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Medicare Supplement Plans in Alaska

Summary: Medicare Supplement plans in Alaska are designed to fill the financial gaps left by Original Medicare. There are numerous options for Medigap plans in Alaska to meet diverse budgets and healthcare needs. Evaluate the Medicare Supplement plan options available to you to find the plan that fits your needs. Estimated Read Time: 11 mins

Table of Contents:

    1. Best Medicare Supplement Plans in Alaska
    2. Eligibility for Medigap Plans in Alaska
    3. Medicare Supplement Plan Costs in Alaska
    4. Companies Offering Medigap Plans in Alaska
    5. Medigap Plans in Alaska for the Disabled Under 65
    6. Medicare Supplement Plan Rating Methods in Alaska
    7. Medigap Guaranteed Issue Protections in Alaska
    8. When to Enroll in Medigap Plans in Alaska
    9. Does Alaska Allow Medicare Excess Charges?
    10. Additional Medicare Coverage Options in Alaska

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Medicare Supplement plans in Alaska are an excellent option for covering the costs left behind by Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B). Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans cover benefits alongside Original Medicare to help lower out-of-pocket expenses. However, unlike Original Medicare which comes from the federal government, private insurance companies provide Medigap plans.

There are 12 Medigap plans available in Alaska, but availability will vary depending on where you live within the state. When comparing Medicare Supplement plans, Alaska residents will find that the best option out there will be the one that fits their individual healthcare needs and budget.

Best Medicare Supplement Plans in Alaska

The best Medicare Supplement plan in Alaska will be the one that provides the most coverage for your healthcare needs and is affordable. Because everyone has different needs, you’ll find many options available.

Because Medigap plans come from private carriers and not the federal government, premium rates can vary between companies. However, the benefits of each lettered Medigap plan would be consistent from carrier to carrier as they are standardized by federal law.

For example, if you enroll in Medigap Plan G with Aetna and your neighbor enrolls in Plan G with Cigna, you will have the same coverage.

Of Alaska’s 12 Medicare Supplement insurance plans, the three consistently popular options are Medigap Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N.

Medicare Supplement Plan F in Alaska

Medicare Supplement Plan F delivers the most comprehensive coverage to Alaskans. Your Medigap Plan F benefits cover the costs for Medicare Part A and Part B) deductibles, copayments, and coinsurances.

Medigap Plan F in Alaska includes:

  • Part A deductible, coinsurance and hospital costs, and hospice care coinsurance
  • Part B deductible, copays, coinsurance, and any excess charges
  • Blood (first 3 pints)
  • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
  • Foreign travel emergency – 80%

However, while the plan isn’t becoming unavailable, to enroll, you must have been eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020.

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Medicare Supplement Plan G in Alaska

Medicare Supplement Plan G is a popular choice for those who aren’t eligible for Medigap Plan F because it offers most of the same benefits at a comparable premium.

Medigap Plan G in Alaska includes:

  • Part A deductible, coinsurance, hospital costs, and hospice care coinsurance
  • Part B copays, coinsurance, and any excess charges
  • Blood (first 3 pints)
  • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
  • Foreign travel emergency – 80%

With Medigap Plan G, you’re still responsible for your Medicare Part B deductible, but it’s identical to Plan F in its benefits besides this variation.

Medicare Supplement Plan N in Alaska

There is also Medicare Supplement Plan N, which is quite popular with beneficiaries looking to save money on their monthly premiums. There are still costs to be aware of, such as covering copayments when visiting the Emergency Room or the doctor’s office. With Medigap Plan N, you’ll also need to cover your Medicare Part B deductible.

Alaska is a state that allows Medicare Part B excess charges. Such charges are rare, however, but you should be aware of them when deciding on a plan.

Medigap Plan N in Alaska includes:

  • Part A deductible, coinsurance, hospital costs, and hospice care coinsurance
  • Part B copays/coinsurance
  • Blood (first 3 pints)
  • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
  • Foreign travel emergency – 80%

Each of the Medicare Supplement plans in Alaska offers its own unique level of benefits. If you are looking for a lower premium, Medigap Plan N could be for you. But if you need more frequent healthcare, Medigap Plan G or Plan F if you qualify, are likely better coverage options.

Eligibility for Medicare Supplement Plans in Alaska

To qualify for an Alaska Medicare Supplement plan, you must fulfill the eligibility criteria established for Original Medicare. Typically, this entails being aged 65 or older and having maintained United States citizenship for at least five years.

Nevertheless, exceptions may grant individuals eligibility for Medicare insurance at a younger age. These exceptions encompass being diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), though Medicare coverage initiation is subject to a waiting period, often around four months of undergoing dialysis.

Additional exceptions include being diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, or receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for a minimum of 24 months.

It’s also important to know that you can’t have a Medigap and a Medicare Advantage plan simultaneously. So, you’ll have to decide which plan option fits your needs most.

Before applying for a Medigap policy, you must first disenroll from your Medicare Advantage plan. This can only be done during valid election periods. These periods include the Annual Enrollment Period, the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, or a Special Enrollment Period.

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Cost of Medicare Supplement Plans in Alaska

For residents of Alaska, Medigap premium costs are going to be an important factor when picking out a plan. Because private insurance carriers use various factors to determine your premium, these rates can vary. Some of the most important factors include your age, gender, tobacco use, and the amount of coverage you need.

While nothing is absolute, men usually pay more than women, and smokers also pay higher rates. You’ll also pay more if you are older or if you require more benefits.

The chart below reflects the monthly premiums of Medicare Supplement plans in Alaska. Our metrics compare both the costs of a 65-year-old male and female to a 75-year-old male and female in which no one is a tobacco user and everyone lives in the same ZIP Code.

Female, No Tobacco, Alaska ZIP Code 99654
Medigap Plan Monthly Premium Age 65 Monthly Premium Age 75
Medicare Supplement Plan F $131-$385* $190-$385*
Medicare Supplement Plan G $111-$357 $159-$357
Medicare Supplement Plan N $84-$346 $121-$346
Male, No Tobacco, Alaska ZIP Code 99654
Medigap Plan Monthly Premium Age 65 Monthly Premium Age 75
Medicare Supplement Plan F $141-$435* $206-$435*
Medicare Supplement Plan G $113-$402 $161-$402
Medicare Supplement Plan N $88-$390 $139-$390

* If on Medicare before 01/01/2020

As you can tell, age affects the amount you’ll pay in premiums. This is because Alaska insurance carriers use either an Issue Age Rating or Attained Age Rating to determine your final premium cost. You’ll also need to cover various out-of-pocket costs depending on your Medigap plan.

It’s also important to know that the sample premium rates shown here are just averages in Alaska. Your actual Medigap premium could be higher or lower depending on the factors mentioned above and other personal factors.

Companies Offering Medigap Plans in Alaska

Alaska residents have plenty of options for trusted insurance companies. Numerous well-known carriers offer Medigap coverage to Medicare beneficiaries throughout the state.

A few of the most well-known Medicare Supplement insurance companies in Alaska include:

  •   Aetna
  •   Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Alaska
  •   Cigna
  •   Humana
  •   United Healthcare
Compare Alaska Medicare Supplement Carriers
Carrier BBB Rating S&P Rating A.M. Best Rating
Aetna A+ BBB A+
Blue Cross Blue Shield F A- A
Cigna No Rating A- A
Humana A+ BBB+ A-
UnitedHealthCare A+ A+ A-

 

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While considering a Medigap carrier in Alaska, it’s important to look at more than the monthly premium rate. Independent credit agencies like A.M. Best and S&P assess the financial stability of insurance providers, giving insights into their ability to cover your healthcare expenses effectively.

Moreover, consumer agencies like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) evaluate customer service based on complaints, providing valuable information about the overall consumer experience. Weighing all these factors will help you decide when selecting a Medigap insurance company for your supplemental coverage in Alaska.

Medigap in Alaska for Disabled Persons Under 65

There are plenty of states that have rules in place to ensure that at least one Medigap plan is available to people under the age of 65 that qualify.

Unfortunately, in Alaska, there are no such requirements. Therefore, this already difficult challenge can often be even more challenging. However, some insurance companies will offer at least one Medicare Supplement plan to those under 65 with certain health conditions even if the state does not require it.

Speaking with a licensed insurance agent about the potential coverage available to you if you are under 65 in Alaska can be very helpful. They have the resources to determine whether you have viable options and the best benefits for your needs.

Medicare Supplement Rating Method in Alaska

In Alaska, Medicare Supplement plan premiums can be priced using the Attained-Age, Issue-Age, and Community rating methods.

Most Medigap insurers in Alaska use the Attained-Age Rated method. This means that your premiums for Medigap policies are based on your current age. Initially, when you enroll in a Medigap plan, your premiums are typically lower and gradually increase as you age. These premium increases are usually due to the higher healthcare costs associated with aging and the increased use of medical services.

The Issue-Age method is similar to the attained age method, where the premium is based on your age at enrollment. However, premiums under the issue-age method do not go up each year solely due to age. However, the premium may still rise annually due to factors like inflation.

The Community method ensures that all individuals enrolled in the same Medigap plan within a specific geographic location in Alaska pay the same premium, regardless of their age. While the premium may increase due to external factors like inflation, it is not directly tied to your age alone.

Medigap Guaranteed Issue Protections in Alaska

Alaska residents have certain guaranteed issue rights or Medigap protections under federal law. These rights ensure they can enroll in a Medigap plan without being denied coverage or higher premiums due to pre-existing conditions. These protections aim to provide access to Medigap coverage when it is needed.

One important guaranteed issue right is the Medicare Advantage trial period. If someone joins a Medicare Advantage plan when first eligible for Medicare and decides to disenroll within the first year, they have a one-time guaranteed issue right to enroll in a Medigap plan. This allows them to obtain Medigap coverage without undergoing medical underwriting.

Another important protection is available for those who lose coverage. If someone loses employer-based retirement coverage or if their current Medigap plan is terminated or discontinued, they have a guaranteed issue right to enroll in another Medigap plan.

These guaranteed issue rights also apply if someone moves out of state and their Medigap carrier is no longer available. To qualify for this protection, they must apply for a new Medigap plan within 63 days of the termination of their existing plan.

Additionally, there are guaranteed issue rights associated with Medicare Advantage plans. Suppose someone’s Medicare Advantage plan is terminated. In that case, if they move out of its service area or they lose coverage due to circumstances beyond their control, they have a guaranteed issue right to enroll in a Medigap plan. To be eligible for this protection, they must apply for a Medigap plan within 63 days of the termination of their Medicare Advantage plan.

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When to Enroll in a Medigap Plan in Alaska

As a resident of Alaska, you become eligible for a Medicare Supplement plan as soon as you enroll in Original Medicare. There is no specific deadline for enrolling in supplemental insurance, but if you apply outside of your Open Enrollment Period, you may need to answer underwriting questions about your health.

Your initial enrollment in Medicare Part B triggers a six-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period. During this time, you can enroll in a Medigap plan without undergoing medical underwriting. It is the best opportunity to get a Medicare Supplement plan because insurance companies cannot deny you coverage or charge higher premiums based on preexisting health conditions.

If you delay enrolling in a Medigap plan due to having creditable coverage in addition to Medicare Part B, you can qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. This period grants you guaranteed issue rights, allowing you to get a Medigap plan without underwriting.

Does Alaska Allow Medicare Excess Charges?

Medicare Part B excess charges are an occasional additional expense that can occur on top of the Medicare-approved amount for a specific service. These charges are applicable only when your healthcare provider accepts Medicare but chooses not to accept Medicare assignment.

While not all states permit excess charges, most do, and Alaska is one of them. In cases where your provider does not accept Medicare assignment, they may bill you for an extra fee of up to 15% for the services rendered. However, it’s essential to note that most healthcare providers do accept Medicare assignment, making excess charges relatively uncommon.

Additional Medicare Coverage Options in Alaska

If you decide that a Medicare Supplement plan isn’t right for you, or if you need additional coverage, there are more options you can consider.

One other option for Medicare coverage in Alaska is a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C). This is an option that may save you money on premiums, but you’ll need to be aware that there are still out-of-pocket costs you’ll need to cover.

These benefits can be great for some, but your coverage also has restrictions. In Alaska, Medicare Advantage is scarcely available because of the many rural areas that make the state unique. Also, remember that you can’t have a Medicare Advantage and Medigap plan simultaneously.

Another option is a Medicare Part D plan. Part D plans offer prescription drug coverage, but not every plan covers every drug. Fortunately, by checking a plan’s formulary, which is the list of drugs covered, you can identify the plans that best suit your needs.

Lastly, Alaskan Medicare beneficiaries may have ancillary dental, vision, and hearing plans. These plans allow you to visit the physician of your choice and receive care otherwise unavailable through Original Medicare.

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Find the most affordable Medicare Plans in Alaska!

How to Apply for a Medicare Supplement Plan in Alaska

If you’re looking for Medicare Supplement plans, Alaska residents have options. No matter what, contacting a licensed insurance agent can help you find the right coverage for your needs.

That’s why we’re here, as our team can help you pinpoint your healthcare needs and the benefits that can meet them. Give us a call today at the number above to find Medicare Supplement plans in Alaska or whichever form of coverage best suits you. If you don’t have time to call, simply fill out our online rate form.

Sources

MedicareFAQ is dedicated to providing you with authentic and trustworthy Medicare information. We have strict sourcing guidelines and work diligently to serve our readers with accurate and up-to-date content.

  1. Medicare.gov Average Medigap Plan Premium Rates in Alaska. Accessed August 2023.
    https://www.medicare.gov/medigap-supplemental-insurance-plans/#/m/plans?fips=02170&zip=99654&year=2023&lang=en
Kayla Hopkins

Kayla Hopkins

Content Editor
Kayla Hopkins is an accomplished writer and Medicare guru serving as the Editor of MedicareFAQ.com. Upon completing her Communications degree from Ohio University, Kayla dedicated her time to understanding the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare. With her extensive background as a Licensed Medicare Insurance Agent, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her writing.
Ashlee Zareczny

Ashlee Zareczny

Compliance Manager
Ashlee Zareczny is the Compliance Manager for MedicareFAQ. As a licensed Medicare agent in all 50 states, she is dedicated to educating those eligible for Medicare by providing the necessary resources and tools. Additionally, Ashlee trains new and tenured Medicare agents on CMS compliance guidelines. Ashlee is a Medicare expert who specializes in Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Part D education.

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