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Frequently Asked Questions


Here at the Arkansas Insurance Department we receive many questions regarding health insurance costs; where premium dollars are spent and who protects consumers like you from unreasonable premium rate increases. The Health Insurance Premium Rate Review Division is tasked with protecting consumers from unreasonable rate increases. Below is a list of questions and answers regarding the rate review process and what you can do if you feel your insurance premium was increased incorrectly. For additional questions, please call the Arkansas Insurance Department 1-800-282-9134.


  1. What is an insurance premium?
  2. How do insurance companies determine premium health insurance rates?
  3. What is the Arkansas Insurance Department's (AID) role in setting health insurance premiums?
  4. Why do my premiums go up? 
  5. What if I feel my health insurance premium increased incorrectly? 
  6. How can I reduce my insurance premiums?


Q. What is an insurance premium?

A. A premium is the amount paid for your health insurance or plan. You and/or your employer usually pay monthly, quarterly, or yearly.


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Q. How do insurance companies determine premium health insurance rates?

A. There are five factors that can affect Marketplace plan prices: location, age, family size, tobacco use, and plan category. Health status and gender do not affect pricing.



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Q. What is the Arkansas Insurance Department's (AID) role in setting health insurance premiums?

A.  An insurance company submits a rate increase request with the Arkansas Insurance Department. The state has authority to review individual and small group rates. A small group is currently defined in the Affordable Care Act as 100 employees or fewer. During the premium rate review process, consumers will be provided an opportunity to submit comments on specific rate increases proposed by the insurance companies.


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Q.  Why do my premiums go up?

A.  Medical costs are driven by everything from increases in hospital and doctor charges to greater use of medical care due to new technologies and increased usage of prescription drugs. This is commonly referred to as the medical trend.


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Q.  What if I feel my health insurance premium increased incorrectly?

A.  If consumers feel their health insurance premium has increased incorrectly, contact the Consumer’s Assistance Program (CAP) at 855-332-2227 or 501-371-2645. Consumers may also log onto www.insurance.arkansas.gov. CAP is a federally funded program and works to assist consumers with filing complaints and appeals, enrolling into health coverage, and educating consumers on their rights and responsibilities with respect to group health plans and health insurance coverage.  


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Q.  How can I reduce my insurance premiums?

A

  1. Shop around for health insurance.
  2. Consider raising your deductible.
  3. Live a healthy lifestyle.
  4. Get educated on health insurance and understand your benefits.



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For complaints or questions regarding health insurance premium rates, contact the Consumer Services Division at 800-852-5494 OR 501-371-2640