • QualChoice Life & Health Insurance Co. Inc.
  • USAble Mutual Insurance Co.

Out of these four health insurance companies, only QualChoice is not available in every county. We recommend starting your search for the best health insurance policy with Celtic Insurance Co., as it offers the cheapest Silver plan in every county.

Cost of health insurance by county

The cheapest health insurance plan in every county is the Ambetter Balanced Care 12 (2020), and starting in 2020 the policy is the same price no matter where you live in Arkansas. Furthermore, this change has been unanimous across the health insurance marketplace where the rating area of your county will not change the premium for your policy.

CountyCheapest PlanAge 40Couple, age 40Couple, age 40 + child
ArkansasAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
AshleyAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
BaxterAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
BentonAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
BooneAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
BradleyAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
CalhounAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
CarrollAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
ChicotAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
ClarkAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
ClayAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
CleburneAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
ClevelandAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
ColumbiaAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
ConwayAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
CraigheadAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
CrawfordAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
CrittendenAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
CrossAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
DallasAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
DeshaAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
DrewAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
FaulknerAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
FranklinAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
FultonAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
GarlandAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
GrantAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
GreeneAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
HempsteadAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
Hot SpringAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
HowardAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
IndependenceAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
IzardAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
JacksonAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
JeffersonAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
JohnsonAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
LafayetteAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
LawrenceAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
LeeAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
LincolnAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
Little RiverAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
LoganAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
LonokeAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
MadisonAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
MarionAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
MillerAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
MississippiAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
MonroeAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
MontgomeryAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
NevadaAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
NewtonAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
OuachitaAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
PerryAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
PhillipsAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
PikeAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
PoinsettAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
PolkAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
PopeAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
PrairieAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
PulaskiAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
RandolphAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
Saint FrancisAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
SalineAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
ScottAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
SearcyAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
SebastianAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
SevierAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
SharpAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
StoneAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
UnionAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
Van BurenAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
WashingtonAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
WhiteAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
WoodruffAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929
YellAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$358$715$929

Average cost of health insurance by family size in Arkansas

In addition to the coverage tier, the size of your family and their ages will affect your monthly health insurance premium. For children under the age of 15, the monthly health insurance premium remains flat. However, once a child turns 15 years old, the monthly health plan premium will increase annually as they get older.

The average cost of a Silver health insurance policy for a family of three, assuming two 40-year-old parents and a child, is $1,041 in Arkansas. For each additional child, the average cost of a policy increases by $240, so a family of five, assuming two adults and three children, would cost an average of $480 more per month to insure. On the other hand, an adult couple with no children would pay $801 on average for health insurance.

Family SizeAverage monthly cost of health plan
Individual + Child$640
Couple, age 40$801
Family of three (Adult couple and a child)$1,041
Family of four (Adult couple and two children)$1,280
Family of five (Adult couple and three children)$1,520
Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in Arkansas.

Methodology

Arkansas health insurance plans, premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums for this report were found on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services government website. Using the many health insurance variables, ValuePenguin was able to compile averages and minimums for a variety of metrics such as by metal tier, family size and county.

Maxime Croll

Maxime is a Director at ValuePenguin focusing on the insurance industry. Previously she was the Director of Product Marketing at CoverWallet, a commercial insurance startup, and helped launch NerdWallet's personal insurance business. Maxime has contributed insurance insights and analysis to Forbes, USA Today, The Hill, and many other publications.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.