The Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace Act was signed by the governor on April 23, 2013. 1 The act is intended to provide the state with more control of its Health Insurance Marketplace (HIM), through which Arkansans can purchase health care coverage. The act creates a board that will determine whether it is in the best interest of the state to transition from a federally facilitated marketplace (FFM) state partnership (FFM partnership) to a state-based marketplace (SBM). The decision will have an impact on the insurance market in Arkansas generally, but it will also have an impact on Arkansas’s innovative approach to Medicaid expansion—the “Private Option”—whereby low-income Arkansans can select federally subsidized health care coverage through the HIM.
This issue brief focuses on the history of the formation of the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace (AHIM), its board of directors (board), board actions, and the anticipated direction of the AHIM.