Health Insurance in Alaska: A Complete Guide 2020

Last modified: November 26, 2020

The ACA mandates that each state form a health insurance marketplace where families and individuals can get private insurance and even get subsidies depending on their income. Alaska health insurance is no different. People can either purchase their own health insurance or use the insurance marketplace to enroll in Medicaid if they are eligible.

The federal government heads the Alaska health insurance marketplace. The residents can use HealthCare.gov to enroll in the system. The state didn’t take federal funding to create a state marketplace of its own and left the responsibility to the federal government.

There isn’t much choice when it comes to selecting medical insurance in Alaska. Since 2016, three insurance companies have left the state, leaving Moda and Premera as the only two companies offering insurance. In the Alaska Health Insurance Guide below, we will compare plans and providers to help you in making an informed decision. 

List of Providers and Comparison of Plans

Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska

Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of the two health insurance companies in Alaska. It offers different levels of  plans for individuals, with some designed for people with specific needs. They have American Indian plans and cost-sharing income-based plans too. The plans come in three categories: personal care, high deductible, and EPO.

EPO

The EPO Alaska health insurance plans include Gold, Silver, and Bronze levels with different cost-sharing features. The Gold EPO 1500 includes a $1,500 deductible on individuals and double for families. The first two primary care visits are 100% covered; subsequent visits take a $15 copay. Urgent care and specialist visits have a $45 copay, and prescription drugs start at a $10 copay.

The Silver EPO 4500 includes $4,500 deductibles for individuals and $9,000 for families. The first two visits are 100% covered, after which there is a $30 copay. Urgent care and specialist visits have $60 copays, and there is a $30 copay for generic drugs. The plan has five different cost-sharing levels.

The Bronze EPO 6350 includes $6,350 deductibles for individuals and double for families. The office visits have a $50 copay, while specialist visits have a coinsurance cost of 40%. Urgent care services have a $60 copay.

High Deductible Plans

This plan includes HSA to help you prepare for any upcoming medical costs. It comes at the Bronze level with a $5,250 deductible for individuals and is double for families. The specialist visits and primary care plans have coverage of 30% coinsurance costs. The same coinsurance cost is for prescription drugs and urgent care.

Personal Care

The individual health insurance plans in Alaska include the Personal Care plans, which offer gold, silver, and bronze levels with different cost-sharing options.

Dental Plans

The dental plans are only available in certain counties where pediatric and adult plans are offered for coverage on major and minor dental care and preventive services.

Moda Health Alaska

Moda offers private health insurance in Alaska, which includes managed care options for primary care providers but doesn’t require any referrals to see specialists. They have a Beacon network that has providers from different local medical groups. The plans come at gold, silver, and bronze levels, and dental plans are separate.

Standard Plans

The Standard Bronze plan has copays instead of low monthly rates and higher deductibles. The deductibles for individuals are $7,150, and for families, they are $14,300. There is a $70 copay for primary care visits with specialist visits with $115 copay.

The Standard Silver plan has deductibles of $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families. The primary care visits have copays of $35 and $70 for specialists.

The Standard Gold plan has high monthly premiums, but low pocket costs out of all standard plans. The individual deductible is $1000, and the family deductible is $2000. The copays for specialist visits are $40, and copays for primary care visits are $20.

Additional Plans

Moda’s Be plans offer four choices, including Be Steady, Be Prepared, Be Protected, and Be Integrated.

Dental Plans

There are four Delta Dental plans that are zero-deductible plans, except for the Premier plan which has $50 deductibles. The PPO Bright Smiles plans have no annual maximum limits.

Cheapest Health Insurance Plan by Boroughs in Alaska

Anchorage

Anchorage provides family, individual, group, Medicare supplement, disability, long term care, vision, dental, and life insurance plans. Health insurance by Anchorage AK offers a simple process to get online quotes. They strive for competitive pricing and monthly premiums with flexible payment plans with no or low costs. They offer anti-fraud programs to ensure you save money on insurance without any risks. With Health insurance in Anchorage AK you don’t pay too much money since the ACA lowers costs, especially on pre-existing conditions.

Fairbanks North Star

The Fairbanks North Star school district offers health benefit plans for its employees. They have three plans: A, B, and C. Plan A has $1,000 deductibles for individuals and $3,000 for family. Plan B has $2,500 for individuals and double for families. Plan C has $3,000 deductibles and double for the family. To learn more about the plans, click here.

Juneau

Health insurance in Juneau, AK, is through Premera Blue Cross, offering their Bronze, Silver, and Gold plans under the ACA that you can take advantage of.

Average Cost of Health Insurance by Family Size in Alaska

What is the average cost of health insurance in Alaska?

The state of Alaska’s health insurance cost on average is $280 for most major health insurance plans. The premiums and prices can vary or reduce if you are in good health. The prices can also vary depending on gender, age, zip code, and other factors.

What is the average cost of health insurance by family size in Alaska?

Health insurance quotes in Alaska depend on your age, residential county, and family size. For example, the average cost for a family of five in Alaska would be around $2,760 for silver plans. This is around 46 percent more expensive than the $1,890 per family of three has to plan.

Here is a table outlining the average cost:

Size of Family Avg Monthly Cost
Child + Adult $1,164
Couple (aged 40 years) $1,456
Family of three $1,892
Family of four $2,328
Family of five $2,763

Alaska Health Insurance Guide and Resources

Employer-Provided Health Insurance

Alaska native health insurance by employers is quite common, especially in the school districts of Fairbanks North Star and Mat-Su. While there is no law by the state that employers must offer healthcare to employees, many employers still provide this as an added benefit. In this case, there are Alaska health insurance requirements that must be met to provide certain benefits.

Private Health Insurance Plans for Family and Individual

There are only two companies that provide private health insurance in Alaska, Premier Blue Shield and Moda. Alaska residents can purchase health insurance from the marketplace set up by the federal government.

Government-Assisted Healthcare

To be eligible for the Medicare program in Alaska, you should have lived in America for at least five years. You must have a qualifying disability or be over 65 years to be a Medicare beneficiary. If you have Lou Gehrig’s disease or end-stage renal disease, or a disability, you can qualify at any age.

The state of Alaska’s health insurance shows that the number of beneficiaries is relatively low, but this is not surprising considering the state’s low population. In 2019, there were around 100,000 residents who were part of Medicare. The prescription drug coverage had around 65,000 beneficiaries, while other plans, such as the Medicare Advantage, had around 1500.

Depending on your location in Alaska, you will have different Medicare Alaska health insurance coverage options. Original Medicare options only have limited prescription drug coverage, which is why you might need to add Part D plans for prescription drugs. You can also have the chance to enroll in the Medicare Advantage plan in some areas of Alaska. Private insurance companies approved by Medicare provide beneficiaries with benefits, such as wellness programs and prescription drug coverage, and everything in Part A and B.

Tips To Save On Health Insurance in Alaska

There are definitely more reasons why healthcare is so expensive in Alaska. Let’s look at what drives the premiums up for Alaskan residents:

  •         Body mass index (BMI): If you have a high BMI, it indicates a high risk for diabetes, heart disease, etc. This can drive up premiums.
  •         Tobacco use: Smoking or other tobacco use drives up premiums by as much as 50%.
  •         Age: Premiums are three times more for older people than for the younger generation.
  •         Location: Where you reside c impacts your premiums due to differences in services, cost of living, local rules, and state laws.
  •         Cost-sharing reductions
  •         Individuals or family: If you add more people to the plan, it will cost you more. On average, Alaska health insurance rates will cost you more for your family, as seen above. Individual health insurance in Alaska costs less.
  •         Pre-existing conditions: Obamacare restrictions prohibit any insurance company from charging higher premiums for pre-existing conditions, including in Alaska.
  •         Gender: Males have a higher risk of heart disease and other illnesses, which may drive up premiums. It depends on the insurance company’s policies.
  •         Insurance and medical history: If you have a history of medical issues, you will find it harder to find affordable health insurance in Alaska since you are at a greater risk for filing claims.

Pros & Cons

The Pros

The Cons

Final Verdict

FAQs

When Will Alaska Open Enrollment For 2021 Health Insurance Coverage?

The Alaska state health insurance assistance program opens enrollment for the 2021 health insurance coverage plans from November 1st till December 15th of 2020. Residents who have qualifying events can also change or enroll for their plans outside of the above window.

Did Alaska expand Medicaid?

The Medicaid eligibility in the state was expanded under the ACA in 2015.

Is Health Insurance Mandatory in Alaska?

Health insurance is not mandatory in Alaska, and neither are employers required to provide it for their employees.

What is the income limit for Medicaid in Alaska?

The income limit for nursing homes or institutional homes is $2,349 for singles, $4,698 for couples, and $2,349 for married individuals. Regular Medicaid services for the aged, disabled, or blind is $1,455 for singles. $2,155 for couples and $2,155 for married individuals.

Why is healthcare so expensive in Alaska?

Health insurance can cost a lot in Alaska due to numerous factors. Firstly, the state has a relatively small population and is quite isolated from the benefits of broader markets for medical insurance in Alaska. Substantial amounts of Alaskan residents live in remote areas without a  proper road system. There aren’t many medical service providers, and there is limited competition, especially when it comes to specialists.

There is also a high compensation for all providers due to the low availability of eligible physicians and specialists. The hospital margin for profit in urban areas is also higher than the national average of profit.

What Are Short Term Health Insurance Conditions?

Short term health insurance in Alaska offers coverage for limited time periods. The maximum age limit for most insurance companies is 64 years . Short-term plans are suitable  for people who require affordable health insurance in Alaska for a short period of time. This includes people in-between jobs, living in the state for some time, or any other reason.

What is the uninsured population rate in Alaska?

In 2014, the uninsured rate was 22.20% in , and the number has been estimated to have reduced since Medicare eligibility requirements were expanded in 2015.