A pending case before the United States Supreme Court has significant implications for health care coverage and the insurance market in Arkansas. At issue in the case, styled King v. Burwell, is whether tax credits for low- and middle income individuals can be accessed by individuals in states that have elected not to establish state-based health insurance marketplaces as provided by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). A decision in the case is not expected until late June 2015, but states like Arkansas that have not yet established a state-based marketplace— meaning that a court decision in favor of the petitioners (King) could potentially eliminate access to tax credits and disrupt coverage for their citizens—are struggling to find alternative solutions. Some states view a decision for the petitioners as another opportunity to impede the implementation of the PPACA in their state.
This fact sheet discusses Arkansas’s planned transition to a state-based marketplace, the determinants, issues presented in the King case and potential outcomes, and pending legislation in Arkansas related to the establishment of a state-based marketplace.