If you’re an Alaska state resident, your healthcare needs can be met with one of Alaska’s numerous affordable health insurance policies. Plans in your state start as low at $450 a month, with many having the option to add vision and dental coverage. These add-ons start at around $78 for dental, and $10 for vision per month.
Remember, as with all health insurance, your coverage and premiums are dependent on your unique situation. The premiums for plans in Alaska are dependent on things like your age, gender, household size, and health risks, among other factors. On average, Alaskans can expect to pay around $600 a month for their health insurance, but some residents may find they’re eligible for free health insurance programs!
Alaska Health Insurance Companies
Alaskans don’t have many options when it comes to health insurance companies. As of 2016, there are only 2 companies that offer private individual and family health insurance plans:
Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska
Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska offers statewide coverage and provides many types of plans for individuals. Additionally, they feature cost-sharing, income-based plans, and even plans specifically for indigenous people. The plans offered by Premera are divided into three groups: EPO, high deductible, and personal care.
- EPO – There are three cost-sharing tiers for EPO health insurance plans offered by Premera to Alaskans: Gold, Silver, and Bronze. The Gold EPO 1500 has a $1,500 deductible for individuals and twice that amount for families. With this type of plan, your first two primary care visits are fully covered; after that you have a $15 copay. The copay for urgent care and specialist visits is $45; the copay for prescription medications is $10. The Silver EPO 4500 offers $4,500 deductibles for individuals and $9,000 deductibles for families. Just like with the Gold plan, the first two visits are 100% covered with a Silver plan. But the copay for visits after that is $30, urgent care and specialist visits have $60 copays, and there is a $30 copay for generic drugs. Lastly, the Bronze EPO 6350 offers $6,350 deductibles for individuals, with that amount doubling to $12,700 for families. Unlike with the other tiers, with a Bronze plan there are no fully covered office visits. The copay for office visits is $50, while the coinsurance for specialist visits is 40% of the bill. The copay for urgent care services is $60.
- High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) – HDHPs are offered at the Bronze level with a $5,250 deductible for individuals and $10,500 deductible for families. Specialist visits, primary care plans, prescription drugs, and urgent care all have a 30% coinsurance cost. Additionally, these plans can be used in conjunction with HSAs to help policyholders save for their future medical expenses.
In Alaska, Moda provides managed-care private health insurance. Their plans don’t require a referral to see a specialist, but they do have a network of primary care doctors to choose from. They also offer what is known as the Beacon network of specialists, which draws from many local medical organizations. The plans are available at the Gold, Silver, and Bronze levels. You can purchase dental policies separately.
- Standard plans – The Standard Bronze plan has higher copays and deductibles with lower monthly premiums. With these plans, primary care visit copays are $70, and specialist visits have copays of $115. The deductibles are $7,150 for individuals, and $14,300 for families. The Standard Silver plan deductibles are $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families. Copays for primary care visits are $35, and $70 for specialists. Out of all Standard plans, the Standard Gold plan provides the lowest out-of-pocket expenses but the highest monthly premiums. The family deductible is $2000, and the individual deductible is $1000. Copays for primary care appointments are $20, while copays for specialist visits are $40.
- Dental plans – When it comes to dental plans, aside from the Delta Dental plans, which have $50 deductibles, all of the Premier plans have zero deductibles. If you choose the PPO Bright Smiles plan, you will not have an annual maximum limit. For example, the most popular dental plan, the Delta Dental PPO 1000 plan, has annual costs that change depending on your age range. For members 18 and under, the out-of-pocket maxim is $375 for one person and $750 for two or more members. For members 19+ the maximum is $1,000. This only applies to in-network costs. Regardless of age, in-network preventive care (or class I) is 100% covered. If you go out of network for preventive care, you will be responsible for 50% of the bill. Class II services, which include space maintainers and restorative fillings, require members 18 and under to pay 50% of costs for in-network care, and 70% for out-of-network care. For members 19+, space maintainers have no coverage at all. For restorative fillings, you will pay 20% of the cost for in-network care and 50% for out-of-network care. For Class III, which includes services like oral surgery, anesthesia, orthodontics etc., members 18 and younger have to pay 70% of costs whether you choose to go in- or out-of-network for your services. Members 19 and up pay 50%, again whether your care is in- or out-of-network.
Health Insurance Marketplace in Alaska
Every year, there is an Open Enrollment Period (OEP) during which individuals can shop for health insurance and be guaranteed affordable coverage. While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandated that each state create their own health insurance marketplace, Alaska did not opt to take government funding to create their own Marketplace. Instead, they chose to use the federal health insurance Marketplace. Meaning residents can use Healthcare.gov to purchase a policy or, if eligible, enroll in Medicaid.
The ACA ensures that everyone who purchases a Marketplace policy has certain protections and guarantees coverage for pre-existing conditions. These protections include coverage for what’s known as the “10 essential health benefits”:
- Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care)
- Emergency services
- Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care
- Mental health and substance use disorders
- Prescription medication
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
- Laboratory services
- Preventative and wellness services and chronic disease management
- Pediatric services including oral and vision care (which are only essential benefits for children, not adults)
There are 4 different types of plans, or metal tiers: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. These metal tiers are not based on the quality of care you receive: all members will receive the highest quality of care possible regardless of plan. What differentiates the tiers is the costs that the plans cover versus how much you pay out-of-pocket.
Not every health insurance provider offers plans on the Marketplace. But you can find both of Alaska’s health insurance companies that offer individual and family plans on the exchange.
Whether you want a Marketplace plan, or a plan from a private insurer, an EZ agent can help. We work with all carriers across the country to compare all options available.
Alaska’s Short Term Health Insurance Guidelines
If you’ve missed the OEP, and don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you might still be able to get health insurance. For example, short-term plans are a great way to keep you covered during unexpected gaps in your health insurance. But there are limits to these plans, including how long you can have one.
While some states choose to have their own guidelines for short-term policies, Alaska adheres to the federal guidelines surrounding them. This means you can get a short-term policy for 364 days, with the option to renew up to 3 times, bringing the maximum amount of time you can have a short-term policy to 36 months. Some states limit how many, if any, additional short-term policies an individual can purchase, but Alaska has no extra rules surrounding renewal.
Alaska Health Insurance Options
There are a few different ways you can find an affordable health insurance plan with the coverage you need in Alaska. You can choose a plan from one of the two private health insurance companies in your state, or you can look into the following options:
Employer Sponsored Plans
Employer-based group health insurance is often much cheaper than individual insurance. So, it’s worth looking into your employer’s options, if any. While there is no state law in Alaska requiring employers to offer healthcare to employees, many employers still provide this as an added benefit. In fact, Alaska native health insurance by employers is quite common, especially in the school districts of Fairbanks North Star and Mat-Su.
Government-Assisted Health Insurance
If you do not have the option of employer-based healthcare, and you are older or low-income, you might be eligible for government-assisted healthcare. For older adults, there are a few requirements you must meet to be eligible for Medicare in Alaska. To be a beneficiary, you must be over 65 or have a qualifying disability. And you need to have lived in America for at least five years.
If you are a low-income individual, you might be eligible for Medicaid. Depending on where in Alaska you live, you will have different Medicare coverage options.
In addition, in some areas of Alaska, you may also be able to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan. Private insurance companies provide these plans. They are also approved by Medicare. One of these plans will cover everything that Medicare Parts A and B cover, as well as wellness initiatives and prescription drug coverage.
If you’re an Alaska resident looking for health insurance, the best way to find an affordable health insurance plan is to compare prices and coverage in your region. And the best way to compare plans is by working with a professional insurance agent who can compare all options for you in minutes.
There may not be much variety when it comes to insurance companies in Alaska, but there are plenty of plans with a variety of coverage options and price points to choose from. So you will be able to find the best plan for your needs.
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How to Get the Most Savings
Healthcare is relatively expensive in Alaska. In fact, Alaska has the 12th most expensive healthcare in the country per capita. With an average healthcare cost per person of around $13,188 annually.
The state’s small population and the limited number of medical providers are just two of the reasons for the high cost of healthcare in your state. But there are a few things you can focus on to help you save on your healthcare costs overall:
- Tobacco use– Smoking or using other tobacco products can mean higher premiums, in some cases up to 50% more than if you didn’t smoke. According to the Truth Initiative, 18.5% of adults in Alaska were smokers as of 2020.
- Body mass index (BMI) – A higher BMI means a higher risk for health complications like heart disease and diabetes, which means you will most likely pay higher premiums. As of 2022, the obesity rate in Alaska is around 30.50%.
- Location – Where you live impacts your premiums, since different parts of Alaska have different costs of living, local laws, and availability of services. Anchorage, Fairbanks North Star, and Juneau are the three boroughs with the cheapest health insurance plans available.
Finding the right plan for you and your family can be time-consuming and overwhelming. With the help of an EZ agent, you can have all of your health insurance options presented to you quickly and conveniently. EZ health insurance agents can find all available plans in your area and help you decide which one fits your needs and budget. As well as apply any local discounts available to you. In fact, by working with an EZ agent, you can save hundreds of dollars a year on health insurance. What’s better is that all of our services are free and have no obligation! You don’t have to do this alone, start saving more money today.
Alaska Health Insurance FAQS
Does Alaska require you to have health insurance?
In Alaska, you do not have to have health insurance. In addition, employers do not have to offer a healthcare package to their employees.
What is the cheapest health insurance in Alaska?
The cheapest health plan is a Bronze metal-tier plan, which can start as low as $450 a month. Remember, though, health insurance plan prices can vary depending on age, zip code, gender, and other factors.
How much does health insurance cost in Alaska?
The average monthly premium for health insurance in Alaska is $600, or $7,200 per year. With plans as low as $450 a month to as high as $1,000. But do not let these numbers scare you. More than half of uninsured people in Alaska qualify for a $0 bronze plan and don’t even know it.
Which companies offer health insurance in Alaska?
The top 2 insurers in Alaska are Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, and Moda Assurance.
How to Enroll in Health Insurance in Alaska
As stated above, Alaskans can use the Marketplace to enroll in a healthcare plan, or they can choose to buy their policies on their own. However, you choose to purchase a plan, an EZ agent can guide you through the process of enrolling in an affordable policy. We will go over your medical and financial needs, as well as any subsidies you qualify for. After reviewing your information, we will compare all available health insurance plans and go over your options with you.
If you still have questions, feel free to give us a call 877-670-3557. When you call you will be directly connected to a local insurance agent who can answer all of your questions and help you find the health insurance plan that works best for you.