Annie Feidt, APRN - Anchorage
afeidt (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8443 | About Annie
A day after the launch of Alaska’s health insurance marketplace, it’s still impossible to sign up for plans on the website. The federal government says higher than expected web traffic has hampered all of the federally run marketplace sites, like the one in Alaska. They are working to add more server capacity to address the problem.
Alaska’s federally run health insurance marketplace officially launched on Oct. 1 as part of the Affordable Care Act. Starting Jan. 1, most people in the country will be required to have insurance and the Marketplace will allow them to shop for insurance and qualify for subsidies to help pay for it. Large amounts of website traffic and other glitches has made it impossible to sign up for insurance on the site so far today, but community advocates for the law are urging patience.
On October 1st, the federal government will launch its health insurance marketplace in Alaska. Several groups in the state are starting to get the word out about how residents can sign up for health plans under the law.
The tallest peak in North America is not as tall as previously thought. That’s according to new data from a federal and state effort to provide more detailed topographical maps of Alaska. Denali was measured at 20,237 feet – 83 feet shorter than maps indicate today.
The Chukchi Sea has one of the highest rates of sea ice loss in the Arctic, but the polar bears there don’t appear to be suffering as a result. A new study from the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service shows the Chukchi Sea bears are just as healthy as they were 20 years ago. The bears still face a grim long term future, but the new research shows there will be a lot of nuance along the way in how climate change plays out for polar bears in the Arctic.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has a difficult decision ahead of her. She was in King Cove Friday to visit with residents about a road they want to build through the heart of Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. Residents say the road is necessary to access emergency medical treatment, but a road has never been built through a wilderness area and environmental groups say it would set a bad precedent.
This week, we’re heading to Chefornak – a small village on the Bering Sea:- to talk Alexandra Anderson, the city clerk.
The largest health insurer in Alaska is likely to get a lot bigger next year. Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of two insurance companies that will offer plans on the new federally run marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. The company is expecting to serve thousands more customers in the state, but that growth will come with the kind of uncertainty the insurance industry has never had before.
Does Arkansas have a health care solution that would work in Alaska? The state’s Health and Social Services Commissioner, Bill Streur, is looking into that. Arkansas wants to use federal Medicaid expansion money under the Affordable Care Act to enroll people in private plans on its health insurance exchange.
On October first, the federal government is scheduled to have its health insurance marketplace up and running in Alaska under the Affordable Care Act. If you’re not sure exactly what a health care marketplace is, you’re not alone. So, on Thursday, the Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Susan Johnson, announced grants to two organizations to help Alaskans figure out how to use the new marketplace.
Dawn Dillard never wanted to retire. The 57-year-old expected to keep working as a public advocacy lawyer until she turned 100, but last year, a diagnosis of uterine cancer forced her into retirement. Now her full time job is fighting terminal cancer. And she says even if the disease kills her, she doesn’t want it to defeat her.
The U.S. women’s cross country ski team has never won an Olympic medal. But that could change in Sochi, Russia this winter. Leading the way is Alaska Pacific University skier Kikkan Randall, the best sprint skier in the world. Summer training usually involves giving up on snow, but the U.S. women have a secret weapon as they prepare for Sochi – APU’s Eagle Glacier training camp.
The state is prosecuting the largest Medicaid fraud case in its history. The Medicaid fraud division filed charges today (Tuesday) against 28 personal care attendants, who take care of elderly and disabled people in their homes. It’s part of a state effort to crack down on Medicaid fraud.
Four pediatric residents got their first taste of Alaskan style medicine this spring. It’s part of a new partnership based at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital to create an unusual type of medical residency. The doctors will spend one third of their three year training in Alaska. The program is designed to help recruit more pediatricians to stay in the state after the graduate.
The state is keeping a tight lid on a study it commissioned last year on expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The expansion would provide health care coverage to about 40 thousand low income Alaskans. The federal government would pay most of the bill. Governor Sean Parnell has decided not to expand Medicaid, for now. The study it won’t release is meant to inform the Governor on whether to reconsider that position.
Only two health insurers have applied to be part of Alaska’s federally run health insurance marketplace. The marketplaces are required under the Affordable Care Act and will allow individuals and small groups to compare health plans and qualify for subsidies to help pay for them.
Patients have a difficult time getting information on hospital costs. And the doctors who work in those hospitals are no different. They rarely know the hospital charges they generate for patients when they perform procedures. But last year, two of the largest pediatric groups in Anchorage discovered what Alaska Regional Hospital is charging for a simple infant procedure. And they decided to take a quiet stand against a fee they feel is unreasonably high.
The ice jam that is causing devastating flooding in the Yukon River community of Galena is slowly starting to break up. National Weather Service Hydrologist Ed Plumb says he first saw signs it was crumbling late this morning. He says this afternoon, large pieces were starting to break off the front of the ice jam.
A group of friends in Anchorage is hosting a series of bone marrow registry drives for a local doctor who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Lukemia in March.