Best Cheap Health Insurance in Alaska

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Contributor, Benzinga
November 13, 2019

There are a few things that are a challenge when you live in Alaska. Luckily, it’s not tough to find good health insurance. 

You can get health insurance if you’re self-employed, work for a small employer or if you don't have a job. Let’s take a look at how to get the best health insurance in Alaska. We’ll cover costs, types, coverage and also go over the best providers available. 

The Best Health Insurance in Alaska:

What is Health Insurance? 

Health insurance is a type of insurance that covers medical expenses. Health insurance in Alaska can be public — available through Medicare or Medicaid. 

It can also be private, but how do you get private insurance? You can get it through your employer’s group health plan or a private entity. You can also get health insurance from a licensed broker or agent. Finally, you can shop for health insurance using the federal marketplace.

The Marketplace helps you shop for health insurance. It can also help you find the best health insurance companies in the nation. 

Average Cost of Health Insurance in Alaska

Health insurance premiums are based on age, amount of coverage and location. Alaska has the highest health insurance premiums in the country. The state’s rugged, remote geography, small insurance market and a high cost of living result in high insurance premiums.

Goods get to Alaska by boat and plane, rather than by cheaper road or rail travel. There are a small number of care facilities so Alaskans visit emergency rooms more than residents of other states. So higher cost procedures are common because Alaskans rely less on preventive care. 

Here’s a look at the average cost of health insurance coverage for single residents of Alaska per month:

  • 21-year-old: $425
  • 30-year-old: $480
  • 40-year-old: $545
  • 60-year-old: $1,150

The monthly tally increases with the number of people you have in your family. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t find cheaper options in Alaska. Check out the 4 best cheapest health insurance providers in the United States. 

Types of Health Coverage

We’ll focus on private health insurance in this article. Private health insurance includes:

Managed care plan: The insurer contracts with a network of health care providers. Choosing out-of-network hospitals and clinics will add penalties and fees.

Indemnity, or fee-for-service plan: You can choose your own treatment location. Expect to pay about 20% of your health-related costs. This type of cost-sharing is called coinsurance. 

Health maintenance organizations (HMOs): Your primary care physician coordinates all care. HMOs only fund treatment referred by your general practitioner — you’ll negotiate fees ahead of time to keep costs low.

Preferred provider organizations (PPOs): A PPO allows you to visit any doctor you prefer. PPOs negotiate costs with a network of approved providers. You'll pay less for treatment and can still use out-of-network providers. You don’t need your primary care physician to refer you to a specialist — you can call up a specialist on your own. 

Point-of-service (POS) plans: A POS plan is a mix of HMO and PPO plans. You can:

  • Coordinate all treatment through a primary care physician.
  • Receive treatment within the insurer's provider network.
  • Use non-network providers.

The type of plan will dictate the progress of treatment.

What Does Health Insurance Cover?

Health insurance covers a lot but it doesn’t cover everything. Know what’s covered and what isn’t covered when you take a look at various health insurance policies. By law, every policy must cover a standard level of care. You'll get illness or injury care when you’re in-network — as well as emergency care.

Most health insurance policies cover:

  • Addiction therapy
  • Prescription drugs
  • Physical therapy
  • Mental health treatment
  • Pregnancy and postnatal care
  • Surgery
  • Doctor visits
  • Emergency medical treatment
  • Cancer treatment
  • Laboratory tests
  • Chiropractic care and more

Check with individual plan details before you decide on the best care for you.

What Does Health Insurance not Cover? 

Health insurance covers many aspects of health maintenance and restoration. But some things are not covered by health insurance. In some cases, such as dental and vision, you can get separate insurance coverage. In other cases, such as elective cosmetic surgery and LASIK, you’ll need to start saving.

Some of the more common things not covered by health insurance include:

  • Adult dental services 
  • Vision services 
  • Hearing aids
  • Uncovered prescription drugs 
  • Acupuncture and other alternative therapies 
  • Weight loss programs and weight loss surgery 
  • Cosmetic surgery (if it’s not necessary) 
  • Infertility treatment
  • Sterilization reversal
  • Private nursing 
  • Travel vaccines 
  • LASIK 

Best Health Insurance Providers in Alaska

You can get great health insurance in Alaska; put a little time and effort into finding the right care. UnitedHealthcare and Premera Blue Cross and Blue Shield operate throughout Alaska.

Other providers are available, but it’s easiest to use an insurance reseller to find them. Let’s take a look at some of your best options in America’s Last Frontier:

UnitedHealthCare Health Insurance
Best For
  • Same day coverage available

1. UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare's network of doctors provide health insurance to both individuals and employers. UnitedHealthcare is an in-network only company — customers must use these plan providers. They can choose a network physician or specialist without a referral.

UnitedHealthcare also offers an array of health and wellness resources. You'll find an online health assessment, personal health record and an online health coaching module. If you’re in a pickle, you can get coverage the next day after you sign up.

Get short term coverage if you:

  • Are between jobs
  • Can't afford traditional insurance
  • Are a recent graduate or
  • Retired early
Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Insurance
Best For
  • Nationwide coverage
securely through Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Insurance's website

2. Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield

Premera serves individuals, families and employer groups. It’s the largest health plan in the Pacific Northwest and it also serves people in Washington and Alaska.

More than 3,300 doctors and other health care professionals serve more than 200,000 Alaskans.

Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield works hard to get you access to quality care and keep costs in check.

Agile Health Insurance
securely through Agile Health Insurance's website

3. AgileHealthInsurance

Agile is a great online source for short term health insurance (STHI). STHI is insurance contracted from 1 month to 1 year. You need to look at the coverage period offered by STHIs as some only offer a max of 3 months.

Agile offers instant quotes from many health insurance companies. If you’re in a time crunch, you can choose for your policy to begin the next day. Agile’s website allows you to compare health insurance quotes a plan that best meets your needs. 

Allied Insurance
securely through Allied Insurance's website

4. Allied Coverage

Allied Coverage is an online marketplace for health insurance products. Leading health insurance providers make up its marketplace.

You can get several quotes and get savings on health insurance products and services. You'll also save up to 30% using its platform to get quotes from different providers. Enter your ZIP code through Allied’s online matching service.

You can also get health insurance buying guides to help you choose the best policy.

Health Net
securely through Health Net's website

5. Health Net

Health Net is an online, independent insurance marketplace. The website connects you to insurance providers that meet your needs and budget.

You can view health products as a standalone policy or as a bundled insurance package. 

Opt for the Right Health Insurance in Alaska

Health insurance helps keep you on the right path and covers you when life throws curveballs your way. Take our list and compare your options so you get the best insurance for you and your family.