Does Arkansas Have a State-run Exchange?

Yes, the exchange is known as Arkansas Health Connector

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Arkansas Insurance Exchange

Arkansas has had a bit of a bumpy start when it comes to their health insurance exchange. In 2011 they were looking at using a federally-facilitated platform but there were some questions in the legislation causing too much concern. Arkansas then decided to proceed with their own state-run exchange, which is now in the planning stages.


The sub-committee for Arkansas health insurance marketplace meets regularly and is waiting for the planning funding for their site. There are over 10 other states that have already implemented their own state-run health insurance exchanges including Connecticut, Hawaii, and Idaho.

Exchange Sub-committee member Quote

“You want to look at lessons learned, there's no point in reinventing the wheel if it's already working.” - Annabelle Imber Tuck

Arkansas Exchange Info Graphic

While there are many other opinions about how the state should proceed, Arkansas is mainly anxious to get the website up and running. The deadline for the state health insurance exchanges to be set up is 2014, so time is ticking. Each state exchange requires several features in order for the federal government to approve the exchange.

Required Features for the Arkansas Exchange

  • Present The Benefit Options. The state health insurance exchange must help users understand the health insurance plans they are looking through.
  • Developing A Toll Free Number. The state is required to provide a toll free number to allow consumers to ask questions and get help on health insurance plans they don't understand or need help with.
  • Navigator Program. This program helps each consumer to navigate through the website easily, understand, and compare purchase prices for each health insurance plan available.
  • Online Calculator. Creating an online calculator that provides accurate costs for plan policy, tax credits, and other benefits they may qualify for.
  • Networking Database. The networking database help them link  up computer systems to help them determine eligibility for those who are able to receive medicaid and other federal insurances when applying for a health insurance plan.