by David Ramsey
Four insurance carriers submitted letters of intent to the Arkansas Insurance Department yesterday to offer plans in 2014 on the Health Insurance Marketplace, the regulated marketplace, or "exchange," created as part of the Affordable Care Act.
State health officials had previously said that six to eight carriers might participate, while Public Health chair John Burris said yesterday that he would consider three to four "a home run in year one."
More details to come. See press release from the Insurance Department after the jump.
Insurance Commissioner Announces Letters of Intent for Health Insurance Marketplace
LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS (June 4, 2013) ─ Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford today announced receipt of letters of intent from four companies intending to sell health insurance policies on the Federally-facilitated Health Insurance Marketplace (HIM) for the 2014 plan year. Companies expressing their intent to participate are:
Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield
National Blue Cross Blue Shield Multi-state Plan
Celtic Insurance Company/NovaSys Health
QCA Health Plan d/b/a Qual Choice of Arkansas
Along with their intent to participate, these companies submitted their planned service areas for 2014 which will be reviewed for adequacy. The Arkansas Healthcare Independence Act of 2013 requires that consumers in each of Arkansas’s 75 counties have a choice among at least two health insurance issuers.
“I am pleased with the level of participation the industry continues to show,” said Bradford. “It has always been my desire, and in the best interest of the Arkansas consumer, to have as much competition and choice as possible on the Health Insurance Marketplace.”
Exchange Planning Director Cynthia Crone said, “We are encouraged with this response to the new Marketplace and anticipate the competition will keep premium prices low for all Arkansans.”
Open enrollment for the HIM begins October 1, 2013, and continues until March 31, 2014. Consumers can access the HIM through the Arkansas Health Connector beginning October 1, 2013. Additional information is available at http://hbe.arkansas.gov/ .