Jennifer Wessel, JD, MPH
Senior Policy Analyst and Data Privacy Officer
Arkansas continues to have lower premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance than most of the surrounding states.
Our newest infographic in our Data Watch series shows the average annual premiums for individuals with employer-sponsored health plans in two size categories: fewer than 50 employees (small firms) and 50 or more employees (medium-to-large firms).
Between 2008 and 2020, premium increases in the region ranged from 29% in Mississippi to 68% in Texas for individuals in small firms and from 50% in Tennessee to 83% in Oklahoma for individuals in medium-to-large firms. Premiums in Arkansas increased by 49% for individuals in small firms and by 67% for individuals in medium-to-large firms over the same 12-year period. The infographic also displays percentage changes over four-year periods. Mississippi had the largest increase over a four-year period with a 34% jump between 2014 and 2017, a period in which Arkansas saw a 21% increase.
Data published by the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) were used to compare the average annual premiums for individuals among states in the region. Our previous infographic was adapted from an analysis by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center, which also uses MEPS data.