Few Options For Alaskans On Affordable Care Act Marketplace

Only two health insurers have applied to be part of Alaska’s federally run health insurance marketplace. The marketplaces will allow individuals and small groups to compare health plans and qualify for subsidies to help pay for them. Premera, the largest health insurer in Alaska, has applied to sell plans on the exchange as well as lesser known Moda Health (the company changed its name from ODS earlier this year). The state’s insurance director, Bret Kolb, said he isn’t concerned about the number of carriers. “It is what it is,” he said.

The applications have to be approved by the state and federal government. The health insurance rates on the marketplace won’t be released by the state until October 1st, when consumers can start shopping for plans.

Residents in some larger states will have many more options to choose from. 13 carriers in Colorado, for example, will offer marketplace plans.

This story is part of a collaboration between APRN, NPR and Kaiser Health News.


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Annie Feidt is the Editor and Producer of Alaska News Nightly, and is also a frequent contributor to the show. Her reporting has taken her searching for polar bears on the Chukchi Sea ice, out to remote checkpoints on the Iditarod Trail, and up on the Eklutna Glacier with scientists studying its retreat. Her stories have been heard nationally on NPR and Marketplace. Annie’s career in radio journalism began in 1998 at Minnesota Public Radio, where she produced the regional edition of All Things Considered. She moved to Anchorage in 2004 with her husband, intending to stay in the 49thstate just a few years. She has no plans to leave anytime soon. afeidt (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8443 | About Annie