Best Cheap Health Insurance in Arkansas 2019

Find the Cheapest Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area

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Arkansas residents can purchase affordable health coverage through the state health insurance exchange or through Medicaid if your income qualifies. We analyzed all the health insurance policies in the state and found that the Ambetter Balanced Care 4 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 $278 for a 40-year-old in Arkansas, which is about $40 less than the Ambetter Balanced Care 4 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 PlanDeductibleOut of Pocket MaximumMonthly Cost for a 40-Year-Old
CatastrophicCatastrophic$7,350$7,350$202
BronzeAmbetter Essential Care 6$5,500$7,150$278
Expanded BronzeBronze Plan 1$5,000$7,350$313
SilverAmbetter Balanced Care 4$7,050$7,050$318
GoldAmbetter Secure Care 2 with 3 Free PCP Visits$1,000$6,350$382

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

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 4 Silver health plan for a 40-year-old is $341, and it has a deductible of $7,050. The Ambetter Secure Care 2 is a Gold plan—it has a significantly lower deductible of $1,000 but would cost an average of $69 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 and Catastrophic Plans: Best for Young, Healthy People

Despite having the cheapest monthly rates, Catastrophic plans are limited to those under 30 or those who qualify for an exemption. Furthermore, these plans provide the least coverage, which means high cost sharing in the event you need medical attention. We would only recommend these plans if you have the financial means to cover a large portion of your health care expenses in the event of an emergency.

Bronze plans are open to everyone and similarly 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%.

Best Cheap Health Insurance Companies in Arkansas

Before 2017, Arkansas had a federally run health insurance exchange—today, it is run by the state. These are the four health insurance companies currently 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

Although the cheapest health insurance plan in every county is the Ambetter Balanced Care 4, the cost of a policy will be different depending on where you live. For example, the Balanced Care 4 plan costs a 40-year-old $353 per month in Pulaski County, but if the same 40-year-old were to live in Benton County, it would cost $334 per month. The table below shows sample monthly costs of health coverage in your county for an individual, a couple and a family of three.

CountyCheapest Silver PlanSingle Adult, Age 40Couple, Age 40Couple, Age 40, plus Child
ArkansasAmbetter Balanced Care 4$352$704$915
AshleyAmbetter Balanced Care 4$352$704$915
BaxterAmbetter Balanced Care 4$334$668$869
BentonAmbetter Balanced Care 4$334$668$869
BooneAmbetter Balanced Care 4$334$668$869
BradleyAmbetter Balanced Care 4$352$704$915
CalhounAmbetter Balanced Care 4$356$713$926
CarrollAmbetter Balanced Care 4$334$668$869
ChicotAmbetter Balanced Care 4$352$704$915
ClarkAmbetter Balanced Care 4$328$656$853
ClayAmbetter Balanced Care 4$329$658$855
CleburneAmbetter Balanced Care 4$353$706$918
ClevelandAmbetter Balanced Care 4$352$704$915
ColumbiaAmbetter Balanced Care 4$356$713$926
ConwayAmbetter Balanced Care 4$353$706$918
CraigheadAmbetter Balanced Care 4$329$658$855
CrawfordAmbetter Balanced Care 4$318$636$826
CrittendenAmbetter Balanced Care 4$329$658$855
CrossAmbetter Balanced Care 4$329$658$855
DallasAmbetter Balanced Care 4$352$704$915
DeshaAmbetter Balanced Care 4$352$704$915
DrewAmbetter Balanced Care 4$352$704$915
FaulknerAmbetter Balanced Care 4$353$706$918
FranklinAmbetter Balanced Care 4$318$636$826
FultonAmbetter Balanced Care 4$329$658$855
GarlandAmbetter Balanced Care 4$328$656$853
GrantAmbetter Balanced Care 4$353$706$918
GreeneAmbetter Balanced Care 4$329$658$855
HempsteadAmbetter Balanced Care 4$356$713$926
Hot SpringAmbetter Balanced Care 4$328$656$853
HowardAmbetter Balanced Care 4$356$713$926
IndependenceAmbetter Balanced Care 4$329$658$855
IzardAmbetter Balanced Care 4$329$658$855
JacksonAmbetter Balanced Care 4$329$658$855
JeffersonAmbetter Balanced Care 4$352$704$915
JohnsonAmbetter Balanced Care 4$318$636$826
LafayetteAmbetter Balanced Care 4$356$713$926
LawrenceAmbetter Balanced Care 4$329$658$855
LeeAmbetter Balanced Care 4$352$704$915
LincolnAmbetter Balanced Care 4$352$704$915
Little RiverAmbetter Balanced Care 4$356$713$926
LoganAmbetter Balanced Care 4$318$636$826
LonokeAmbetter Balanced Care 4$353$706$918
MadisonAmbetter Balanced Care 4$334$668$869
MarionAmbetter Balanced Care 4$334$668$869
MillerAmbetter Balanced Care 4$356$713$926
MississippiAmbetter Balanced Care 4$329$658$855
MonroeAmbetter Balanced Care 4$352$704$915
MontgomeryAmbetter Balanced Care 4$328$656$853
NevadaAmbetter Balanced Care 4$356$713$926
NewtonAmbetter Balanced Care 4$334$668$869
OuachitaAmbetter Balanced Care 4$356$713$926
PerryAmbetter Balanced Care 4$353$706$918
PhillipsAmbetter Balanced Care 4$352$704$915
PikeAmbetter Balanced Care 4$328$656$853
PoinsettAmbetter Balanced Care 4$329$658$855
PolkAmbetter Balanced Care 4$318$636$826
PopeAmbetter Balanced Care 4$353$706$918
PrairieAmbetter Balanced Care 4$353$706$918
PulaskiAmbetter Balanced Care 4$353$706$918
RandolphAmbetter Balanced Care 4$329$658$855
Saint FrancisAmbetter Balanced Care 4$329$658$855
SalineAmbetter Balanced Care 4$353$706$918
ScottAmbetter Balanced Care 4$318$636$826
SearcyAmbetter Balanced Care 4$334$668$869
SebastianAmbetter Balanced Care 4$318$636$826
SevierAmbetter Balanced Care 4$356$713$926
SharpAmbetter Balanced Care 4$329$658$855
StoneAmbetter Balanced Care 4$329$658$855
UnionAmbetter Balanced Care 4$356$713$926
Van BurenAmbetter Balanced Care 4$353$706$918
WashingtonAmbetter Balanced Care 4$334$668$869
WhiteAmbetter Balanced Care 4$353$706$918
WoodruffAmbetter Balanced Care 4$329$658$855
YellAmbetter Balanced Care 4$353$706$918

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 $1,066 in Arkansas. For each additional child, the average cost of a policy increases by $246, so a family of five, assuming two adults and three children, would cost an average of $492 more per month to insure. On the other hand, an adult couple with no children would pay $821 on average for health insurance.

Family SizeAverage Monthly Cost of Health Plan
Single Adult$410
Adult Couple$821
Family of three (Adult couple and a child)$1,066
Family of four (Adult couple and two children)$1,312
Family of five (Adult couple and three children)$1,558
Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in Arkansas.

Comments and Questions

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.