The Arkansas Comprehensive Health Insurance Pool (“CHIP”) ended December 31, 2013. 

For almost twenty years, CHIP has offered individual, comprehensive health insurance plans to individuals in Arkansas who cannot obtain comparable coverage in the individual health insurance market because of pre-existing conditions. CHIP also is a qualified high risk pool offering coverage for qualifying Arkansas residents who exhaust their coverage options in the group market and for certain individuals who qualify for the federal Health Coverage Tax Credit.

As of January 1, 2014, federal law provides that health insurance carriers in the individual market cannot reject applicants for health insurance coverage based on the presence of preexisting health conditions or exclude health care coverage for preexisting conditions.  Accordingly, CHIP members will be able to transition to the individual commercial insurance market on January 1.  Because of this change, the CHIP program is ending under Arkansas law.

CHIP policyholders and their providers will have until June 30, 2013 to submit claims for payment for services covered by CHIP for dates of service through December 31, 2013.

The links below provide the Notice of Termination to CHIP policyholders dated August 23, 2013, a second notice regarding transition steps to the individual marketplace and a final notice dated December 18, 2013. Please note that the federal government has extended the deadline for completing enrollment in a plan through the federal health insurance marketplace until December 23, 2013 to obtain a January 1, 2014 effective date. Carriers offering coverage outside the federal marketplace may have other deadlines for coverage effective January 1. 

Open enrollment in the individual market in Arkansas ends for the year on March 31, 2014, both for health carriers inside and outside the federal marketplace.  But the opportunity to purchase health insurance effective January 1, 2014 is ending.

Links to Notice Letters:

8-23-13 Notice to Policyholders that CHIP coverage ends December 31, 2013

10-11-13 Reminder to Policyholders that CHIP Coverage is ending and resources for transition

12-18-13 Final Notice to CHIP members about termination of benefits and options for coverage

The last date for new enrollment for most CHIP applicants was December 1, 2013. A very limited number of individuals, such as certain people losing coverage in the group market or newborns of current CHIP policyholder, may be eligible under federal law for full or partial month CHIP coverage during December 2013 even if they apply later than December 1, 2013. If you believe you may be eligible for full or partial month coverage based on special circumstances, Call CHIP Customer Service at 800-285-6477.