A legislative panel unanimously endorsed a plan by the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace to start collecting a 3% fee on insurance plans provided to policy holders through the marketplace.
The endorsement is based on Act 1300 of 2013, which states that the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace Legislative Oversight Committee “shall review the recommendations of the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace … and report to the president pro tempore of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Representatives the committee’s recommendations for the initial assessment or user fee and future increases or decreases in the amounts of assessments or user fees.”
The new 3% fee will replace the current 3.5% fee that the federal government has been collecting from insurance companies to sustain the marketplace. The Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace will assume responsibility for the individual exchange next year. However, Arkansans will still enroll through the federal enrollment system at healthcare.gov.
Mike Castleberry, chairman of the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace Board of Directors, said the insurance companies have been notified and given time to adjust to the change.
“Based on all of the conversations we’d had up until that point, we felt pretty clear that the 3 percent was going to be the right number and that we were OK to start working to collect that,” he stated.