(Talk Business & Politics) – The Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace is in the midst of its annual enrollment period and, this year, the platform has adopted a new approach to signing up participants.
Created to manage a state-based health insurance exchange in Arkansas in accordance with state and federal law, AHIM’s enrollment period for health insurance enrollees began Nov. 1 and will end Dec. 15. The exchange operates under the brand My Arkansas Insurance and can be accessed here.
This year, consumer assistance through AHIM will shift from a navigator model to one that encourages the use of agents and brokers in local communities. AHIM’s help line will still steer participants to evaluate their options, but local brokers and agents will have a larger role in this enrollment process due to their increasing market share and physical presence locally.
“Our assisters provide the same important roles as before, but through a more streamlined process,” said Angela Lowther, AHIM Executive Director. “Since 40 percent of all active exchange members are supported by licensed agents and brokers, it made sense to adjust our strategy to better support the people who have the most experience in helping Arkansas consumers find affordable policies that best fit their needs.”
Enrollments assisted by Arkansas agents and brokers increased five percent from 2017 to 2018. For the period covering 2018 Open Enrollment through March of this year, agents and brokers helped enroll more than 38,000 members in the state exchange in Arkansas, according to AHIM.
“The new direction AHIM has set is in direct response to the Trump Administration’s national efforts to work with private industry partners to provide cost-effective, accountable consumer assistance solutions that better support communities,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who has endorsed the new approach. “Making sure that every Arkansan in every county has access to support is a practical solution that will only strengthen the state’s efforts in making sure that our number of uninsured is as low as possible.”
Individual plans available through the AHIM website, myARinsurance.com, are designed to meet the needs of Arkansas families and provide a variety of options to fit household budgets. Each plan from which to choose provides comprehensive benefits and is administered by existing insurance providers.
Any Arkansan needing assistance can call the My Arkansas HelpLine toll free at 1-844-355-3262, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or visit the website at www.myarinsurance.com.
Also, learn more through this interview with Lowther in a recent edition of Talk Business & Politics Daily.