Medicare in Alaska: What Are My Coverage Options?

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Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people over 65 and those with specific disabilities. There are many different coverage options to choose from, all depending on your needs. What’s more, Medicare in Alaska can be very affordable!

In this blog post, we will discuss Medicare coverage options in Alaska, as well as some popular hospitals and Medicare plans that you might want to consider.

What type of Medicare coverage is available?

Medicare in Alaska will cover hospitalization, medical expenses, and other health care services. There are several different types of Medicare coverage available to choose from.

Original Medicare

Here is the standard Medicare program that everyone pays into throughout their working lives. It consists of Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.

If you have worked for ten years or forty quarters, you can receive Medicare Part A for free. If you have not paid into Medicare throughout your working life, you’ll need to pay a premium for Medicare Part A.

Medicare Part A is considered your “hospital insurance.” It covers inpatient care, hospice care, and some limited home health services.

Medicare Part B does come at a monthly premium of $148.50 in 2021. This premium can increase if you have a high income.

Medicare Part B is considered your “medical insurance.” It covers medical expenses like doctor visits, outpatient services (like lab work), preventative benefits (including physicals), and durable medical equipment.

Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage is also called Medicare Part C. If the particular Advantage plan offers prescription drug coverage, also associated with a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan or MAPD for short.

Medicare Advantage plans are plans offered by private companies that contract with Medicare. It combines Medicare parts A and B and provides additional benefits such as dental coverage or vision services at no extra cost. If you choose to go this route, your primary care physician will be the one to coordinate all your healthcare needs.

Medigap Plans

Medicare Supplement plans, or Medigap for short, are available to supplement your Original Medicare coverage. Ten different Medicare supplements can help you pay out-of-pocket costs like copays and coinsurance when you’re in the hospital or receiving medical services from a doctor.

Unlike Medicare Advantage plans, Medigap plans do not combine your Original Medicare, Parts A and B, into one plan. A Medigap plan is a separate policy. If enrolled in a Medigap plan, individuals will also need to purchase an independent Dental, Vision, and Hearing policy and prescription drug coverage (also known as Medicare Part D).

Mountains in Alaska
What are Medicare plans available in Alaska?

Which Medicare plans are available in Alaska?

Original Medicare is available across the United States. However, specific MAPD, Medigap, DVH, and Part D plans are available depending on where you live. Let’s discuss your options in Alaska.

Medicare Advantage Plans

As of 2021, there are no Medicare Advantage plans (MAP’s) offered in Alaska. That is usually the case with rural areas, so it is no surprise that Medicare Advantage plans have not appeared in our 49th State.

However, the future of MAP’s is bright, and they will likely make an appearance soon.

Medigap Plans

Fourteen carriers are offering Medigap plans to Alaskan residents in 2021. These carriers include:

  • AARP
  • Colonial Penn
  • Globe Life
  • Humana
  • IAC
  • Loyal American
  • Moda Health
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • Premera Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alaska
  • Reserve National
  • State Farm
  • Transamerica
  • United American
  • USAA Life

These carriers will all offer the ten standardized plans of Medigap. Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N are the most popular and comprehensive of the ten plans.

Dental, Vision, and Hearing Plans

Dental, Vision, and Hearing plans are available all over the United States. There are multiple carriers and coverage levels. If you currently have a dentist, optometrist, and audiologist, you may want to determine which Carriers they accept payment from.

Some popular Dental, Vision, and Hearing carriers are:

  • Aetna
  • Manhattan Life
  • Medico
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • National General (An Allstate Company)

Part D Prescription Drug Plans

Since Medicare Advantage plans are not an option for Alaskan residents, individuals living there will need to enroll in a Part D prescription drug plan.

There are several carriers for these plans. Individuals will need to understand how their current medications are covered under each Plan to find the one with the most value.

The current Part D carriers in Alaska are:

  • WellCare
  • AARP (United Healthcare)
  • Cigna
  • Elixir
  • Express Scripts
  • Humana
  • SilverScript
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • Clear Spring Health

Each of these carriers offers several plans to choose from.

Which hospitals in Alaska accept Medicare assignments?

There are 26 hospitals in Alaska. Of course, you will likely want to seek care from the one closest to you, but the following eight rank highest in the care provided.

  1. Providence Alaska Medical Center: Anchorage, AK
  2. Alaska Native Medical Center: Anchorage, AK
  3. Alaska Regional Hospital: Anchorage, AK
  4. Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation: Dillingham, AK
  5. Central Peninsula Hospital: Soldotna, AK
  6. Maniilaq Health Center: Kotzebue, AK
  7. PeaceHealth Ketchikan Health Center: Ketchikan, AK
  8. South Peninsula Hospital: Homer, AK

If you are a resident of The Last Frontier and looking for ways to decrease your medical costs, give us a call. We’d be happy to review your needs and compare them to the available plans.

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Justin Brock

President & CEO of Bobby Brock Insurance