ACA health insurance applications due Friday

Friday is the deadline to apply for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Premiums are down this year and that’s in part due to the Alaska Reinsurance Program.

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The state-run program helps cover the high price of care associated with certain health conditions and has reduced the average cost of an individual health plan in Alaska by 22 percent.

Nearly 20,000 Alaskans signed up for insurance last year. This year’s enrollment period is six weeks shorter than last year’s. The state’s Division of Insurance estimates fewer than 15,000 Alaskans had enrolled by Dec. 9th. Division director Lori Wing-Heier is hoping for a strong showing in the final week.

Premera Alaska is the only insurance company offering individual plans in the state.

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Emily Russell is the voice of Alaska morning news as Alaska Public Media’s Morning News Host and Producer. Originally from the Adirondacks in upstate New York, Emily moved to Alaska in 2012. She skied her way through three winters in Fairbanks, earning her Master’s degree in Northern Studies from UAF. Emily’s career in radio started in Nome in 2015, reporting for KNOM on everything from subsistence whale harvests to housing shortages in Native villages. She then worked for KCAW in Sitka, finally seeing what all the fuss with Southeast, Alaska was all about. Back on the road system, Emily is looking forward to driving her Subaru around the region to hike, hunt, fish and pick as many berries as possible. When she’s not talking into the mic in the morning, Emily can be found reporting from the peaks above Anchorage to the rivers around Southcentral.