Last Updated on September 22, 2020 by Andrew Lee
As the costs of health care and medical services continue to increase, the benefits of having health insurance coverage become 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, the latest data) 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.
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. The 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
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%
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)
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.