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American Indian / Alaska Native

Insurance Coverage

You cannot be turned down for health insurance for health conditions you already have.  Even if you have ongoing medical conditions like diabetes or heart disease, you can still get health insurance.

The Affordable Care Act

ACA is a law that changed the way people can get individual health insurance. If you get insurance through work, you already have coverage. However, not all jobs offer insurance. People who don’t have insurance through work can buy it through the Health Insurance Marketplace ( The Health Insurance Marketplace gives American Indians special help to sign up and buy insurance. Most Americans have to sign up for insurance during certain times of the year. American Indians can sign up once per month on the Marketplace.

American Indian and Alaska Native communities

What are the health care choices for AI/AN?

If you are a member of a federally recognized tribe or an Alaska Native, you can get health care in several ways:

Health Insurance - Health insurance does not replace Indian health care- it supports it.

  • You can enroll in coverage anytime throughout the year.
  • You can get access to a wider network of doctors and hospitals when you need specialized care.
  • You can keep up with important preventive health screenings to help stay healthy.

Medicaid and ARKids

  • Medicaid is a government program that provides health coverage to certain low-income people.
  • ARKids is a health insurance program that covers well-child checkups, eye exams, dental checkups and more in the state of Arkansas.
  • American Indians who meet their state’s requirements may also qualify for Medicaid or ARKids coverage.
  • With Medicaid, there is little or no cost for care.

How to sign up for Health Insurance

Members of federally recognized tribes or Alaska Natives can enroll in health insurance during any month - not just during the "Open Enrollment" period that happens once each year. 

IMPORTANT:  To get tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, you will need to sign up for insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace at or call 1-800-318-2596.  Note: You may not see all the financial help you qualify for until you complete the application process. 

Here's how it works: 

  1. Compare plans offered in your area.  Rates may vary depending on where you live.
  2. Shop for a plan that fits your needs and budget.  Find out what kind of financial help you can get to cover some or all of the costs. 
  3. Sign up for a plan.  You can sign up for coverage online, over the phone, or with a paper application.  


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Things to Consider

Keep in mind that signing up for health insurance does not mean you can no longer visit your Indian health care provider. Insurance is not meant to replace tribal health - but it can support it.

  • You can keep seeing your Indian health care provider.
  • When you use your insurance card at an Indian health care provider, the insurance pays for the visit - not your tribal health system. This means more resources are left in your tribal health system to cover health care in your community.
  • If you need care that you can't get from an Indian health care provider, your health insurance plan may have doctors and hospitals that provide the services you need.
  • American Indians do not have to buy health insurance.
  • American Indians can get help paying for health insurance this includes tax credits and zero or limited cost-sharing plans.