Stats in Your State
Many factors go into comparing health plans, rates, and coverage, and chief among them for many people is the cost of health care. The Simple Dollar has made comparing rates easy at a glance with the graphs and info listed below.
Between 2009 and 2010, children enrolled in government managed health care options increased from 86,695 to over 90,000, following a national trend of increased use of CHIP and Medicaid health care programs for children.
Individual Health Insurance Premiums
Alaska’s single-payer employee health insurance costs were nearly identical to the national average in 2011, at $1,082 per month. Its numerous industrial jobs make it a more costly health care environment than the rest of the West Coast and Northwest region.
Family Health Insurance Premiums
At $4,244 per month, health insurance premiums for Alaska families were well above the national average of $3,962. While incidences of sickness and disease are not markedly above national averages, the remote locations across the state make the cost of supplies and medical staff significantly higher than comparable services in the continental U.S.
SAHIE Health Insurance Uninsured
The Census Bureau estimated that between 2005 and 2010, roughly 1 out of 7 Alaska residents was uninsured. As of 2010, roughly 138,000 residents did not have health insurance, underlining the need for widely available affordable health care in Alaska.
Rules in Your State
The rules for health care in Alaska are clearly defined and regulated, making it easy for consumers to know their rights and options. Read through the list below to learn more about health care regulations.
Alaska Health Insurance Laws & Patient Bill of Rights
The Patients’ Bill of Rights protects consumers with numerous regulations. Read the entire Bill of Rights to take control of your health care, excerpted here are some of the more notable rights:
- An insurer may not retroactively deny a claim for a covered procedure if the insurer preauthorized the procedure on the basis of medical necessity.
- Emergency room services must be covered if any coverage is provided for treatment of a medical emergency.
- Covered health care services must be reasonably available in the community in which a covered person resides, or, if the health care service is not available in the community, adequate referrals outside the community must be provided if referrals are required.
Alaskan Rules: Alcohol & Your Health Insurance
Losses Due to Intoxication
- Alaska law permits health insurers to deny benefits for losses due to intoxication.
Health Insurance Parity for Alcohol-Related Treatment
- Health plans must offer coverage for treatment of alcohol-related disorders, but if a customer chooses not to pay for such coverage, insurers are not required to provide the same levels of benefits for alcohol-related disorders as they do for medical and surgical conditions.
- Health plans covering alcohol-related disorders may be subject to higher deductibles, higher premiums, and restrictive limits on lifetime treatment for alcohol-related disorders than for medical and surgical coverage.
- Small businesses with fewer than 5 employees are not required to offer such benefits on their employee health plans.
Unfair Claims Settlement Acts or Practices
Standards For Settlement of Health Insurance Claims
The Alaska State Legislature sets forth clear definitions for unfair practices, as well as standards for fair and equitable settlements of claims. The above links outline each.
Representatives & Resources in Your State
Numerous public resources are available for Alaska residents to better understand how health insurance works, how they can find a good policy, and what to do in case they are having difficulty with a claim. The links below are great starting points for readers to find the info and assistance they need.
Alaska Division of Insurance
9th Floor State Office Bldg.
333 Willoughby Avenue 99801
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0805
Consumer Complaint Resource
Every claim might not be a walk in the park, so the Division of Insurance has a convenient consumer complaint resource to help consumers who are having difficulty with their insurer.
Consumer Guide to Choosing an Insurer
The Division of Insurance has also published a guide to choosing a good insurer, and how to navigate switching policies if your insurer withdraws from the market or changes their policies.
Federal Laws Affecting Health Insurance In Alaska
The Division of Insurance has provided a general overview of how federal laws associated with the ACA will affect health care for Alaska residents.
Alaska Denali Kid Care: Children’s Health Insurance Program
The Alaska Denali Kid Care program is the CHIP program for Alaska residents to find insurance coverage for their uninsured children. It is affiliated with Medicaid, and allows low-income and other qualifying families to enroll their children in health care programs.
Contact Information for Alaska CHIP
The Affordable Care Act (ACA)
Affordable Care Act: What It Means For Alaska Residents
The Affordable Care Act, which is often referred to as Obamacare, addresses health care reform and affects nearly all American health insurance policyholders. Visit the above link or go to Healthcare.gov to get current information on how the Affordable Care Act is affecting Alaskans and their health insurance.
National Association of Insurance Commissioners
The NAIC is a useful resource for consumers to research insurers, complaints, and learn more about the industry in general. Since insurance is regulated at the state level, it should be used as a general resource, and information on detailed insurance questions should be sought at the state level.