Health Insurance

Best Cheap Health Insurance in Arkansas 2022

Best Cheap Health Insurance in Arkansas 2022

Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes in Arkansas

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Arkansas residents can sign up for affordable health coverage through the state health insurance exchange or Medicaid, if their income qualifies.

For 2022, the average monthly cost of health insurance in Arkansas is $411 for a 40-year-old.

We analyzed all of the health insurance policies in the state and found that Ambetter Balanced Care 12 was the cheapest Silver plan in every county. Although this may be the lowest-cost Silver health plan, you may want to purchase a plan in a different metal tier, as the best health insurance policy for you depends on your medical and financial situations.

Select a plan tier to learn more:

Read on for data on the cheapest plans by metal tier and the average costs of plans based on location and family size.

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 serves as a good starting point in comparing the costs and benefits you can expect from a given metal tier.

For example, the Bronze Ambetter Essential Care 1 plan has a monthly premium of $311 for a 40-year-old in Arkansas, which is $76 less than the Ambetter Balanced Care 12 Silver plan. But the Bronze plan's lower monthly rate comes at the expense of higher out-of-pocket costs such as copays and deductibles.

Metal tier
Cheapest plan
Monthly cost
Deductible
Maximum out-of-pocket
BronzeAmbetter Essential Care 1$311$8,600$8,600
Bronze ExpandedAmbetter Essential Care 5$339$8,300$8,700
SilverAmbetter Balanced Care 12$387$6,500$8,400
GoldAmbetter Secure Care 5$489$1,450$6,300

Metal tier and age are both important factors that affect your monthly health insurance premium. Higher metal tier policies have higher monthly rates, but they also have lower out-of-pocket costs, meaning you pay less when you need to use your health insurance. With all metal tiers, as your age increases, your monthly premium increases. For example, a 60-year-old in Arkansas pays $550 more per month than a 40-year-old for a Gold plan, but $319 more per month for a Bronze plan.

Cheapest health insurance companies in Arkansas

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Finding the best health insurance coverage in Arkansas

The best cheap health insurance plan in Arkansas varies 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, 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, 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 premiums.

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

The cheapest Gold plan in Arkansas is Ambetter Secure Care 5. Compare all tiers in Arkansas above.

Silver plans: Best for those with low incomes 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 Silver health plan for a 40-year-old is $387, and it has a deductible of $6,500. The Ambetter Secure Care 5 is a Gold plan with a significantly lower deductible of $1,450, but costs an average of $102 more per month.

Furthermore, lower-income households can qualify for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies with a Silver health plan, which would lower 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 for lower-income families.

The cheapest Silver plan in Arkansas is Ambetter Balanced Care 12. Compare all tiers in Arkansas above.

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 means 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%.

The cheapest Bronze plan in Arkansas is Ambetter Essential Care 1. Compare all tiers in Arkansas above.

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 state and federal exchange regulators.

In Arkansas, Gold health insurance plans had the biggest rise in premiums this year — increasing by 2% since 2021. Bronze plan premiums decreased by 3%, while Bronze Expanded and Silver rates remained relatively unchanged from 2021 to 2022.

Metal tier
2021
2022
Change
Bronze$329$319-3%
Bronze Expanded$359$3580%
Silver$418$4190%
Gold$541$5502%

Premiums are for a 40-year-old.

Best cheap health insurance companies in Arkansas

There are currently five health insurance companies on the Arkansas state marketplace.

Arkansas health insurance companies

  • HMO Partners, Inc.
  • QualChoice Life & Health Insurance Company, Inc./Ambetter
  • Celtic Insurance Company/Ambetter
  • QCA Health Plan, Inc.
  • USAble Mutual Insurance Company

We recommend starting your search for the best health insurance policy for you with Ambetter, as it offers the most affordable Silver plan in every county.

Cost of health insurance by county

The cheapest Silver health insurance plan in every county is Ambetter Balanced Care 12, and the policy is the same price no matter where you live in Arkansas. In fact, this is the case across the Arkansas health insurance marketplace — the county of residence does not affect your monthly premium for this plan.

County
Cheapest plan
Age 40
Couple, age 40
Couple, age 40 & child
ArkansasAmbetter Balanced Care 12$387$774$850
AshleyAmbetter Balanced Care 12$387$774$850
BaxterAmbetter Balanced Care 12$387$774$850
BentonAmbetter Balanced Care 12$387$774$850
BooneAmbetter Balanced Care 12$387$774$850
BradleyAmbetter Balanced Care 12$387$774$850
CalhounAmbetter Balanced Care 12$387$774$850
CarrollAmbetter Balanced Care 12$387$774$850
ChicotAmbetter Balanced Care 12$387$774$850
ClarkAmbetter Balanced Care 12$387$774$850
ClayAmbetter Balanced Care 12$387$774$850
CleburneAmbetter Balanced Care 12$387$774$850
Show All Rows

Average cost of health insurance by family size in Arkansas

In addition to the coverage tier, the size of your family and their ages affect your monthly health insurance premium. For children under age 15, the monthly health insurance premium remains flat. However, once a child turns 15 years old, the monthly health plan premium increases 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 $921 in Arkansas. For each additional child, the average cost of a policy increases by about $251, so a family of five, assuming two adults and three children, would cost an average of $502 more per month to insure. On the other hand, an adult couple with no children would pay $838 on average for health insurance.

Family size
Average cost
Individual + child$670
Couple, age 40$838
Family of three (adult couple and a child)$921
Family of four (adult couple and two children)$1,171
Family of five (adult couple and three children)$1,422

Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Children are assumed to be 14 or younger. Sample rates are based on the average cost of 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 & 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 metal tier, family size and county. Plans and providers for which county-level data was included in the CMS Crosswalk file were used in our analysis; those excluded from this dataset may not appear.

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.