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Alaska Health Insurance
According to the United States Census Bureau Population Survey (2005 - 2006), the percentage of Alaskans without health insurance was 16.9. This number is somewhat below the national average of approximately 20 percent.
Alaska Health Insurance Regulations
According to Alaska state law and the Alaska Division of Insurance, insurance companies that offer health insurance coverage to large and small employer groups:
- May not base eligibility for coverage on health status, claims experience, medical history or condition, disability, receipt of health care, genetic information or any evidence of insurability.
- Must continue to renew the coverage, except in certain circumstances such as failure to pay premiums
- May not require a preexisting condition waiting period that is longer than 12 months for a health condition that existed prior to the effective date of coverage. Pregnancy and genetic information cannot be considered preexisting conditions and therefore no waiting period may be applied.
- Must reduce any preexisting condition waiting period by the amount of time an individual was covered under prior health insurance coverage. However, the insurer is not required to reduce such a waiting period by any periods of health insurance coverage before a 90 day or more break in health insurance coverage.
Individual health insurance varies in Alaska and can turn applicants away based on "uninsurable" conditions. Alaska health insurance through an employer, however, cannot turn away an employee for health coverage. Some regulations on Alaska health insurance are relaxed. Alaska health insurance rates depend on health, age and risk due to dangerous careers. Alaska medical insurance is required to have a guaranteed renewability provision, therefore requests to renew an Alaska health insurance policy must be allowed as long as the consumer has not voided the contract. Elimination riders are typical in individual Alaska health insurance policies but are excluded from group health insurance policies. These riders eliminate the responsibility of the insurance company under certain conditions such as pre-existing medical conditions.
Alternative Alaska Health Insurance Options
Some health insurance plans available to Alaska residents are:
- Alaska Medicaid and Chronic Acute Medical Assistance (CAMA) are available to anyone who meets the eligibility qualifications. CAMA is a state funded program designed to help income-eligible Alaskans who have specific illnesses get the medical care they need to manage their illnesses. It is primarily for individuals (age 21 through 64) who do not qualify for Medicaid benefits, but have very little income, and have inadequate or no health insurance.
- The Alaska Comprehensive Health Insurance Association (CHIA) is the high-risk pool for Alaska health insurance through the state and is available to those who qualify as "uninsurable" due to chronic illness. A pre-existing condition waiting period may apply. In 1992, the Alaska legislature established a health insurance program for high-risk individuals. This law allows all individuals who have been refused coverage by at least two insurers, who have a specified medical condition, or who meet certain other criteria, to purchase coverage through CHIA.
- Individuals who meet the state definition of a federally defined eligible individual or an individual eligible under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reform Act of 2002 (TAA) can receive coverage through CHIA without a waiting period. A federally defined eligible individual is an individual:
- whose most recent coverage was under a group health plan
- who had at least 18 months of health insurance coverage
- who has exhausted any available COBRA coverage
- whose most recent coverage was not terminated due to nonpayment of premiums or fraud
- who does not have other health insurance coverage
- who is not eligible for other coverage
Denali KidCare is Alaska's state children's health insurance program (SCHIP) that is designed to provide Alaska health insurance to children under the age of 18 and pregnant women who do not meet the eligibility requirements for Medicaid usually because they are over income. In 2007, Alaska covered children with family incomes up to 154 percent of poverty ($33,064 for a family of three in 2007). In 2006, the SCHIP portion of Denali KidCare covered 22,227 children; however, 21,197 children remained uninsured.
Other means of obtaining Alaska health insurance or medical care include:
- Breast and Cervical Cancer Health Check Program
- Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC)
- Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)
More Information on Alaska Health Insurance
Alaska Division of Insurance:
Ninth Floor State Office Bldg.
333 Willoughby Avenue 99801
PO Box 110805
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0805
Phone (907) 465-2515
Fax (907) 465-3422
TDD (907) 465-5437
Robert B. Atwood Building
550 W. 7th Avenue, Suite 1560
Anchorage, Alaska 99501-3567
Phone (907) 269-7900
Fax (907) 269-7910
TDD (907) 465-5437
More information on Alaska Health Insurance can be found on HealthInsuranceWeb.
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