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'Obamacare' comes into focus for AK

Rates among the highest and the lowest in the nation, depending on annual income

Posted: September 28, 2013 - 8:38pm  |  Updated: September 29, 2013 - 8:04am

It’ll be Oct. 7 before Central Peninsula Hospital has brokers assisting some of the thousands of community’s uninsured adults and children with health insurance enrollment.

From a hub in the medical center, brokers from Enroll Alaska, a private company, will work with people looking for help enrolling in insurance plans now required by Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”

Aside from enrollment help at CPH, people can begin signing up for insurance online as soon as Tuesday.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services report compiled in mid-September, a single 27-year-old Alaskan earning $25,000 annually will pay between $312 and $48, depending on the level of insurance sought and income. A family of four making $50,000 a year will pay between $1,131 an $0 per month depending on the quality of insurance sought.

Prices for plans in Alaska range from the second highest nationally, only behind Wyoming, to the absolute lowest prices for low-income residents.

The service at CPH is just one way that Peninsula citizens and legal residents can access healthcare plans on the state’s Federally-facilitated Marketplace, set up by the federal government after Gov. Sean Parnell chose not to have Alaska build its own exchange.

Also available to help people work through the new system and enroll for healthcare are United Way navigators, the statewide 2-1-1 system, healthcare.gov and direct communication with the two providers that have decided to take on Alaskans and small businesses — Premera Blue Cross and Moda Health.

The federal government spent $67 million across the nation to fund navigators — $300,000 of it in Alaska, which will fund four navigators to cover the enitre state.

One thing to remember, said Sue Brogan, vice president of income and health at United Way of Anchorage, is that not everyone has to get signed up for insurance on Oct. 1.

People should take their time to learn about the plans, subsidies and tax credits in effort to decide which plan best serves them. There are 90 days to sign up during the first enrollment period, Brogan said.

Different than the United Way Navigators, who are restricted to explaining the enrollment process alone, brokers working from CPH will be able to give their opinion and direct advice on which plan — including the details of subsidies and tax breaks — best suits the individual, said Shanda Hall, Central Peninsula Hospital revenue cycle director.

According to the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development Division of Insurance those who do not maintain minimal coverage will face penalties for every uninsured month starting in January 2014. Companies with less than 50 full-time employees will not be required to offer health plans. Those with more than 50 employees have to provide plans and can be fined if one employee obtains coverage through an exchange.

Penalties per month for each individual in the household not maintaining insurance will range from $95 in 2014 to $325 in 2015 to $695 in 2016 and beyond. There is a cap of three penalties per month per household with some exceptions for penalties based on income.

Minimal coverage is defined by the Congressional Research Service as Medicare part A; Medicare Advantage; Medicaid; State Children’s Health Insurance Programs; TRICARE; the VA Healthcare Program and employer sponsored plans.

Residents on the Peninsula who use the CPH brokers stationed at the hospital will not be charged for the broker’s services. Enroll Alaska will earn its fee from the insurance companies, Hall said.

According to Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-partisan non-profit source on healthcare policy and issues, about 58 percent of Alaskans without insurance as of Oct. 1 will qualify for some form subsidy.

The main form of help paying for insurance, for those who qualify, will be through the Premium Tax Credit which can either be paid directly to the insurance company and reduce the monthly bill or taken at the end of the year when taxes are done.

Tax credits and subsidies for insurance will depend on the size of household and the household income, ranging from no cost to those at 78 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) to 400 percent above the FPL. Those at 78 percent or below the FPL will likely qualify for Medicaid and have no costs for insurance and those at 400 percent of the FPL — $117,000 for a family of four in Alaska — will pay no more than 9.5 percent of their income, about $926 per month for the family.

The brokers at CPH will enroll new insurance clients with both Moda and Premera Blue Cross, the only two providers to sign on for Alaska.

An additional advantage of the broker is that once the insurance is purchased, people will have access to the broker for questions and issues later, hall said.

Hall said that brokers were equally affiliated with both providers. There should be no bias for one company over another, she said.

The brokers are not working for the hospital and there is no financial gain to the hospital. It’s just a community benefit, Hall said.

Reach Greg Skinner at greg.skinner@peninsulaclarion.com

 

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Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 09/29/13 - 08:50 am
2
3
If you want to start learning

If you want to start learning now about this .gov scam you'll have to read and obtain the truth else where as they don't even know what's in the law other than they want to be totally exempt from it's controlling power over their lives while the they shove it down Americas throat.

Norseman
3200
Points
Norseman 09/29/13 - 09:05 am
5
3
do you pay car insurance wow?

do you pay car insurance wow? how did you like that crammed down your throat?

quit being a part of the problem by spewing out lies about this healthcare program. calling everything you don't agree with a scam makes you appear very misinformed about the real world around you.

history will show that this was a good thing for our country and all of you haters will be left with egg all over your face.

all of the sheeple who have bought into the the extreme right wingnut [filtered word]s, cruz, koch brothers, fox news, and far far right repubs are being duped so badly it almost makes me feel sorry for the lot of them.

keep embracing all of the mega corporations agendas and just see how this will end up benefiting your grandkids.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 09/29/13 - 09:35 am
2
4
I drive a truck. And as I

I drive a truck. And as I read your continual post all I can say is DITTO and take your own advice Mr Kettle. Like I said, no one is going to learn anything from this Government sight about surviving this Ponzy scheme that others have been jailed for doing to others.

bluffbunny
73
Points
bluffbunny 09/29/13 - 09:19 pm
1
4
obamacare

Muslims are exempt from these regulations, due to their religious beliefs......are they also exempt from being required to have car insurance?

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 09/29/13 - 09:29 pm
1
2
ENROLL ALASKA enroll now,

ENROLL ALASKA

enroll now, click and find locations near you is what the ad says on the pages of the Clarion with a pair of unworried coffee drinkers with no care in the world thanks to free stuff someone else pays for while they enjoy the good life others provide for them simply by signing up.
PICK CLICK AND GET, IT'S EASY.
We are in the midst of economic ruin and the Democrats won't even come to work until 2:00 on Monday, 10 hours before the money stops flowing and they have to vote on the Bill the House sent the senate. They knew this debt ceiling was coming when they passed the last extension, what is their problem other than we keep them in office?
Free money has got to stop someday and I don't think they or Obama Care's that we will never recover from his dream acts.

Raoulduke
3014
Points
Raoulduke 09/30/13 - 03:48 am
1
0
Read The ACA

Even when it is in black,and white.There are some.Who refuse to READ.What is written.When one has a preconceived mind set.One will read something else between the lines.Which makes for very poor comprehension of what is written.

Suss
3528
Points
Suss 09/30/13 - 07:42 am
1
1
Read the Policies; Coverage

Group/Employer plans have a major advantage over individual private plans. Talk to someone that has your interest at heart, not a person on percent of sales commission. Aside from being beyond confusing on the deductibles, co-pay, coverage, in-network, out of network and exclusions, this looks very costly for my subset. Good luck and please find a trusted guide for this insurance quest.

JohnPeterZenger
729
Points
JohnPeterZenger 09/30/13 - 09:00 am
3
1
Except of course,

....it's actually not very costly.

(and bluffbunny, thanks for revealing your racism, what you say is not true, but it does feed into your racism)

Norseman
3200
Points
Norseman 09/30/13 - 10:37 am
2
1
......."Muslims are exempt

......."Muslims are exempt from these regulations, due to their religious beliefs......are they also exempt from being required to have car insurance?.........."

Where on earth did you grasp onto this line of bs? Oh let me guess...faux news.

Nowhere is there any shred of truth to that drivel.

Suss
3528
Points
Suss 09/30/13 - 12:48 pm
0
0
ACA savings?

More than $24,000.00 per year plus costs for two adults no kids.

You can submit your own data and find out for yourself whether the new mandatory insurance is a good deal for you or your family. Not so good for some, but if everyone has to pay something it would be more equitable. Anchorage zipcodes are priced higher than other zipcodes.

http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 09/30/13 - 04:38 pm
2
0
Why is what Bluffbunny said a

Why is what Bluffbunny said a hard thing for you two to comprehend there Norseman and JPZ, and why is it racism?
Obama is exempt, all senators are also, some big business's, some unions now are also exempt along with other Special groups of people even religions.
It's a train wreck and if it's supposed good for some, it should be good for all. The reason for the special groups of exempt ONES, is that it's not Good for anyone.
Please vote Tuesday oct. 1st for your researched best choice or do a write in.

JohnPeterZenger
729
Points
JohnPeterZenger 09/30/13 - 08:02 pm
1
1
Don't believe someone telling you what the cost will be.

The exchanges aren't open yet.

But if you want info that is not an estimate. The Kaiser site is only a guess at best.

Try going to the actual Marketplace exchange site.

http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/MarketplacePremiums/ib_marketpla...

The Kaiser site is only a guess at best. The real costs are coming in under the earlier estimates.

The average monthly premium in Alaska for a mid-level health insurance plan will cost $474 a month.

Two adults, that's $11,376 a year. Two adults, no kids, less than half of $24,000.

Could someone pay more? Maybe, if they are buying some elite level of coverage, but you easily could pay much less and still obtain good coverage.

There are several levels of coverage available. And sliding rates.

A person who earns less than $57,000 dollars a year will qualify for a subsidy cutting costs further.

A family of four in Alaska with an income of $50,000, if they choose the most basic coverage, their insurance will be no cost to them.

Go to the source, don't believe people who cannot know what you will pay.

Find out for yourself.

Go to this site Oct 1, then you can actually figure and know your costs.

healthcare.gov.

Don't believe people who make guesses based on incomplete information. Find out the real answer for yourself.

Suss
3528
Points
Suss 10/01/13 - 06:49 am
2
1
Don't believe people, find your own costs!

JPZ is correct, everything he said is an estimate.

Do your own homework.

The cheap policies will have you paying 60% of the costs.

Read through what is covered and what your share (costs) will be.

The more expensive the policy the less you share costs.

Until you have the insurance coverage written, paid and signed for, you have no idea what it does nor what it costs.

Good luck with insurance 101; and there will be a test.

The only two options for ACA:

https://www.modahealth.com/shop/explore-plans?preferences=1

https://www.premera.com/ak/visitor/shop-for-plans/individual-and-family-...

number3
75
Points
number3 10/01/13 - 12:20 pm
1
1
obamacare

Let me see if I get this, if I am a US Senator or Congressman I don't have to sign up for Obama care because the taxpayers are paying for my healthcare even after I retire.

If I am an illegal alien I don't have to pay for my healthcare because the taxpayers are picking up the tab.

The Senate hasn't passed a budget in five years and has tabled all of the budgets sent to them by the House yet the House is somehow responsible for the government shutdown because there is no budget.

I think that about sums it up.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 10/01/13 - 02:36 pm
2
1
A couple more facts about

A couple more facts about Obama care are that ALL POLLS like the Clarion had asking who wants this ABOMINATION indicated that the Majority of Americans DO NO WANT IT.
That's ALL POLLS on many and all news sites asking the question show the same results.
I found out watching the local news that Alaska Natives are also somehow exempt from this wonderful plan which is Good for them, but once again why not everyone if there are a few who are exempt, why not ALL?
So lets see now what we have is many are exempt from this Dream Act Primarily the DEMS a LAW that the majority does not even want and the GOP is guilty of shutting down the govt. for doing what Americans want done in stopping the madness and that's a bad thing now?
Dang those GOPERS for listening to America about this LAW that's being shoved down our throats in spite of what the polls show of WE DON'T WANT IT, YOU TAKE IT IF IT'S THAT GOOD.
This is kind of like the old cereal commercial were two brothers did not want the new cereal so they tricked young unknowing brother Mikey into eating it and it was all of a sudden a good thing for them as well because Mikey liked it.
Well, we are not Mikey and we are not swallowing this junk being shoved down our throats proclaimed as it's good, you'll like it.
I know, you special interest groups try it and if we decide you REALLY like it, then we will try it. NOT!

dragonfly
48
Points
dragonfly 10/02/13 - 04:49 pm
1
2
KNOW THE FACTS NOT THE RHETORIC

ACA= Medicaid for the masses unless you are wealthy. Expect to see a shortage of doctors who cannot afford to take on more Medicaid patients. A shortage of doctors who cannot take on more Medicare patients since Obamacare took a half of trillion dollars from Medicare and lowered the rates for both doctors and hospitals.

There isn’t going to be enough young healthy people buying into the exchange and therefore Obama is going to want to increase taxes or Obamacare will collapse. For many Americans premiums and deductibles are going UP! Read some of the studies done by reputable institutions that have studied the law and the thousands of pages of regulations.

Sen. Begich voted for ACA and voted against the House amendment that would repeal the tax on Medical Devices. This will increase our cost and could send these companies overseas. Obamacare is responsible for layoffs and full time jobs being reduced to part time throughout the country.
Every week you can read about more companies that are denying employer based coverage because of the high cost due to ACA.

Begich voted against an amendment offered by Republicans that would repeal the illegal waiver given by King Obama that excluded Congress, their aids, and all White House staff. We the people pay 72% of the government subsidies that are only given to Congress and they don’t want to give it up.

Proven by his record of party line votes Begich will never vote for any amendments offered by Republicans that would help fix Obamacare if his party does not support it.

Leaders in the Democratic Party like Senator Reid have publically admitted that ACA is just the first step towards a One Payer System which is Socialized Medicine and Begich knows this. Look up the stats on breast and prostate cancer in countries with Socialized Medicine and compare them with the US and you will realize why Socialized Medicine sucks. Look up the waiting time for hip or knee replacements while you’re at it.

Democrats were against Tort Reform which would lower the expensive insurance that doctors must have because Democrats receive large donations from trial lawyers.

Democrats were against small businesses being allowed to group together for purchasing health insurance for their employees. Only large corporations were given a waiver by Obama because they have lobbyists.

Democrats were against buying across state lines giving more competition to insurance companies which would lower the price for consumers.

Democrats were against postponing the individual mandate until security concerns were addressed. Identity theft is at a higher risk. People hired by the government to help people navigate through the exchanges are poorly trained and not qualified. Many are former ACORN members.

Democrats were against verifying that a person is eligible for a government subsidy to help pay for their health insurance therefore we can expect to see some fraud just as we have seen in other welfare programs i.e. free cell phones, food stamps (SNAP), child tax credits by illegal aliens etc.

Even though HSS knows that the federal data hub that is suppose to connect Obamacare with Social Security, Homeland Security and Medicare etc. isn’t functional they still refused to postpone the individual mandate. Another words they cannot verify if a person is a US citizen or their level of income.

Democrats don’t give a damn that ACA is adding to our National Debt and will continue to do so.

You may be opposed to shutting down the government but this was the last exit ramp that Republicans had. We voted these members of Congress into office to listen to their constituency and the ACA (Obamacare) one of the largest pieces of legislation ever was put into law without any input from the Republicans and the manner in which the votes were obtained was nothing less than a dictatorship process.

Senator Begich doesn’t give a damn about individual’s rights and believes government knows best even though the level of incompetence, corruption, and waste of taxpayer’s money has never been higher in our federal government.

By the time, WORKING Democrats realize how bad the ACA is it will be too late and we all have to suffer when there were better ways to reduce the cost of health care, insurance and giving health care to the poor without the federal government coming between us and our doctors.

janetate
13
Points
janetate 10/02/13 - 06:50 pm
4
0
There are probably lots of

There are probably lots of flaws in the new act, but it's better than the situation now. It's inexcusable that people in the US can't go to the doctor because they can't afford it, or that they fall into terminal debt because of an illness or accident.
And of course some people don't want to have to pay for insurance- they can freeload. My insurance keeps going up partly to cover the 20 $ million annual losses that Central Peninsula Hospital suffers because of non-insured people.
A single - payer system like that of every other modern, wealthy country in the world would be better: cheaper and providing much better care. I have never understood why business owners don't rally around that system- having employers pay for health insurance seems just crazy. It isn't done like that anywhere else. Imagine the relief to business owners not having to pay their employees' health care. Yeah, it would cost something, but in the end we all pay for each other anyway.

Raoulduke
3014
Points
Raoulduke 10/03/13 - 02:45 am
0
0
Acorn Members

Dragonfly -The government is not hiring.So! how did you find out that there would be untrained,and also former ACORN members.Would be the people that will help the American public navigate the insurance exchanges . I would like to SEE PROOF of this,not someones own suppositions,or I heard it on FOX news. Show me where you got your information. Please.I can not stand anymore scare tactic rhetoric.

number3
75
Points
number3 10/03/13 - 04:37 am
0
0
Check out Obamacare

LMAO!!! I finally got through to Healthcare.gov and here is the GREAT DEAL I have to choose from. Monthly Premium is $839.25 My Current Premium is $348.00 Deductable is $5,000 per person…$10,000 for family Current Dectuble is $500 per person $1000 for family I also have an option for a $1,834 premium with a $2,000 deductable. My current health insurance will go up this month because of obozocare but no where near this BS. GOOD LUCK SUCKERS!!!! Cheaper than cell phone bill…LMAO

Suss
3528
Points
Suss 10/03/13 - 05:18 am
0
0
Employer Plan

Number3's numbers sounds pretty good, so could you share where we could get such low rates? Employer plans are generally the best bargain and that is why there are incentives for employers to provide the plans to employees.

Raoulduke
3014
Points
Raoulduke 10/03/13 - 07:19 am
0
0
Income

number3

Number3 are not the premiums based on income? You must be making over the high end of their income scale to deserve such high premium payments.I would stick with what you already have.The ACA was designed for the 30+ million Americans.Who can not afford payments to the insurance companies,and are afforded an alternative.The ACA has been in play now for approximately 72 hours.I would give it a little more time before becoming so fatalistic.I thought the stealing of the presidency in 2000 was a great deal worse than the ACA.

aren't the premiums

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 10/03/13 - 01:02 pm
0
0
Stinking no good Glitches.

Stinking no good Glitches. Has anyone tried to sign up for this here in Alaska yet and if so please tell us what happened and a success story to report on. Under my union insurance I can't change and or afford this Free affordable care act so I've not tried to go on line. Maybe the Clarion could do a test run like another news agency's did yesterday, I think it was ABC, or NBC maybe, but they gave up after an hour plus with no results or ability to sign up.
Just wondering if any have accomplished this task yet here in AK. I also suffer from receiving services from different medical providers who are out of network and believe this will also be the case for this ACA plan many sign up for leading to mass frustrations by many who although they will now have insurance, they are limited in where it is accepted and a circle of seeking care becomes an endless pain. As the title says some of the highest and lowest rates nationwide here in AK leading to mass confusion.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 10/03/13 - 01:18 pm
0
0
Thanks #3 for this news on

Thanks #3 for this news on rates. That's my problem as well I pay retirement rates of almost $1100 a month with $500 for self and wife as a deductible now and am not allowed to shop around.
It does appear that the middle class is being held HOSTAGE with ransom demands for us to share our wealth to boost money hungry medical and government in spite of what Obama accuses the GOP of doing for a Law designed to destroy ALL, rather than help any.
So are we going to listen to the Super Duper as he tries to Dupe us all, or we going to listen to Obama and not be Duped into believing this lie?
What a mess and thanks for the news there Number3 it's does appear that this good deal is not as a few of us have warned it would not be.

leewaytooo
1759
Points
leewaytooo 10/05/13 - 08:12 am
2
0
"•Personal disposable income

"•Personal disposable income has grown nearly 6 times more under Democratic presidents

•Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has grown 7 times more under Democratic presidents

•Corporate profits have grown over 16% more per year under Democratic presidents (they actually declined under Republicans by an average of 4.53%/year)

•Average annual compound return on the stock market has been 18 times greater under Democratic presidents (If you invested $100k for 40 years of Republican administrations you had $126k at the end, if you invested $100k for 40 years of Democrat administrations you had $3.9M at the end)

http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamhartung/2012/10/10/want-a-better-economy...

•Republican presidents added 2.5 times more to the national debt than Democratic presidents

•The two times the economy steered into the ditch (Great Depression and Great Recession) were during Republican, laissez faire administrations

repukes the party of lies, liars and hypocrites

so what does this tell us????

repukes suck from the nation the nation's resources.

whereas the democrats work towards a better future for all.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 10/12/13 - 10:50 am
0
1
So far 7 times more is the

So far 7 times more is the cost of getting this Abomination on line. It's probably the GOP's fault, their intentionally going on line to crash it.
Nope, that's not it, it simple is inept and undoable.
I fore see massive ID theft from these programs taking silly people's personal info on line.
It's not meant for Good folks, any part or function of it.
People are going to be left with no insurance and no credit either from this ACA, then we'll see how affordable it is without even the massive price tag for insurance added in.
Time always shows reality of all things false or true.

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