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Medicare in Alaska

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By the numbers

Considering Alaska’s low population compared with other states, it’s not too surprising to learn that the number of Medicare beneficiaries in the state is relatively low compared to other states. Here are some other facts about Medicare enrollment in Alaska at the end of 2018*:

  • Number of Medicare beneficiaries in Alaska: 97,823
  • Alaska beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare prescription drug coverage: 39,767

Original Medicare is the federal health insurance program for American citizens and legal permanent residents who have lived continuously in the country for at least five years and qualify by age (65 or over) or disability. If you’re eligible for Medicare because of disability or because you have end-stage renal disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease, you may qualify for coverage at any age. Original Medicare encompasses Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance).

Depending on where in Alaska you live, you might have other Medicare plan options. If you stay with Original Medicare – which includes only limited prescription drug coverage – you may want to add a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan. Medicare Prescription Drug Plans are available from private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare. You can also sign up for a Medicare Supplement insurance (Medigap) plan, another type of insurance sold by private insurance companies. Medigap plans help pay for Original Medicare out-of-pocket costs, such as copayments and deductibles.

In some parts of Alaska, you might or might not have the option of getting your Medicare benefits through a Medicare Advantage plan. As with the Medicare Part D coverage described above, Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans are available from private insurance companies that contract with Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans must include at least as much coverage as Medicare Part A and Part B (except hospice care, which is covered by Part A), and many plans offer additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage and wellness programs.

To find out if there are any Medicare Advantage plans available where you live, you can contact Medicare (information below). Alternatively, you can enter your zip code in the form on this page or call the phone number listed on the form to speak with a licensed insurance agent at eHealth.

Medicare can be can be reached at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY users 1-877-486-2048. Representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Enrollment in Original Medicare works the same in every state. However, costs, coverage details, and availability will vary among Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans, Medigap policies, and Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare resources in Alaska

Medicare resources offered in Alaska help beneficiaries who have questions about or need help with out-of-pocket expenses that Medicare doesn’t cover.

Alaska Medicare Savings Programs: For beneficiaries with limited income or resources, there are programs that may help pay for things like Medicare premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance. Normally, to qualify for programs that assist Medicare beneficiaries, your income has to be under certain limits that are set by the government. These limits may be different in Alaska than in other states.

Alaska State Health Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program (SHIP): Alaska’s Medicare Information Office provides information and personal counseling to Alaska residents who want more information about Medicare and what it covers. Beneficiaries can also report complaints about a Medicare provider in Alaska.

*Source: Statistical data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, “Medicare Enrollment Dashboard,” from the CMS Office of Enterprise Data & Analytics, February 2019..

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