The Arkansas General Assembly created the Arkansas Comprehensive Health Insurance Pool (CHIP) in 1995 to provide insurance coverage for Arkansas residents with high-risk conditions who could not obtain coverage through the individual health insurance market. CHIP began selling coverage on July 28, 1996.
In 1997, the Arkansas General Assembly modified the law to make CHIP a “qualified high risk pool” under regulations implementing the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), offering coverage for Arkansas residents who exhaust their coverage options in the group market. In the spring of 2003, the General Assembly authorized CHIP to offer coverage to a third category of Arkansans-persons and their qualifying family members eligible for the Health Coverage Tax Credit pursuant to the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Act of 2002.
Such populations are served through state medical assistance programs, such as Arkansas Medicaid and ARKids. CHIP serves people who cannot obtain health insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions in the individual market, and acts as a mechanism for coverage to certain other populations who have lost previous coverage in the group health insurance market.
CHIP is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors appointed by the Arkansas Commissioner of Insurance. By statute, the Board is composed of the following members:
- Two current or former employees of insurers licensed to do business in Arkansas;
- Two current or former employees of an HMO licensed to do business in Arkansas;
- One who is from a health-related profession;
- One who is a member of the general public not associated with the medical profession, a hospital or an insurer;
- One member of the general public who represents a group considered to be uninsurable.
CHIP’s current Board Members and the above categories under which they are appointed, are as follows:
- Mr. Mike Wilkinson (Chair) – Insurers
- Mr. Lee Douglass (Vice Chair) – Insurers
- Mr. Mike Castleberry (Secretary/Treasurer) – HMOs
- Ms. Kay Andrew – Public
- Mr. Steve Higginbotham – Public
- Dr. Charles Logan – Health Professionals
- Mr. Nick Thompson – HMOs
The Arkansas Insurance Commissioner is Jay Bradford.
Arkansas CHIP carefully protects your health and other personal information and complies with Gramm-Leach Bliley and HIPAA regulations. For more information regarding privacy, click here.