ALASKA HEALTH INSURANCE
Alaska health insurance protects your greatest asset, your health, against the effects of illness and injury by providing affordable access to medical services.
In Alaska, the largest state in the US by geographical area, the state government offers coverage to high risk residents who have been turned down for medical coverage by at least one insurance provider. Alaska residents who qualify for standard medical insurance have a wide array of policies to choose from, from individual health plans to group coverage through an AK employer.
If you’re searching for insurance for yourself, your family or your Alaska business, request multiple quotes from insurance providers before you make your decision. Shopping around for quotes will ensure that you get the level of coverage you’re looking for at premiums you can afford. The insurance policy you choose can make a difference in your personal well being, your family’s welfare or the health and productivity of your staff.
MANAGED CARE IN ALASKA
When it comes to choosing an Alaska health insurance policy, individuals or businesses can select a managed care or a fee for service plan. With managed Alaska health insurance, the policyholder’s care is coordinated by a primary care provider, or PCP. If diagnostic tests, procedures, specialist consultations or therapy are needed, your PCP will refer you to a practitioner. Common managed care policies include Health Maintenance Organizations, or HMOs and Preferred Provider Organizations, or PPOs.
HMOs generally include more restrictions than PPOs; however, your premiums and co-payments for medical care through an HMO are typically lower. When you receive treatment through an HMO, you must start by contacting your PCP before you schedule any specialist appointments, minor surgeries, major procedures or physical therapy. Your choice of doctors, hospitals and therapists is usually limited to the providers within an authorized network. If you go outside the network for care, your Alaska health insurance may not cover your costs.
PPOs are often more expensive than HMO plans. However, a PPO gives you a wider range of options when you’re selecting AK practitioners or facilities. With most PPOs, the policyholder has the option to choose a doctor or therapist outside of the network at a higher cost. If you appreciate the comprehensive benefits offered by managed Alaska health insurance but you want to retain the option to choose from a wider range of providers, a PPO may be worth the extra cost.
Fee for service or indemnity plans are the primary alternative to managed Alaska health insurance. Fee for service options give AK residents greater flexibility in their choice of services in exchange for a greater share of the financial responsibility. High deductible plans are an example of indemnity coverage.
Although you may have a much higher deductible or higher co-pays with these plans, you are generally not restricted to a network of providers.
ALASKA HEALTH PLANS
ALASKA HIGH RISK PLANS
The Alaska Comprehensive Health Insurance Association, or ACHIA, offers affordable coverage to individuals with serious health conditions who have been turned down for coverage by at least one Alaska health insurance provider.  ACHIA was created by the state’s legislature to address the needs of individuals who are considered medically uninsurable. In order to receive coverage through an ACHIA provider, you must meet the state’s eligibility requirements.
To be eligible, you must have resided in the state for at least 12 months and intend to remain a permanent resident. If you have lived in the state for less than one year, you must have been born in the state. To qualify for high risk Alaska health insurance, you must not be eligible for Medicare, Medicaid,veteran’s benefits or benefits as a Native American. In addition, you must have at least one of the serious conditions listed by the ACHIA. This list is extensive and includes many chronic or acute illnesses.
Many individuals with chronic conditions can qualify for coverage through an employer. Group policies are often less restrictive in their eligibility requirements than individual plans because the size of the group minimizes the risk to the insurer. If you work for a large company in Juneau or Fairbanks and you have heart disease, emphysema or another chronic illness, you may receive the treatments and evaluation you need through your employer’s insurer. However, qualifying for an individual policy may be impossible if you have a pre-existing illness.
Alaska health insurance gives the residents of the state known as “The Last Frontier” the opportunity to receive the services they need to stay healthy and active. Contact a number of providers to compare policies and find the treatments you need at a reasonable price. Finding affordable coverage can be challenging, but you’ll be better equipped to make a decision if you carefully review your options before starting your search.
AN INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY HEALTH PLAN IN ALASKA
A new Alaska private health insurance plan may be right for you if:
You are self employed
Your employer does not offer a group plan
You are enrolled in a group plan, but it does not cover spouses or dependents
You are enrolled in a health plan, but the premiums are too high
You are enrolled in a health plan, but your benefits needs have changed
AFFORDABLE AK INDIVIDUAL & FAMILY MEDICAL INSURANCE
If both you and your spouse or domestic partner are looking for a new health insurance plan, we recommend that you look up health insurance quotes both together and separately to find the plan that is most affordable for you.
Depending on the health insurance company, Alaska individual and family health insurance rates for couples can be based on the age of the youngest person on the policy. Some couples with an age difference of several years may find they save money by applying for the same plan rather than individually. Couples that are only a few years apart might be able to reduce their total costs by applying for separate health insurance plans. If you decide to apply for a health insurance plan as a couple, make sure the plan you choose covers the benefits both of you need.
COVERAGE OPTIONS FOR ALASKA STUDENTS
Stay on Parent’s Plan – if you are a fulltime student, you may be eligible to remain on your parent’s plan. It is easier since your parents will be handling the bills, but if you go to school out-of-state, your coverage levels may not be as robust as they would be in your home state. Also, your parent’s health insurance could be more expensive than other coverage options.
School Sponsored Plan – Some colleges offer their own health plan. Some common concerns with these plans is that they may not cover services off-campus or you can lose eligibility if you are a part-time student.
Student Health Plan – These plans are for full-time students typically between 17-29 years old. The major advantage with this plan is that the coverage will travel with you wherever you go in the US. However, it may require you to pay your premium in a single lump-sum amount and it is not available in every state.