Alaska Health Insurance: 2021 Coverage Guide
Buying health insurance can be daunting, if not downright confusing. Our guide takes you step-by-step through the process of getting the right health insurance plan for the best price. It’s important to remember that you may only enroll in a health plan during the open enrollment unless you are eligible for the Special Enrollment Period due to a qualifying event.
When Is Open Enrollment in Alaska?
November 6, 2020 - November 27, 2020. Coverage begins on January 1, 2021.
How to Get Health Insurance in Alaska
It’s a good idea to have a projection of healthcare costs before you choose a plan type and a tier. You can estimate next year’s medical needs and expenses based on the previous year. This is very important because you can’t buy insurance on the monthly cost alone. If you have lots of out-of-pocket expenses, buying the cheapest plan may end up being much more expensive. Sometimes, higher premiums end up saving you money if you frequently visit care providers.
Next, compare health insurance companies and health insurance quotes. After you submit a form with SmartFinancial you’ll get several competing health insurance rates to choose from, and we’ll connect you with an agent in your area so you can buy the coverage or ask questions about the plan you’re considering.
What Types of Health Insurance Are Available in Alaska?
HMOs, EPOs, PPOs and POS plans are available in Alaska. You can also buy short-term health insurance or a catastrophic plan, which costs the least but only covers emergency care. Most people buy bronze, silver or gold. Bronze covers 60% of costs, silver 70% and gold 80%. Silver is the most popular option.
Does Health Insurance Cover Pre-existing Conditions?
The Affordable Care Act made it illegal for marketplace health plans to deny anyone health insurance coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
Do I Qualify for a Special Enrollment Period?
Common reasons people qualify for a special enrollment period:
- When you lose a job or start your own business, you are eligible for health insurance. If you changed jobs and are not offered health insurance, you qualify to buy health insurance outside the enrollment period too.
- When you turn 26 and can no longer remain on your parents’ plan, you can buy a new one, regardless of what time of year it is.
- Some insurance companies have strict coverage areas. If you move and are no longer covered, you can buy a plan.
- Cobra coverage has an end date. When you reach that date, you can buy a new plan.
- If you divorce a spouse and lose health insurance coverage, you can buy a new plan.
- When you get married, you have the option of adding a spouse to an existing plan or buying one together. You can do this outside the open enrollment period.
- Birth or adoption of a child. You can buy health insurance for that child for a year, even if it falls outside the open enrollment dates.
- Death of spouse or partner. If you were covered under your spouse or partner’s health plan but that person passed away, you can take advantage of the special qualifying events exception to enroll in an individual plan.
- The spouse or partner loses coverage. If you were insured through a partner or spouse who lost his/her coverage for a qualifying reason, you are eligible to buy an individual plan or buy coverage with that spouse/partner again.
Is Health Insurance Required in Alaska?
No, only California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Rhode Island, and DC still require health insurance. Otherwise, there is a tax penalty. Even though it’s not required, buying health insurance is necessary to avoid medical bankruptcy.
How Much Is Health Insurance in Alaska?
The average cost of health insurance in Alaska for a 40 year old is about $614 a month. Health insurance is less expensive, the younger you are. Tobacco use increases health insurance rates.
How to Save on Health Insurance in Alaska
The best way to save on health insurance in Alabama is to compare rates based on the tier system. Beforehand, you’ll want to estimate your medical costs
Medicare in Alaska
Medicare is health insurance coverage for Americans ages 65 years and older. The government also allows younger people with disabilities to enroll in the program. Individuals with End-Stage Renal Disease (a permanent kidney failure treated with dialysis or a transplant) can also sign up as can some individuals with severe mental health issues. Others who qualify for Medicare disability coverage are individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Most beneficiaries will receive Original Medicare (Parts A and B). Some people buy Medicare Advantage, which includes Part A and B as well as offering vision, dental and prescription drug coverage.
How Many People Are on Medicare in Alaska?
13% of the people of Alaska are on Medicare.
How Much Is Medicare in Alaska?
If you do not qualify for Medicare, you can buy it for $458 a month for Part A in 2020 and a standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B was $144.60 for 2020, or even higher depending on income. .
Original Medicare vs Medicare Advantage: What’s the Difference?
Medicare is a government subsidized health plan that is available to qualified Americans age 65 and older. Medicare Advantage is sold through private health insurance companies, but these policies are also regulated by the government. Medicare Advantage plans offer the same benefits as Medicare Parts A and B. Medicare Advantage plans also offer more coverage for dental, vision, hearing and prescription drugs. Medicare Advantage plans have a maximum out-of-pocket limit. For 2020, it was $6,700 but many plans set their maximums at a much lower cost. That is why it’s important to compare companies. People who opt for original Medicare can buy Medicare Supplements to help with out-of-pocket costs. You cannot buy both Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplements. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan during open enrollment, you will automatically be disenrolled from original Medicare.
How to Get Medicare Coverage in Alaska
If you receive social security payments, you may automatically enroll in Medicare, but you may have to sign up if you do not receive payments. The easiest way to enroll in Medicare is by working with a trusted insurance agent to get the coverages you want. Just enter your zip code and answer a few simple questions.
Types of Medicare Plans Available
Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Cost Plans (only offered in certain areas), Demonstration/Pilot Programs (also called Research Studies; only offered in certain areas) and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).
How Do I Qualify for Medicare?
To qualify for Medicare you must be a citizen of the U.S. or have been a legal resident for at least five years. If you are age 65 or older and you/your spouse have worked for at least 10 years (40 quarters) or you have a disability, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), you most likely qualify for Medicare.
How Can I Save on Medicare in Alaska?
You can save on Medicare by signing up for Part B as soon as you’re eligible. People who enroll late must pay a penalty every year. If you’re interested in buying Medicare Advantage, you can shop and compare Medicare plans for the best value.
Alaska State Health System Ranking
Ever wonder how your state stacks up when it comes to quality healthcare? The Commonwealth Fund published a report in 2020 on State Health System Performance. They took into consideration the access to quality care, health outcomes, and disparities in all 50 states. The scores for the Alaska Health System are listed below:
- Alaska: Overall Ranking: 32 of 51
- Alaska: Overall Performance: Below U.S. Average
- Alaska: Access and Affordability: 35
- Alaska: Prevention and Treatment: 48
- Alaska: Avoidable Hospital Use and Cost: 8
- Alaska: Healthy Lives: 28
- Alaska: Health Care Disparities: 17
Alaska Health Insurance Coverage
The people of Alaska have different kinds of health insurance while some Alaska residents are not insured at all. See the breakdown below:
- Private coverage: 55%
- Medicaid: 21%
- Medicare: 13%
- Uninsured: 11%
Report: America's Health Insurance Plans
Alaska Health Insurance Companies
- Aetna Life Insurance Company (Alaska)
- Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska
- Moda Health Plan, Inc. (Alaska)
- UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans Services, LLC
- Compass Rose Health Plan
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Choosing a higher deductible plan will help to lower your health insurance premium. So this is a smart financial move. As is keeping a small emergency fund to pay for medical expenses until you reach that deductible.
Behavioral health refers to mental health, psychiatric health, marriage and family counseling and addiction treatments. Is it covered by health insurance?
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It’s always a good idea to get acquainted with the way plans are set up and what you’re responsible to pay before open enrollment which takes place in late fall. If you have a qualifying event, like a new job or if you’ve moved, had a baby, gotten divorced or had any life change that affect your coverage, you may be able to buy a new health insurance plan today.
Like auto and homeowners insurance healthcare insurance also has a deductible which needs to be paid before insurance begins to cover expenses. However, healthcare deductibles work a little differently. For instance, your healthcare insurance will pay for some services even before you meet your deductible.
You may be shopping for health insurance because you got a new job, which doesn’t offer health insurance. Some people even prefer to have a health plan separate from their jobs. It’s usually a more expensive option to buy an individual health insurance policy when an employer offers to pay a portion of your premiums each month. However, some people prefer to choose their own insurance company and a plan that fits their needs.