Arkansans Prepare for Jan. 1 Marketplace Insurance to Start

Arkansans who have successfully been able to sign up for insurance in the federal health exchange through AR Health Connector, will be able to have insurance starting Jan. 1. Dec. 15 is the sign up deadline for obtaining insurance by Jan.

But many Arkansans are having trouble creating a log-in to even be able to see the details of each plan and compare them side by side. Channel 7 News attempted to create a log-in today and could not create a log-in account until 7 hours later. AR Health Connector does not control the web site for the federal marketplace.

Those who will have insurance in January should make their doctor appointments now, according to a spokesperson from the AR Health Connector.

"Once you have your insurance, now is the time to make your appointment with your primary care physician, " said Heather Haywood, spokesperson for AR Health Connector.

She says Jan. 1 will be a good day for Arkansas.

"Arkansans will now have the opportunity to see their local physicians. They will have the opportunity to get their wellness screenings. Arkansans who have been left out of health insurance due to preexisting conditions can now see doctors, so Jan. 1st will be a good day for Arkansans," Haywood said.

But Dr. Derek Bryant, a family physician in Bryant told Channel 7 News that Jan. 1 won't be an easy transition.

"There's not enough primary care physicians in central Arkansas that are really openly taking new patients. And I'm not talking about, obviously medicare and medicaid are in their own category, but I'm even talking well insured patients. Pick your insurance company. Even those, when they call my office, either it's gonna be a couple of months until I can get them in as somebody new or we just can't see them in a timely fashion because we're just too busy. And that's gonna get worse," Dr. Bryant said.

AR Health Connector also suggested people learning their plans and knowing exactly what their coverage will be so that there is no confusion once the insurance kicks in.

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