Medicare in Alaska

Medicare in Alaska

By the numbers

In 2012, only 10% of Alaska’s population was enrolled in Medicare, but this number seems to be growing each year. Alaska has shown higher than average increases in state spending on Medicare and in enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans in Alaska. Following is some information on Medicare enrollment and spending in Alaska in 2012:

  • Total number of beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare in Alaska: 69,301
  • Percentage of increase in Medicare spending in Alaska: 11%
  • Residents with creditable prescription drug coverage: 52,056
  • Percentage of growth in Alaska residents enrolled in Medicare Advantage: 39%

Medicare Advantage Organizations and Prescription Drug Plan Sponsors must have a contract with Medicare in order to sell Medicare insurance plans (such as a Medicare HMO or a Medicare Part D Plan. Depending on the terms of the contract between the plan and Medicare, not every plan is available statewide or in all service areas. Each year, the plan must renew their contract with Medicare, so the availability of a plan in a specific service area is subject to change as a result of the annual contract renewal.

Medicare resources in Alaska

Medicare resources offered in Alaska help beneficiaries who have questions about or need help with out-of-pocket expenses that Medicare doesn’t cover.

Alaska Medicare Savings Programs: For beneficiaries with limited income or resources, there are programs that may help pay for things like Medicare premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance. Normally, to qualify for programs that assist Medicare beneficiaries in Alaska, your income has to be under certain limits that are set by the government. These limits may be different in Alaska than in other states.

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Alaska State Health Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program (SHIP): This program provides information and personal counseling to Alaska residents who want more information about Medicare and what it covers. Beneficiaries can also use SHIP to report complaints about a Medicare provider in Alaska.

How healthy is the state of Alaska?

Alaska is the forty-seventh most populous state in the United States and ranked as the healthiest state in the nation. Alaska’s strength as a healthy state is helped by its high per capita public health funding as well as its low prevalence of diabetes. Two challenges facing Alaska are its high prevalence of binge drinking as well as its high violent crime rate.

All data provided by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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