LITTLE ROCK – Open enrollment for the state’s My Arkansas Insurance individual health insurance marketplace is still underway but ends on Jan. 31. Arkansans who do not have health insurance may face substantial federally mandated penalties on 2017 tax returns.

“People must understand that health insurance coverage is not an option, according to current federal law,” said Cheryl Gardner, executive director of the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace. “The good news is there is still time for Arkansans to get coverage and avoid paying a penalty that could be as much as $695 per person.”

Individual plans are available at through Jan. 31. Plans include standard benefits such as inpatient care, outpatient services, prescription drugs, and preventative care and screenings.

There are a variety of options to fit household budgets and financial assistance is available.

Also, there are no lifetime limits and no restrictions for pre-existing conditions. And, financial help is available to help pay for the cost of insurance.

Agents, brokers and other licensed experts are located in almost every community in Arkansas to provide assistance, and a hotline is staffed by trained professionals, and is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The number is 1-844-355-3262.

The My Arkansas Insurance Individual Marketplace is a partnership with the federal enrollment system, using the platform. However, the program is managed in Arkansas.

Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace (AHIM) was created to manage and implement a state-based health insurance exchange in Arkansas in accordance with state and federal law. AHIM was established by the 89th Arkansas General Assembly 2013 Regular Session by ACT 1500 and is a nonprofit public benefit corporation. My Arkansas Insurance is the state-based exchange established and managed by AHIM.

AHIM is governed by the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace Board of Directors. Members of the AHIM Board are appointed by the Governor, President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The AHIM Board reports to the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace Legislative Oversight Committee.