Margaret Huntley Last Updated On: August 1, 2023

Find Affordable Health Insurance in Alaska

Health insurance is a crucial form of insurance for all Americans to have as it ensures that they are able to afford quality health care whenever they need it. 

While the state of Alaska does not legally require residents to carry health insurance, when an aggressive grizzly gives you a one-way ticket to the emergency room, you’ll wish you had health coverage to help with those hospital bills—because bears don’t often carry liability insurance.  

Alaska has plenty of affordable health insurance policies available to support residents in any health crisis. Let this article be your guide to understanding the ins and outs of your health coverage options on The Last Frontier. 

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Table of Contents

Health Insurance Coverage Options in Alaska

There are several ways to categorize health insurance policies; the first of which is to distinguish between marketplace insurance and government-sponsored insurance. 

If a plan is purchased individually through the state health insurance marketplace, then that is a private insurance policy. But if it is federally funded, like Medicare or Medicaid, then that’s a government-sponsored plan. 

We’ll walk you through both types of policies, beginning with the government-run ones. 

Medicare in Alaska 

Medicare is an affordable health insurance plan for seniors over the age of 65, and those under that age who are living with specific disabilities such as End Stage Renal Disease, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS). 

Medicaid in Alaska

The second kind of government-sponsored health insurance is Medicaid. This plan offers affordable coverage for Alaskans who have a household income below a certain threshold.  Under the Affordable Care Act, Alaska extends eligibility to those whose income is at or below 138% of the federal poverty level. 

As of 2023, the federal poverty level for an individual in a single income home is $14,580 annually. Thus, a single person in Alaska making an annual income of $20,120.40 or less is eligible for Medicaid. 

Types of Alaska Health Insurance Plans

Those who don’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid can purchase a health insurance plan from the state marketplace.  In Alaska, there are three “metal tiers” that categorize different insurance policies. These tiers describe the general monthly cost of health insurance and the general deductible rate.  Here are the details on the types of health insurance offered in Alaska:
  • Gold: Mid-level cost for monthly premiums with a low deductible. These plans are ideal for those who expect large medical costs throughout the year.
  • Silver: The middle ground policy with premiums remaining mid-level (slightly below Gold) and deductibles being mid-level as well. Good for those who need more extensive coverage but are unable to afford a Gold policy.
    • Note: Silver plans offer extra discounts and cost-sharing reductions to save on out-of-pocket expenses for those who make 250% or less of the federal poverty level.
  • Bronze: Has the lowest monthly premiums with a higher deductible. A good fit for those who are younger and healthier. The state of Alaska does not offer any expanded bronze plans.
If you have questions about which tier would suit you best, an insurance agent can help you understand your options.

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Different Forms of Health Insurance Policies

While the metal tiers describe the general cost of your insurance, they don’t necessarily describe how the plan will actually function. This is because there are different ways for a health insurance plan to operate.  Here’s a brief description of the differences between the various forms of health insurance plans:
  • Health Maintenance Organization: Requires you to name a Primary Care Provider (PCP) who coordinates all healthcare needs, and they will have to refer you to specialists. Requires you to seek care within a healthcare network, except in the case of an emergency.
  • Preferred Provider Organization: No PCP required. Instead, the insurance provider pre-authorizes healthcare expenses. Can go out of network, but at a higher out-of-pocket price.
  • Point of Service: Middle ground between the above two plans. Does require a named PCP but has the out of network care option.
  • Exclusive Provider Organization: No PCP required but you must seek healthcare only within the network (except in the case of an emergency).
You can purchase these different types of health insurance plans as Gold, Silver, or Bronze depending on your needs. A Medicare Advantage plan can also take on any of these forms. 

Average Cost of Health Insurance in Alaska

In addition to understanding the structure of health insurance policies, it’s also helpful to know what to expect in terms of pricing. And when it comes to cost, well, we have good news and bad news. 

The bad news is that the overall average cost of health insurance in Alaska for 2023 is $699 per month, which is a 17% increase over last year. 

The good news, however, is that there are many money-saving actions that you can take to get cheap health insurance in Alaska. 

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Determining the Price of Health Insurance

It’s extremely uncommon for two people to pay the same price for health insurance, even if they have the same type of policy. This is because each person has a unique set of needs, budgets, and lifestyles that all factor into the price of a policy.  The price of health insurance in Alaska is determined based on:
  • Age – The older you are, the more expensive the plan
  • Metal Tier – Bronze plans cost less than Gold
  • County – where you live in Alaska affects insurance prices too
  • Policy Members – the more family members in your policy, the higher the price (but overall this is cheaper than separate policies for each person)
Luckily, there are always ways to find savings on health insurance. More on that next.

Saving on Health Insurance in Alaska

Some price-determining factors such as age are outside of your control when it comes to health insurance. But others can be altered in order to save you money.  Here’s some tips on how Alaskans like yourself can save money on health insurance:
  • Shop Around: Insurance companies are always trying to stay competitive by offering different policies for different prices. Every year it’s important to re-evaluate your insurance plan and research all your options to ensure that you are getting the best bang for your buck.
  • Explore Work Healthcare Plans: Certain employers sponsor health insurance plans for their employees. Often the company will get a discount on the policy, meaning that you’ll save money by purchasing your health insurance through work.
  • Stay In-Network: insurance companies have agreements with healthcare providers within their network. This often takes the form of negotiated rates. Receiving your healthcare in network—even if your plan allows out of network care—will save you money.
  • Move to a Cheaper County: Obviously there are more factors to moving than just health insurance rates, but if you were already considering moving, it’s worth factoring insurance rates into the decision-making process. The cheapest counties in the state are: Hoonah-Angoon Census Area, Haines, and Fairbanks North Star.
Ready to find out what you can expect to pay for health insurance in Alaska? Click here for access to free quotes and more. 

Alaska Health Insurance Plans: Final Thoughts

Your health matters. But so does saving money. These things can coexist thanks to affordable health insurance in Alaska. Setting up great coverage before you need it is key, so that the next time a moose decides to take its anger out on you and your car or you spend a little too long in the cold staring up at the northern lights, you have the health insurance you need. 

Ready to explore Alaska health insurance plans? Access to fast, free quotes can be found here. Now go ahead and get back outside; Mother Nature is the best healthcare after all!

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