Student Health Insurance in Arkansas for 2023

WRITTEN BY: Craig Sturgill


Healthcare is essential for students as they head off to college or university. Most college students assume they don’t need health insurance because they’re young and healthy. Young adults are the age group with the highest uninsured rate. We’re here to give you all the information about Arkansas student health insurance so you’re always covered.

What are the Arkansas health insurance options available for students?

There are a few different options for you to consider for Arkansas Health Insurance:

  • College or university plans: Some schools offer affordable student plans through the school itself or an insurance company.
  • Parent’s insurance plan: You can stay on your parent’s plan until you’re 26 by law. So, it gives you some time to figure out your options.
  • Marketplace plans: There are student health insurance plans that you’re able to purchase with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the Federal Marketplace.
  • Medicaid: It is low-cost and no-cost Medicaid health insurance available through Access Arkansas. The plans are based on your income and age.
  • Catastrophic health plans: For residents under 30, lower-premium, high-deductible plans cover serious illnesses or accidents.
  • Short-term health plans: Short-term plans cover students for up to 364 days and are renewable for 36 months.
  • Employer-sponsored health plans: If you’re working, your employer might offer medical insurance to employees.
  • Private insurance plans: There is always the option of getting a student health insurance policy through a private company.

Why do Arkansas students need health insurance?

You don’t have to have health insurance in Arkansas, but some schools require healthcare insurance for registration. If it doesn’t, you save quite a bit of money by not paying insurance premiums. However, you must pay out-of-pocket costs if you ever need medical care.

What are the rules for Arkansas health insurance for students?

There are specific rules when it comes to Arkansas health insurance. They vary from state to state, so checking with your insurer is always a good idea.

Did Arkansas implement the ACA’s Medicaid expansion?

When Arkansas expanded Medicaid, it purchased private plans for people under it. Arkansas Works had new rules approved under the Trump administration. Arkansas Works waiver allowed the state to implement Medicaid expansion using private coverage.

When can you purchase ACA health insurance in Arkansas? 

Arkansas residents applying for Affordable Care Act health insurance plans have open enrollment yearly between November 1 and December 15.

Are health insurance subsidies available in Arkansas?

Arkansas expanded subsidies in 2021 and removed the maximum income for premium tax credits. You’re expected to pay more than 8.5% of your annual household income on health insurance. The balance is covered through subsidies.

What to consider when choosing Arkansas student health insurance plans

There are many things to consider when choosing an Arkansas student health insurance plan. Below are just a few:

Are you going to school in-state or out-of-state?

If your parent’s plan covers dependents, it might cover you regardless of where you attend school. You want to ensure that you have network providers close to your school.

Are you considered someone’s dependent?

Your parents can claim you as a dependent until you’re 26. However, if they do, you won’t be able to access premium subsidies if you buy your health insurance Marketplace plan.

Will you stay on your parent’s health insurance plan or enroll independently?

You’re allowed to stay on your parent’s plan until the age of 26. If you choose your plan, your low income qualifies you for lower premiums through subsidies.

What type of Arkansas student health insurance plans are cheaper?

Eligibility is based on your income for Medicaid’s free or low-cost coverage or subsidies on Marketplace plans. Catastrophic plans don’t qualify for subsidies, but they have low premiums.

What Arkansas student health plans offer the best coverage?

ACA health policies typically offer the most comprehensive coverage. By law, they must cover pre-existing conditions and health benefits such as emergency services, hospital care, prescription drug coverage, and mental health services.

What happens if you don’t have student health insurance coverage?

You’re not required to have student health insurance coverage so you won’t face fines. Some schools do require it for registration.

How to get Arkansas student health insurance coverage

There are a few different ways to get Arkansas student health insurance coverage. We’re going to walk you through your best options.

How to get coverage on your parent’s health insurance plan in Arkansas?

It’s easy to be added to your parent’s plan during the Open Enrollment Period. Plans that offer dependent child coverage must extend to age 26. You qualify even if you don’t live with your parents, graduate, get married, or have a child.

How do you get student health insurance from your school in Arkansas?

Colleges and universities offer undergraduate insurance plans if they’re enrolled in a minimum number of credit hours. The costs and coverage options vary depending on the school. Sometimes the costs are added to school fees so you can use financial aid to cover them.

How do you get student health insurance coverage through the ACA in Arkansas?

You can get an individual plan through the Arkansas state-based exchange through the Health Insurance Marketplace. You must meet the eligibility requirements, and they are also available off-exchange from certified agents, insurers, and brokers.

How do you get student health insurance coverage Medicaid in Arkansas?

Arkansas residents can get Medicaid or Medicare coverage with low income and disability. Arkansas expanded Medicaid under the ACA to cover nonelderly adults earning under 138% of the federal poverty level.

What are other student health insurance options available in Arkansas?

Residents under 30 might opt for a catastrophic health plan. The Marketplace has plans available for low-premiums. Due to the lower premium, there is a high deductible, and you might have to pay some out-of-pocket costs. The plan covers preventative care and three primary care office visits per year.

Cheapest student health insurance plans inArkansas

Plans for the Health Insurance Marketplace come in different levels of tiers. We’re going to walk you through the different types of insurance options.

Cheapest health insurance plan in Arkansas with low out-of-pocket maximums 

A plan with a higher premium and low out-of-pocket maximums is best if you have high medical costs. The monthly premium is higher, but you hit your maximum limit sooner, which kicks in your insurer to cover medical costs earlier.

On average, you pay $575 monthly from Health Advantage with an out-of-pocket maximum of $3,800.

Cheapest health insurance plan in Arkansas with high out-of-pocket maximums 

Students might opt for a low-cost plan with high out-of-pocket maximums because they have fewer medical costs. You only pay the out-of-pocket fees if you have a medical emergency or have an increase in doctor visits.

Ambetter from Arkansas Health and Wellness offers a plan for $258 monthly and a max out-of-pocket limit of $8,250 or higher.

Cheapest health insurance plan in Arkansas with an HSA option

If you don’t go to the doctor often, you might want to opt for a Health Savings Plan (HSA). They have low monthly premiums; if you don’t use them, they’re used as savings accounts. The cheapest HAS is with Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield at $370 monthly.

Cheapest HMO/PPO/POS health insurance plans in Arkansas 

Two types of plans are available in the Arkansas insurance exchange: Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) and Point of Service (POS).

PPO plans force you to stay within your network for your services to be covered. Ambetter offers an average monthly cost of $387 monthly. 

POS covers all services even if you step out of your network. If you need flexibility, they’re ideal. Health Advantage offers plans for $416 monthly.


Can a student take health insurance?

You can take your parent’s plan with you when you go to school until age 26.

How long can you stay on your parent’s insurance in Arkansas?

By law, you can stay on your parent’s plan until age 26.

Does Arkansas have affordable health care?

Medicaid is offered to low-income adults and children in Arkansas through three programs under the state’s Medicaid program.

Does Arkansas have health insurance?

Arkansas has health insurance, but you’re not required to have it.

What is the cost of employer-sponsored health insurance?

Arkansas group health insurance starts at about $143 per employee.

What is Arkansas’s healthcare coverage?

There are numerous ways to get affordable student health insurance. Options include staying on your parent’s plan if you’re under age 26, enrolling in a student or school-sponsored health plan, or the Health Insurance Marketplace.

What are the requirements to be on your parent’s insurance?

There aren’t any requirements to be on your parent’s plan. As long as you’re under the age of 26.

What is Arkansas’ health insurance system?

Arkansas Works is a Medicaid program that offers eligible Arkansans private health insurance coverage.

How much does Arkansas health insurance cost?

It depends on the coverage but, on average, $300-$500 monthly.

How many people in Arkansas are uninsured?

The rate of uninsured people in Arkansas is 9.9%.

What are the different types of health insurance?

Two types of plans are available in the Arkansas insurance exchange: Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) and Point of Service (POS).

Finding student health insurance in Arkansas

Purchasing cheap student health insurance through a reputable health insurance company is easy.

If you’re ready to get health insurance quotes, it’s as simple as comparing rates as amounts vary by company. We have a helpful tool to find the best health insurance.