Open Enrollment for Health Insurance Marketplace Begins in Alaska and Around the Country
ANCHORAGE, AK -- It is about health insurance and Peace of Mind for Alaska families. As the Health Insurance Marketplace begins Open Enrollment, it is time for people in the Last Frontier to sign up and find the best health insurance option.
Open Enrollment through the Affordable Care Act began Sunday, November 1, 2015, and is open until January 31, 2016, for new customers. Those with existing plans who would like to make changes that take effect on January 1, 2016, must do so by December 15, 2015. Otherwise, changes can be made until the enrollment deadline. Financial help is available to offset the cost of insurance for many Alaskan applicants.
This is the first open enrollment period in Alaska where Medicaid expansion will be part of the equation, bringing relief to thousands of Alaskans who didn’t have a coverage availability in the past.
“I’m pleased that Alaskans now have more health care options than ever before,” Governor Bill Walker said. “I took action in July to expand Medicaid to bring our federal tax dollars back to Alaska. Under the Healthy Alaska Plan, Medicaid is now available to thousands of Alaskan adults. If you’re sick or injured, you can’t work. Healthy Alaskans mean a healthy state economy.”
Nancy Merriman is the Executive Director of the Alaska Primary Care Association. She said, “The goal is access to health care, and the enrollment numbers demonstrate a level of success. Enrollment has grown to more than 21,000 Alaskans signing up for a new insurance plan or re-enrolling in an existing one. We expect Alaskans who are now eligible for Medicaid will also be seeking assistance in getting coverage. Alaska Primary Care Association looks forward to helping more Alaskans gain the sense of security that comes with good health coverage.”
United Way of Anchorage Vice President of Income, Health Impact and Alaska 2-1-1 Sue Brogan said, “United Way of Anchorage is a third year grantee to provide trained Navigator services in Anchorage with an experienced team available to support those needing insurance. Access to health care for all residents has been our continuing focus throughout our work in the community. Now, more than ever, the need for insurance is critical.”
Every Alaskan currently enrolled through Healthcare.gov should visit the site to ensure their information is up-to-date. There may be additional plans available and different prices, so it is recommended that even those satisfied with their current plan look through the current options.
“AARP has long focused on guaranteeing access to affordable health coverage,” said Ann Secrest, Director of Communications for AARP Alaska. “Particularly for Americans ages 50–64 who have faced unaffordable insurance premiums in the individual market based on their age, pre-existing conditions, or health status.” She noted that more than 88% of Alaskans who applied last year were eligible for cost savings.
Individuals already insured through the Marketplace may be required to change their password on the Healthcare.gov website for security reasons. Insured individuals may also be sent a letter requesting more information. It is important to respond right away, as insurance coverage could be cancelled if all required documents are not received by the due date in the letter.
How to find local support anywhere in Alaska:
Go to https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/
For support outside of Anchorage:
1-844-PLANSAK (1-844-752-6725) Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm to speak with a certified Navigator. www.getcoveredalaska.org
For support in Anchorage:
Call 2-1-1 or 1-800-478-2221 to speak with a certified Navigator. www.Alaska211.org