AR Small Business Health Insurance Plans
Arkansas Small Business Health Insurance Plans 2022. The following is an overview of the rules that govern small group health insurance plans in the State of Arkansas.
The information that is discussed below includes the laws that have been mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "Obamacare"), as well as the laws that are required by Arkansas State government.
If you own and operate a AR small business and you already offer small group health insurance or you're thinking about offering small group health insurance - this guide can help you better understand the regulations, requirements and available Arkansas small business health insurance plans available.
Learn how to get Arkansas small business health insurance plans for 1 to 50 employees. The best small business health insurance providers in AR offer affordable rates, flexible coverage options and access to a large network of medical providers.
Below are some answers to commonly asked AR small business health insurance plan questions:
- How Much Does Arkansas Small Business Health Insurance Cost?
- What Are The Small Business Health Insurance Regulations In Arkansas?
- Does Arkansas Participate In The Affordable Care Act?
- What Are The Affordable Care Act Requirements For Arkansas Small Businesses?
- How Are AR Health Insurance Premiums Are Determined?
- What Types Of Health Insurance Plans Are Available For Arkansas Small Businesses?
How Much Does Arkansas Small Business Health Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard Arkansas small business health insurance policy ranges from around $583 to over $1706 per employee per month based on; single or family, location, coverages offered, deductibles and more.
What Are The Small Business Health Insurance Regulations In Arkansas?
In Arkansas, companies that sell small group health insurance are required to offer policies to qualifying small businesses. There are some caveats, however; for example, the health insurance company can base premiums on certain factors that pertain to the group, such as age and pre-existing health conditions.
Health insurance companies can also require business owners to pay a portion of their employees" premiums. Additionally, they may institute a minimum participation requirement, and if that requirement isn't met, Arkansas small business health insurance plans can be terminated.
According to Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the most sweeping overhaul of the American healthcare system since the creation of Medicaid and Medicare in the 1960s, was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.
Does Arkansas Participate In The Affordable Care Act?
In 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "ObamaCare") was passed by the United States Congress and was signed into law by Obama. Following its passage, provisions of the law have continued to be phased in, and as of January 1, 2014, the majority of American citizens and legal residents of the United States are required, by law, to have qualifying health care coverage.
If they fail to have coverage, they are responsible for paying an annual tax penalty for each month they aren't insured, which is known as the "individual mandate".
The cost of the penalty for failure to have qualifying coverage is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, or 1% of your total taxable income; whichever amount is higher - as much as $285 per family. In 2017, the penalty increased, and has continued to increase thereafter.
Qualifying Exemptions For The Individual Mandate
Individuals who meet one of the following are exempt from the individual mandate and the associated tax penalties in AR:
- Illegal aliens
- Jailed individuals
- Religious objections
- The cost of health insurance coverage is higher than 8% of your household income
- Those who aren't covered for less than three months during the calendar year
- Those who have hardship waivers
- Your income level is blow the 100% poverty level
What Are The Affordable Care Act Requirements For Arkansas Small Businesses?
If you're a small business owner in Arkansas, you must provide your employees with insurance. This is a requirement that was put into place by the Affordable Care Act.
Referred to as the Employer Shared Responsibility provision, all employers must offer their employees at least one of the ACA-compliant Arkansas small business health insurance plans, otherwise then can face fines of up to $2,000 per employee.
Arkansas small business owners can purchase coverage for their employees through the state's Small Health Option Program (SHOP) exchange, or from a private insurance agent or broker.
Affordable Care Act Standardized Essential Health Benefits
As per the ACA, all qualifying health insurance plans must offer 10 standardized essential benefits.
Depending on the state, additional benefits may also be required. The 10 ACA standardized essential benefits are as follows:
- Ambulatory patient services (medical care that is offered without being admitted to a hospital)
- Emergency services
- Hospitalizations, such as overnight stays and surgical procedures
- Lab services
- Mental health and substance abuse disorder services, including behavioral health treatments, such as psychotherapy and counseling
- Pediatric health care services, including vision and oral care; however, adult vision and dental coverage aren't essential health benefits under ACA
- Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care, including before and after birth
- Prescription pharmaceuticals
- Preventative and wellness services, as well as management for chronic diseases
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, including services and devices for injuries, disabilities, and chronic health conditions
Additional Health Benefits Mandated In Arkansas
In addition to the 10 ACA essential standardized benefits outlined above, in the State of Arkansas, qualifying health insurance policies must also provide the following benefits:
- Diabetes care management, including supplies and education, for individual, small, and large group plans
- Durable medical equipment, including prosthetic and orthotic devices, for individual, small, and large group plans, including HMOs
- Gastric electrical stimulation (gastric pacemakers) for individual, small, and large group plans, including HMOs
- Off-label prescription pharmaceuticals for individual, small, and large group plans, including HMOs
- Reconstructive surgery for individual, small, and large group plans, including HMOs
- Treatments for infertility, including in-vitro fertilization, for individual, small, and large group plans
Standardized Arkansas Small Business Health Insurance Plans
In order to make it easier to compare costs and benefits, the Affordable Care Act has designated all qualifying Arkansas small business health insurance plans to be one of four metal colors, including Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
Each of these designations is based on the average amount of health care costs that the plan will cover, which is illustrates at percentages of how much the insurance company will cover for health care, as well as the amount the insured will have to pay out-of-pocket.
All insurance companies that are participating in the federal or state health care exchange program must offer at least the Silver and Gold Arkansas small business health insurance plans.
All four of the metal plans have a shared maximum out-of-pocked amount that the insured can be charged during any calendar year. The following table illustrates this information:
|Metal Plan||Insurer Pays / Insured Pays|
|Bronze||60% / 40%|
|Silver||70% / 30%|
|Gold||80% / 20%|
|Platinum||90% / 10%|
As per the ACA, individuals cannot be denied coverage or charged higher premiums because of their past health history, or their gender.
Additionally, look-back and waiting periods cannot be imposed. Additionally, policies are effective when they are issued and all coverage is renewable if the individual chooses to renew the policy.
However, plans can be canceled if the individual fails to pay their premiums or commits fraud.
How Are AR Health Insurance Premiums Determined?
A premium is the amount the insured must pay out-of-pocket in order to maintain their health insurance policy. The premiums that are charged for any of the qualifying metal plans can be based on the following:
- Age of the individual
- Whether or not the individual uses tobacco
- Where the individual lives, based on a rating area
- The number of family members who will be enrolling
What Types Of Health Insurance Plans Are Available For Arkansas Small Businesses?
While there are several types of health insurance plans to choose from, the following plans are the most popular among AR small business owners:
Health Maintenance Organization - Simply known as an "HMO", this type of plan offers a variety of health-related services via a network of health care providers and hospitals that exclusively contract with the HMO, or who agree to offer their services to members of the HMO. Employees who participate in this type of plan usually have to choose a primary care physician (PCP), and receive most of their care from this physician. If a specialist is needed, the PCP will recommend one that is affiliated with the HMO.
Preferred Provider Organization - More commonly referred to simply as "PPO", this type of health insurance plan is the most common among Arkansas small business owners. The insurance company provides a preferred list of health care providers, and employees must receive their medical care from the doctors and hospitals on that list for their claims to be paid at the highest level possible - but they also have the flexibility to see any other provider anywhere in or out of state.
Point-of-Service Plan - Known as a (POS), this type of health insurance plan provides access to health care services at a lower overall cost, but with fewer choices. Members can access care from in-network or out-of-network providers and facilities, but coverage is better when you stay in-network. POS plans may vary, but generally, plans are considered a blend of HMO and PPO plans - offering more flexibility than HMOs, but less than PPOs.
Health Savings Account - A health savings account (HSA) is a special type of bank account that allows participants in the insurance plan to save money that can be used specifically for the medical care they require in the future. HSA-qualified health insurance plans are usually PPO plans that are specifically designed to be used with an HSA.
Indemnity Health Insurance - This type of health insurance plan allows members to control their own health care and to visit any doctor or hospital they choose. The insurance company would then pay a pre-determined percentage of the total charges for the services that were rendered. Employees may have to pay for some types of services up-front and then they can submit a request for reimbursement with the insurance company.
Arkansas Small Business Health Insurance Plans - The Bottom Line
We strongly advise business owners to speak with a CPA and a AR health insurance broker before jumping in and getting any type of the Arkansas small business health insurance plans available.
Make sure that you know exactly what each option can do for your company and the potential drawbacks associated with it.
Arkansas Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
If you're a business-minded individual who has your sights set on Arkansas for their operations need to take several factors into consideration before they actually start a business. Specifically, they should determine is the conditions are favorable for entrepreneurs in general, and if the conditions are favorable for their specific industries.
No matter how high-quality the goods and services you offer are, if the specific location isn't favorable for businesses - and your specific sector - your corporation is going to have a hard time succeeding.
In this guide, we provide a brief overview of key factors that indicate whether or not Arkansas is a suitable location for your operations. We also cover some of the key commercial insurance policies that business owners are required to carry.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Arkansas
Unemployment rate is a key factor in determining whether or not a state offers favorable conditions for those who are thinking about starting a business. According to most recent statistics issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of December, 2019, Arkansas' unemployment rate was 3.6%, 0.2% higher than the national unemployment rate, and 0.2% higher than it was in July of 2019.
However, it is 0.1% more people are employed now than they were in December, 2018, when the rate of unemployment was 3.7%. Despite the marginal increase, economists do predict that the workforce will increase or at the very least remain stable in upcoming years.
As with most states, the best places to start a business in Arkansas are the largest metropolitan areas. This includes Little Rock, Fayetteville, Fort Smith, and Hot Springs. The suburban areas that surround these cities are also good spots to establish a business. Some lesser-known cities are also experiencing economic and employment growth, such as Arkadelphia, Batesville, and Conway.
AR offers ample opportunities for business of all sizes and in a variety of industries. Some of the key sectors include:
- Aerospace and defense
- Forestry and timber
- Information technology
- Transportation and logistics
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Arkansas
The Arkansas Department of Insurance regulates insurance in AR. Arkansas mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Arkansas requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you have 3 or more employees. In the construction industry, businesses with fewer than three employees must provide workers' compensation. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Arkansas also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
Request a free Arkansas small business health insurance plans quote in these other AR cities: Alexander and Pottsville, Alma, Arkadelphia, Ashdown, Austin, Barling, Batesville, Beebe, Bella Vista, Benton, Bentonville, Berryville, Blytheville, Booneville, Brookland, Bryant, Cabot, Camden, Cave Springs, Centerton, Clarksville, Conway, Crossett, Dardanelle, De Queen, Dumas, East End, El Dorado, Elkins, Farmington, Fayetteville, Fordyce, Forrest City, Fort Smith, Gentry, Gibson, Gosnell, Gravette, Greenbrier, Greenwood, Harrison, Haskell and Cherokee Village, Heber Springs, Helena-West Helena, Hope, Hot Springs, Hot Springs Village, Jacksonville, Johnson, Jonesboro, Landmark, Little Rock, Lonoke, Lowell, Magnolia, Malvern, Manila, Marianna, Marion, Maumelle, McGehee, Mena, Monticello, Morrilton and Pocahontas, Mountain Home, Nashville, Newport, North Little Rock, Osceola, Ozark, Paragould, Paris, Pea Ridge, Piggott, Pine Bluff, Piney, Prairie Grove, Rockwell, Rogers, Russellville, Searcy, Shannon Hills, Sheridan, Sherwood, Siloam Springs, Southside, Springdale, Stuttgart, Texarkana, Tontitown, Trumann, Van Buren, Vilonia, Waldron, Walnut Ridge, Ward, Warren, West Memphis, White Hall, Wynne and all other AR cities & Arkansas counties near me in The Natural State.
Also find AR local small businesses by General Liability Class Code and learn about Arkansas small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including AR business insurance costs. Call us (501) 261-6101.
Small Business Health Insurance Plans By State
You can find more state specific small business health insurance information including requirments and coverage by clicking on the state below:
- North Carolina
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington D.C.
- West Virginia