Medicare Advantage in Alaska

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Alaska Medicare Advantage plan enrollment by the numbers

With fewer than 700 enrollees, Alaska has the fewest number of Medicare Advantage patients in the country.1 As a state with one of the lowest populations in the country, Alaska’s low Medicare Advantage enrollment number may come as no surprise.

All of Alaska’s Medicare Advantage beneficiaries belong to a local PPO plan. Other major types of Medicare Advantage plans include:

HMO

A Health Maintenance Organization usually requires patients to use health care providers and pharmacies that are part of the plan’s network (except in the case of emergencies) while also typically requiring a referral from a primary care doctor in order to see a specialist.

PPO

Medicare Advantage beneficiaries in a Preferred Provider Organization are able to see providers outside of their plan’s network, often at a higher cost. Beneficiaries in this type of plan typically pay less out of pocket if they choose to receive medical services from providers within their plan’s network. PPO plans typically do not require patients to acquire a referral before visiting with a specialist.

PFFS

A Private Fee-For-Service plan determines how much it will pay to health care providers and how much the patient will pay when care is received. With a PFFS plan, you can typically receive care from any doctor, hospital or health care provider that accepts your plan’s terms. Not all providers will accept these terms, however.

SNP

A Special Needs Plan is a type of Medicare Advantage plan limited to people with certain chronic conditions and  other specific characteristics. Typically, you must receive care from health care providers and hospitals within your SNP network, except for in cases when you need emergency or urgent care and when someone who has End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) needs out-of-area kidney dialysis.

Medicare Cost Plans, Medical Savings Accounts (MSA) and HMO Point-of-Service (HMO POS) plans are 3 additional types of Medicare Advantage plans that are available in some U.S. states.

Total number of Medicare Advantage enrollees in Alaska: 655 as of 20171

AK Medicare Advantage enrollees by plan type:

Plan type Percentage of Alaska enrollees (2017)
HMO 0%
Local PPO 100%
Regional PPO 0%
PPFS 0%
Cost Plans 0%
Other Plans 0%

Data reflects Medicare Advantage enrollment in the state of Alaska as of 2017, as obtained from the Kaiser Family Foundation Medicare Advantage 2017 Spotlight: Enrollment Market Update1

Alaska Assistance Programs

The state of Alaska has two programs in place designed to help senior residents get the most out of their Medicare coverage. The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) provide counseling, education and outreach to the state’s Medicare beneficiaries and their families to help them better understand their coverage, rights and options.

Alaska SHIP may be contacted at 800-478-6065, or 907-269-3680 within Anchorage. SMP can be reached at 907-269-3680.

You can also explore more information about the insurance industry in Alaska by visiting the state’s Department of Insurance website.