Medicare Supplement Plans in Alaska
This state’s unique characteristics impact Medicare Supplement plans in Alaska. Known as The Last Frontier State, Alaska’s sizeable geographic area contains some larger cities and a lot of sparsely populated portions with scattered small towns. Learn more about local trends for Medicare Supplement plans in Alaska to make a good choice for yourself or somebody in your family. Understanding this Medigap plans information can save you headaches in the future.
Enrollment Statistics for Medicare Supplement Plans in Alaska
Consider these important enrollment numbers for Medicare Supplement plans and Original Medicare:
- Alaska Original Medicare population: Over 90,000
- Holders of a Medicare Supplement plan in Alaska: Over 12,000
- Popular Medigap plan: Plan F, with over 8,600 members
These are some Alaska population figures:
- Anchorage Municipality, AK: 298,192
- Matanuska-Susitna Borough, AK: 104,365
- Fairbanks North Star Borough, AK: 100,605
- Kenai Peninsula Borough, AK: 58,506
- Juneau City and Borough, AK: 32,468
Rate Calculations for Medicare Supplement Plans in Alaska
As in most states, the majority of Medicare Supplement plans in this state calculate rates based upon attained age. This means that insurers can use the current age of the beneficiary to calculate premiums when they renew each year. A Medicare Supplement plan in Alaska based upon attained age will typically appear lower in cost for a new beneficiary who is just turning 65, but the rates could increase dramatically as these people get older.
Two other Medicare rate-calculation systems that are less common in Alaska include:
About six percent of Medigap plans calculate rates using issue age. This is the age that the beneficiary was when first buying the plan.
About 15 percent of Medicare Supplement plans use community ratings. This system bases prices upon an average age of the members in a local area.
It’s important for Medicare beneficiaries to understand how an insurance company comes up with rates to predict how they may increase in the future. At the same time, you should expect any Medicare Supplement plan in Alaska to increase somewhat over time because of rising costs. It’s best to look into the pricing history for any insurer that you might consider.
Available Choices for Medicare Supplement Plans In Alaska
Alaska allows an insurance company to offer the same 10 standard plans that Medicare defines. Each Medicare Supplement plan provides specific essential benefits, but the most popular choices usually offer more coverage and also have somewhat higher monthly premiums.
To help you understand which Medigap plans are most popular, here is a ranking of the most common options:
About 8,600 enrollees
About 800 enrollees
About 500 enrollees
How Does Medicare Supplement Plan in Alaska Cover Prescriptions?
You may have already learned that most Medicare Advantage plans come packaged with a Medicare prescription drug plan. With a Medicare Supplement plan, you can’t expect coverage for most prescriptions outside of a hospital or other healthcare facility. This is because Medigap plans were mostly designed to work with Original Medicare, and Part A and B only cover prescriptions in certain circumstances.
With a Medicare Supplement plan, beneficiaries also need a drug plan. You can enroll in Part D during your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period. You’re even free to compare Part D plans during Part D Open Enrollment every year.
Some people find that it’s a benefit to be able to compare Part D plans to see the best drug coverage without having it bundled with a medical plan. The insurer with the best drug coverage for you might not be the one who also offers you low Medigap plan rates.
Enrollment Periods Medicare Supplement Plans in Alaska
In Alaska, you get the basic Medigap Open Enrollment Period that federal law offers.
- You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B and be at least 65 years old.
- From the first month of Original Medicare after age 65 and for six more months, an insurance company cannot turn you down or charge you more than their regular rate for any plan because of pre-existing conditions.
- You may also qualify for 63-day Special Enrollment Periods if you lose your current plan, move, or for other qualifying reasons.
- Note that you can also delay your Initial Enrollment Period if you still have job-related health insurance on your own or through a spouse.
If you’re under 65 and have just enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, insurers don’t have to sell you Medicare Supplement plans in Alaska. You will get Guaranteed Enrollment for Medicare Supplement plans after you turn 65, but until then, you might consider Medicare Advantage as another way to help control coinsurance, premiums, copayments, and deductibles.
Using Alaska Medicare Supplement Plans Outside the State
The main benefits of choosing Medicare Supplement plans over MA plans could include the flexibility to visit just about any doctor who accepts Original Medicare. You don’t need a referral to a specialist or to consult a list of network providers. This means that you can also use your benefits about anywhere in the United States.
If you do intend to move permanently, you should tell your Medigap company about your new address. The rates for Medicare Supplement plans can change by the location of your home address. Otherwise, most Medigap policies are portable. If yours is not, you should get another Special Enrollment Period in your new city to pick another plan.
Sources for Members With Medicare Supplement plans in Alaska
Alaskans may benefit from these helpful Medicare resources: