Health Insurer Premera Alaska will allow 5,200 customers in the state to keep their insurance plans.
The company canceled the plans for 2014 because they didn’t meet requirements of the Affordable Care Act. But earlier this month, after public outcry, President Obama said insurers could offer those canceled plans for another year, as long as states allowed it.
Premera spokesperson Melanie Coon says customers will have to extend their plans by December 31st:
“We’re planning to offer extensions to our members in Alaska. And right now we’re still finalizing the details with the division of insurance,” Coon said. ”So we do have some details to work out, but we do plan on offering those extensions to our members.”
Premera says it will have more details on the insurance plan extensions soon, including whether rates will increase, as they normally would each year. Customers will also have the option of buying new coverage on the healthcare.gov marketplace. That’s the only way to qualify for subsidies to help pay for insurance.
Enroll Alaska reports the healthcare.gov website is slowly improving. The insurance brokerage has enrolled 78 Alaskans on the marketplace so far. Chief Operating Officer Tyann Boling says on a scale of 1-10, the website is functioning at about a four.
“Any type of complexity, the system does not function well at all with. And the challenge is Americans lives are complex,” Boling said.
- “Scrap it,” said Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assemblyman Steve Colligan. “We would be better off spending $500,000 to send it to the scrapyard.”
- Some 34,000 Alaskans are eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits but don't apply. That's $65 million from the federal government that's not getting into local economies.
- Nick Pletnikoff, who has autism, was pepper-sprayed outside his home by Kodiak police in September. He was never charged with a crime. The family is suing for more than $100,000 plus punitive damages.
- Scalia was perhaps the leading voice of uncompromising conservatism on the Supreme Court. In his 29 years on the court, he achieved almost a cult following for dissents.