Short Term Health Insurance In Alaska
Currently, consumers in Alaska can subscribe to a short-term health plan for up to 90 days. The state of Alaska doesn’t impose limits on the term length of temporary health plans. However, the federal government stipulates that the duration of short-term health insurance plans cannot exceed three months, and this includes Alaskan plans.
However, you are free to renew your short-term plan after the term period ends in this state. Of course, this freedom is limited to whether a temporary carrier is willing to write you another policy, but the state itself does not impose limits on how long people can continue to carry short-term plans.
The Alaska Department of Insurance cautions consumers that temporary health plans are not the same as coverage from a traditional health plan that’s compliant with the standards set by the Affordable Care Act. Despite these warnings, the Department of Insurance does not impose any specific mandates on what is covered by short-term plans. Limited-duration plans don’t have to provide any of the 10 minimum essential benefits required by major medical policies under Obamacare. This means that your plan may exclude care for drug or alcohol rehabilitation, marital counseling, accidents incurred while participating in extreme sports, or pregnancy and childbirth.
Short-term health plans also do not typically cover pre-existing conditions. In fact, because these plans are medically underwritten, you can be denied a plan altogether because of your health history, or your insurer could opt not to renew your plan if you develop medical problems during your initial coverage term. Even if you do get accepted, the insurer will probably not pay for any claims related to a condition that developed before your coverage began.
The Department of Insurance advises consumers that carrying short-term health coverage may not exempt you from the federal penalty for having insufficient health insurance coverage. Beginning in 2019, the government will remove this fine, but people who have temporary health insurance in 2018 may still have to pay it.
Despite the various limitations of short-term insurance, there are some protections that Alaska provides for consumers who subscribe to these health plans. If you visit an out-of-network provider, there is a minimum reimbursement rate set by the state; the insurer is required pay at least that much for your care. Additionally, short-term insurance companies must follow state regulations regarding rate increases.
Alaskan insurance officials recommend that you not subscribe to short-term insurance plans as a substitute for standard ACA-compliant plans. You should instead rely on temporary plans only to fill a limited-duration gap in coverage.
The Alaska Department of Insurance runs a Consumer Services division. They urge consumers who have questions about short-term plans to contact that division for information. You can also reach out to Consumer Services to confirm whether an insurance company or agent is currently licensed in the state of Alaska to sell short-term health plans.
Carriers Offering Short-term Policies in Alaska
The IHC Group (International Holding Company)
Marketplaces located at eHealth and Agile Health Insurance websites