Alaska Health Care Exchange Goes Live

So the Federal Government is shut down and Obama care marches on.  It’s not easy to figure out where to go to comply with the new act.  This article provides directions to where you need to go.

How does the Alaska Health Care Exchange Compare

Alaska had three choices to comply with the Affordable Health Care Act:

  1. Create their own exchange (18 states);
  2. Joint venture with the federal government (7 states); or,
  3. Let the Federal government set up the exchange (26 states including Alaska).

How do the Alaska costs Compare

There are so many variables that comparison for everyone is difficult.  However, the Government has prepared a report comparing the costs for 27 year olds across the 50 states.  Younger people generally have the lowest cost for health care because they are generally more healthy.  Accordingly, these rates may not show the rates they intend to charge for older citizens.

Where Do Alaskans Go to Sign Up for Affordable Health Care In Alaska

You go to, more specifically you go to the Alaska page, here.

How do I sign Up?

Create an account: First give some personal information. Then choose a user name, password, and security questions for added protection.

Apply:  Starting October 1, 2013 you’ll enter your personal and your families personal information, including your income, household size, and more.  You can use this checklist to collect all the information they’ll want from you.  You’ll also need to collect the complete information about any employer plan that you are qualified for through another family member, found here

Pick a plan:  Next you’ll see all the plans and programs you’re eligible for and compare them side-by-side.  You’ll also find out if you can get lower costs on monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

Enroll:  Choose a plan that you think you can afford and enroll.

So I Enrolled and I’m Sick Is the Doctor Visit Covered?

Your actual coverage starts no sooner than  January 1, 2014.  To get your coverage in place by January 1, 2014, you need to enroll no later than December 15, 2013.

What If I don’t Enroll?

Under the Affordable Care Act people must get  insurance coverage beginning in 2014 or face tax penalties called the Individual Mandate. This includes both yourself and your children who are legal US citizens.The fee in 2014 is 1% of your yearly income or $95 per person for the year, whichever is higher. The fee increases every year. In 2016 it is 2.5% of income or $695 per person, whichever is higher.In 2014 the fee for uninsured children is $47.50 per child.The most a family would have to pay in 2014 is $285.  Paying the Tax won’t give any health benefits. You still will be responsible for 100% of the cost of their medical care.

Can I Wait Until the End of 2014 to Get Coverage and Avoid the Individual Mandate.

No, you have to get your coverage before March 31, 2014.  The only exceptions are for qualifying life event.  A qualifying life event makes you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in health coverage. Examples of qualifying life events are moving to a new state, certain changes in your income, and changes in your family size (such as, if you marry, divorce, or have a baby).  Life event planning may allow you to forego insurance early in the year and get coverage late in the year to avoid the tax.

It will be interesting to see how enrollments proceed over the next 180 days.  Will the uninsured embrace Obama Care?