Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska will be the only Affordable Care Act (ACA)-compliant individual health insurer in Alaska for 2017.
Moda Health Plan, Inc. is withdrawing from the Alaska individual health market on December 31, 2016.
Alaskans with individual coverage purchased directly from Moda or Premera (not on the Healthcare.gov marketplace) must shop for and select a new plan.
You can contact a health insurance broker or contact the insurer directly to purchase a plan from Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, the only ACA-compliant individual health insurer in Alaska for 2017.
Alternately, you may purchase a Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield plan through Healthcare.gov.
If you need local assistance, you can
See Get Health Insurance.
Alaskans who obtained coverage in 2016 through Healthcare.gov should update their account information during the open enrollment period.
Once account information - including expected income for 2017 - has been updated, shop for a plan that meets your budget and healthcare needs.
The Alaska Division of Insurance is working with Healthcare.gov to ensure that all Alaska consumers with 2016 marketplace plans discontinued for the upcoming year are automatically renewed into the most similar plan available on the exchange for 2017 if they do not select a new plan prior to December 16, 2016.
However, the division urges you to actively select a health plan.
As long as you continue paying your premium, you are covered under your current plan until December 31, 2016.
Starting on November 1, you will have the opportunity to select a new plan at Healthcare.gov.
If you do not select a new plan, you will be renewed into the most similar plan available, with coverage effective January 1, 2017.
If you currently have an individual health plan from Moda Health, they will cover you until December 31, 2016. You should continue to contact Moda Health Plan, Inc. with your claims or coverage questions.
Tax credits are based on a number of factors such as family size, income, and the federal poverty level. The ACA limits the amount of premium that consumers are required to pay if their family income is between 138% and 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL) for Alaska.
Tax credit amounts are based on the second-lowest cost silver plan offered in the Marketplace. The tax credits available to Alaskans for 2017 will be reset based on the plans available; therefore, consumers can expect changes to their tax credit amounts.
It is likely that you had a transitional plan. These plans were allowed to renew without incorporating several ACA provisions including coverage for mental health services, maternity benefits, prescription drug coverage, and cost-sharing limitations.
In addition, transitional plans were underwritten, meaning Alaskans with certain pre-existing health conditions were prevented from obtaining health insurance. The new ACA-compliant plans incorporate additional benefits, and all Alaskans are able to enroll regardless of medical history.
Premera announced on October 13th that they will continue the transitional plans one more year as permitted by the federal government and the Division of Insurance. Premera will be sending out additional information shortly to notify affected consumers who will be able to continue their plans. Please note that there will be an increase in premium amount for the 2017 plan year.
Rates for these plans are being finalized, and consumers can expect another notice with the final premium amount in order to continue their current coverage.
Premera made a business decision to reduce the number of plans marketed in Alaska. In addition, they changed their participation with the multi-state plan program; the effect on consumers with multi-state plans was primarily a name change.
There are a number of reasons your premium may have increased more than the widely reported 7.3%.
You can contact Premera or your agent for questions regarding your plan or rate. Starting November 1st, the division recommends that you shop for a plan that meets your needs regarding deductibles, cost-sharing, and premium.
In order to be eligible for a tax credit or Medicaid expansion, your annual household adjusted gross income must be lower than the following amounts:
Please see income and household information for additional details regarding income.
If you have seasonal or variable income, it may be hard to predict what your income will be for the year but you will want to make a realistic estimate.
If you make more than 400% of the FPL, you will be responsible for paying back all advanced premium tax credits received. If your income estimate is inaccurate but your income is lower than 400% of the FPL, will need to pay back a portion of the tax credit up to $1,250 ($2,500 for families).
If you over-estimate your income, you are able to receive the full amount of the tax credit you are eligible for on your tax return.
Premera has posted information regarding their Alaska plan offerings.
After November 1st, information will also be available at
The Division advises consumers to exercise caution when considering a short-term health insurance policy. These plans are designed to be used for brief periods of time such as when you are between jobs.
Only licensed agents should assist you with the purchase of health insurance; make sure the company and agent you are working with are licensed in Alaska.
Short-term medical health plans are:
Please see this press release for more information about short-term health insurance.
Health Care Sharing Ministry (HCSM) plans are provided by an organization coordinating medical expenses – not an insurance company - and the documents provided are not an insurance policy. The plan works by pooling the health care expenses of members, with each person sharing in the payment of medical expenses.
However, the decision to assist with medical bills is voluntary because participants are not compelled by law to contribute. Whether or not you receive a payment from the ministry for payment of medical expenses and whether or not this organization continues to operate, you are personally responsible for the payment of your medical bills.
HCSMs also do not have to follow ACA regulations, including annual and lifetime limits and coverage for essential health benefits, and may apply pre-existing condition exclusions.
HCSMs may refuse to share claims that result from prohibited behavior. For example, an unmarried pregnant woman may be ineligible for maternity benefits, or other services such as alcohol or drug abuse treatment may be excluded from sharing.
Because of the limitations, the monthly sharing amount may appear attractive to consumers. HCSM plan enrollment has grown in the last couple of years. The Alaska Division of Insurance urges consumers to understand the limitations and restrictions involved before choosing an HCSM plan.
If you have any questions, please call the Division of Insurance at 907-269-7900.