As the costs of health care and medical services continue to increase, the benefits of having a health insurance coverage becomes more apparent.

You should know though that insurers compute premiums, the money you pay for towards your coverage, based on many factors. Some of the major considerations include the state and exact city you live in, as well as both their uninsured rating.

In general, areas with a high percentage of insured individuals offer better premiums. In 2015, 14.9% of the state’s population (an estimate of 738,432 people; 2015, latest data1) had no health insurance. Although still high, this represented a 5.0% decrease rate, meaning 36,000 more of its residents gained coverage during this year, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

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Health Rating and Ranking

Insurers also prioritize state-based health ratings to determine premiums.

The Land of the Midnight Sun ranked 32nd in the 2015 Commonwealth Fund’s Scorecard on State Health System Performance. Most notable takeaways from the study include the following:

  • Mortality amenable to healthcare: 72 out of 100,000 people

  • Breast cancer fatalities: 19.3 out of 100,000 women

  • Percentage of adult smokers: 19%

  • Adult obesity: 30%

  • Obesity in children aged 10-17: 30%

The scorecard also provided the following statistical comparisons:

  • 22% of adults (19 to 64 years old) don’t have insurance, compared with the national average of 15%.

  • 12% of children (infants to 18 years old) are uninsured, as opposed to the countrywide average of 6%

  • 12% of the adult population chose not to obtain insurance due to the high costs associated with it

  • 18% of adults had expensive out-of-pocket medical bills

Find the Best Health Insurance

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Coverages the Portion You Have to Pay

The type of coverage you can get depends on your individual case. However, know that you can get one of these four insurance plan types:

Bronze – 60%

Silver – 70%

Gold – 80%

Platinum – 90%

Bronze
Silver
Gold
Platinum

To give you an idea on how much you can expect to pay for premiums, the United States Department of Health & Human Services listed these potential premium averages for 2017 in Alaska:

  • $1,004: Average lowest-cost, monthly premium within metal level

  • $172: Average net premium for lowest cost plan within metal tier

  • $760: Second-lowest silver before advance premium tax credit (for a 27-year old with a $25,000 household income)

  • $2,750: Second-lowest silver before advance premium tax credit (for a family of four with a $60,000 household income)

Exemptions

You might qualify for an exemption to the mandatory health insurance when you meet any of these criteria:

  • The lowest-priced coverage you can find for yourself still amounts to more than 8.13% of your household income

  • Your income is below the range that requires filing

  • You have financial difficulties

There are several other exemption eligibility factors, but this doesn’t mean you should already go without insurance, unless you have the financial ability to pay for high out-of-pocket expenses.

Coverage, Poverty and Income: The relationship

The nation’s average household income increased by 5.2% in 2015, from the previous year’s median of $56,516 to $53,718. With this increase, 6.1% more of the country’s population became insured.

The Affordable Act Care isn’t your only option for obtaining health coverage. Alaska is home to numerous other insurance firms offering wallet-friendly premiums, so you just need to do your homework and allot some time in comparing their services and rates. You should also inquire about any discount programs, such as those granted to individuals who don’t smoke.

References:

http://datacenter.commonwealthfund.org/scorecard/state/3/alaska/

https://aspe.hhs.gov/compilation-state-data-affordable-care-act

https://aspe.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/212721/2017MarketplaceLandscapeBrief.pdf

https://www.healthcare.gov/health-coverage-exemptions/forms-how-to-apply/

1Latest data: The U.S. census is conducted every 10 years as per requirement of the United States Constitution. The 23rd edition and the latest data is the 2010 United States Census. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_Census
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