LITTLE ROCK A new study shows Arkansas is among the states with the highest health insurance rejection rates.
HealthPocket released a study Thursday showing Arkansas rejects 35 percent of submitted individual and family applications for health insurance, well above the 22 percent national average and behind only Montana's 45 percent, Alabama's 40 percent and the District of Columbia's 37 percent rates.
HealthPocket, which runs a website ranking health plans, says it came up with the figures by analyzing insurance records of 9,450 plans for individuals and families under the age of 65.
The study also ranked the declination rates for individual insurers. No Arkansas insurer was among the top five with the highest rates. South Dakota's John Alden Life Insurance Co. rejected the highest rate of applicants, scoring a 73 percent in the study.
"Clearly there is great variability across states and within states in terms of how frequently an insurer rejects a health insurance application, but nationally it seems to be occurring more frequently than industry analysts had assumed," Kev Coleman, head of research and data at HealthPocket, said in a statement. "What is unclear is whether some insurers have increased their declination rate in order to improve risk pool health and profitability prior to 2014, when insurance companies can no longer reject applications based upon health status or pre-existing medical conditions."