Annie Feidt, APRN - Anchorage
afeidt (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8443 | About Annie
When Governor Sean Parnell decided to reject federal Medicaid expansion last fall, he asked for a study detailing the safety net services available to low income Alaskans. That report is out this week and it shows 12,000 Alaskans have no reliable access to health care, particularly specialty care.
Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska has a new president. Jim Grazko is replacing Jeff Davis, who held the job for 17 years and is retiring at the end of June. Premera Alaska is the largest health insurer in the state, serving more than 100,000 customers.
Cancer is often described as a modern disease. But the skeletal remains of our ancient ancestors are marked by the ravages of cancer. And an Anchorage scientist- who’s a cancer survivor, thinks those prehistoric bones could hold clues to understanding how the disease works today.
BP announced Tuesday it’s selling some of its assets on the North Slope. The company will sell to aging oil fields – Endicott and Northstar – to Hilcorp, a company that is developing oil and gas wells in Cook Inlet. Hilcorp will also buy a 50 percent interest in two other fields- Milne Point and Liberty.
Want to know how many people have signed up for private insurance under Obamacare? Like the law itself, the answer is complicated. The administration is tracking the number of plans purchased on healthcare.gov and on the state exchanges. But the federal government isn’t counting the number of people buying plans directly from insurance carriers.
The Obama administration announced today more than 7 million Americans signed up for health insurance on government run marketplaces by Monday’s enrollment deadline. In Alaska, the final numbers aren’t in yet. The two insurers on the state’s federally run marketplace are reporting they had 7,500 enrollees by mid March.
March 31st is the deadline for signing up for health insurance. And insurance companies in Alaska are bracing for confusion over the deadline. They worry many Alaskans don’t realize they won’t be able to buy health insurance anywhere after that date.
The deadline to sign up for health insurance is next Monday, March 31st. To accommodate the last minute rush, the Obama administration announced this week you’ll be able to enroll as long as you begin the process before the end of the month. After that, you won’t be able to buy coverage on healthcare.gov, or anywhere, unless you have a qualifying life event, like getting married or having a child.
The state is planning an aerial survey this spring to figure out how much new debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami has arrived on Alaska’s shores. Environmental groups spent much of last summer cleaning up debris. But the state’s vast and rugged coastline has made it a slow and costly project.
Alaskans working to sign people up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act say they’re seeing a big increase in enrollments this month. The boost comes as the March 31st open enrollment deadline approaches.
A State House committee has eliminated funding for a state program that helps medical professionals repay their student loans if they serve poor or rural patients. It’s called the SHARP-II program and clinics say it’s an essential tool to convince physicians and other medical professionals to care for patients in under-served communities.
Employers in Alaska pay the highest workers compensation premiums in the country. And most of that cost goes toward medical claims. The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce has for several years, made reforming the system one of its legislative priorities. And this year, at least one state lawmaker is working on legislation to help control workers compensation costs.
The Iditarod Sled Dog race will start from Willow as planned. The Iditarod Trail Committee has been weighing moving the race start to Fairbanks in the last week because of low snow and icy conditions on the 65 miles of trail between Willow and Skwentna.
On the Cross Country Skiing World Cup scene, the U-S Women are known as the team that has the most fun. And you can bet they’ll have more glitter, face paint and fancy socks than any other Olympic team in Sochi. The accessories may seem silly, but they’ve also become an important element in the phenomenal success of the team.
Most Alaskans know who Olympic skier Kikkan Randall is. But can you name her Alaskan Pacific University coach? His name is Erik Flora. He’s a workaholic who is enthusiastic, passionate and motivated. And he deserves more than a little credit for the dramatic turn around the U.S. cross country ski team has managed in the last decade.
Democratic state lawmakers are introducing legislation in the House and Senate to expand Medicaid in Alaska. Governor Sean Parnell rejected the expansion, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, in November.
Dozens of lawmakers and their staffers are relocating to the capitol city for Tuesday’s start of the legislative session. Lobbyists and reporters will also spend at least part of the 90 day session in Juneau. The temporary population influx provides an important revenue boost to many local businesses.