Health Insurance Quotes in Alaska
Compare Health Insurance Plans in Alaska
As a definition, health insurance covers some of the expenses associated with a person's health payment coverage and needs. These costs cover anything from surgeries to preventive care, to prescriptions, and more. Many different varieties exist under the health insurance umbrella, and the types of coverage that fall under this umbrella offer even more varieties. For people who seek help with covering medical costs, health insurance can play a vital role as it helps with minimizing their out-of-pocket payments to providers and for services. For people living in Alaska looking to find health insurance coverage, MyRatePlan makes it simple.
In most cases, health insurance offerings for people in the Alaska area are obtained through insurance benefits from employers or through a private company. Senior citizens and people who have disabilities can qualify for either Medicare. Sometimes, Medicaid is available to people who come from low-income socioeconomic situations. More often than not, Medicare and Medicaid cost less than a plan from a private company.
With any health insurance, there are various coverage options. Plans that offer cheaper premiums usually only cover catastrophes like heart attacks, accidents, or cancer. More expensive plans usually cover more simplistic options that include routine doctors visits and preventative care. To make the right choice on which plan to go with, people need to know their healthcare needs at present and at least for the near future.
Health Insurance Plans in Alaska
It can be quite hard to figure out how much coverage is needed for a particular year. That means that looking for the best policy to fit an individual's needs involves making the most educated guess possible. The best way to make a good estimate of your needs for the future is by assessing your past needs. A person who does not have any conditions that require regular medical visits, and who has stayed relatively healthy in recent year will likely be well suited by a lower costing policy with limited coverage. On the other hand, a person with a chronic disorder or weak immune system who requires constant medical attention will be best served by a more expensive policy that offers enough different types of coverage to serve individual needs.
Catastrophic Only policies provide health insurance for the lowest prices available in Alaska. Such policies are only for people who are healthy enough to feel comfortable with a plan that only covers the most pressing emergencies. Therefore, they are too limited for most in need of medical insurance. Even activities like frequent travel and daily chores can put people at risk for small medical needs that would not be covered in such a policy but cannot easily be planned for. While it's definitely challenging to plan for the unforeseen, small injuries and illnesses can cost much more than anticipated if health insurance coverage is not sufficient for the needs at hand.
As a general rule, the more inclusive the coverage offered in a policy, the higher the monthly premium is. Thus, medical insurance can be seen as a financial investment. The more you invest in your policy every month, the better covered you are when you have a medical need and the less you will need to pay out-of-pocket for expensive procedures, tests, and treatments. Finding a policy in Alaska that covers ER visits and frequent doctor appointments will always help should health needs change suddenly. So, in deciding how much is best for you to invest in a health insurance policy, an assessment of lifestyle and the danger involved in daily activities will help towards planning for the unpredictable. The most important aspect of choosing a health insurance policy is making sure that the basics are all met, and then add more coverage based on the perceived needs from that assessment.
Alaska Health Insurance Types
People soon discover that there are many types of plans for health insurance to choose from in Alaska. On first glance, they may appear to offer very similar levels of coverage but the flexibility of the different plans can vary. HSA, POS, HMO, MSA, FSA, HRA, and PPO are just some of the options people have to choose from. While confusing, it is important that people understand the differences in what these options have to offer before committing to a specific plan. Picking the wrong type of plan can have a devastating financial impact. Here is an explanation of some of the more common types healthcare insurance and how they work.
PPO stands for Preferred Provider Organization. This type of plan will typically consist of a large healthcare provider network that enables the insured person to choose the doctor they want to see or visit with a specialist without the need for a referral. So long as the insured visits a hospital that is within the network, the covered person will receive the most financial coverage. However, when a visit is made to a hospital outside of the network, partial assistance for costs can be received. Co-payments and deductibles are typically associated with PPO's and there are limits on yearly out-of-pocket expenses.
Health Maintenance Organization, or HMO, is a healthcare network that requires the customer to select a primary care provider to serve as the main point of contact for all of the insured person's needs in terms of healthcare. This means that people insured with an HMO-type healthcare insurance will have to go through their primary care provider and get a referral before going to see a specialist. HMOs in Alaska may have a lower premium than most other types of insurance plans, but many doctors do not accept HMO plans and means that the insured will have limited options. However, the plus side to HMOs is that there are no deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for the insured are usually very affordable.
Point of Service plans, or POS plans, combine features of both PPOs and HMOs. Along with a decent sized healthcare network, POS plans do not require the insured to pay deductibles and have very low co-payments, so long as the insured stays within the network. If the insured has to go outside of the network, deductibles and copayments can become very high.
Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA), Medical Savings Accounts (MSA), Health Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSA), and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) are non-traditional forms of health insurance plans that are also available in Alaska. These types of accounts are usually arranged through an employer and an employee where they set tax-exempt money aside in a savings account for medical expenses. These types of plans offer flexibility and can be used for surgical treatments, prescriptions, and doctor's visits. Many of these plans will allow for unused money to be rolled over into the next year.
Breakdown of Health Insurance Costs in Alaska
You may have heard the term "premium" when it comes to health insurance. A premium is the amount of money you pay monthly to have health insurance coverage. Whether you use your insurance or not, this money is never returned to you. Another familiar term is "deductible." This is the additional money you are required to pay to any healthcare providers before your insurance company starts to make their promised contributions for any medical costs.
Keep in mind that deductibles are different from out-of-pocket costs. A deductible is an annual financial responsibility but out-of-pocket refers to how much you have to spend before your insurance company will pay 100% of your bill.
Deductibles and out-of-pocket costs typically reset each year, with the previous year's expenses having no impact moving forward. So if you have a deductible of $5,000, for example, and you spent $3,000 out-of-pocket last year and your insurance renews with the sample plan in place, your out-of-pocket expenses are reset to $0 and that $3,000 from last year does not roll over. However, some plans in Alaska offer an exception to this rule and allow a rollover of your paid deductible amount from the previous year into the first quarter of the new insurance year.
Co-payments, also known as co-insurance, refers to your financial obligation of a medical visit or service. If your co-payment for visiting a primary care physician is $25, then every time you see your primary care physician, you pay $25. From there the insurance covers the balance if the services rendered are within coverage on your plan. Co-payments are not applied toward deductibles.
You may also receive a lifetime benefit from your insurance company. This refers to the maximum amount of money that your insurance company will pay in total for your healthcare. Medical claims will no longer be paid by the insurance company once this maximum amount is reached.
Your employment has a significant impact on the health insurance plans that are available to you in Alaska. Working for a large company will likely qualify you for their group health insurance plan. This is usually more affordable than getting individual healthcare, but no one is required by law to participate in these group health insurance plans.
Being self-employed or unemployed presents the option of purchasing private, individual health insurance. If you are a senior and do not work, you are eligible for government financial assistance through Medicare. Low income individuals can apply for government assistance as well, which is called Medicaid.
It is important to check with your doctor to see which health insurance plans they accept in Alaska if you want to continue visiting a specific physician. Notify your doctors if your insurance plan changes, and be sure to check with your insurance company regarding any specific questions or concerns about your coverage.
Get a Free Online Health Insurance Quote in Alaska
Shopping for health insurance may feel overwhelming, but having coverage is a liberating sensation. Knowing you can protect your health is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your family. So sit down, take a deep breath, and let MyRatePlan help you navigate your Alaska healthcare choices. Just give them your zip code and let them do the rest.