About 13,000 Alaskans signed up for health insurance on healthcare.gov during the open enrollment period that closed March 31st. The two insurers offering plans on the exchange in Alaska have shared their enrollment figures. Moda Health says it has about 7,700 healthcare.gov enrollees in Alaska and the company is still processing some additional sign ups.
Premera Alaska enrolled 5,300 people on the exchange. Before the troubled launch of healthcare.gov, the company had hoped for more customers. But Premera spokesperson Melanie Coon is satisfied with the numbers:
“I think we readjusted our expectations. We’re very pleased with how enrollment went, based on the slow start to the exchange and… the last minute changes that were made where people could extend.”
Both companies are also reporting substantial enrollment off the federal exchange. 2,000 Premera customers opted to enroll directly. And 700 people bypassed the federal website to sign up with Moda Health. The insurance plans are the same on and off the exchange. But subsidies are only available on the exchange.
- Polls show the presidential race is unusually tight in Alaska. Juneau residents attending two election events shared their opinions on the polls and the candidates.
- A new weather station installed on Mt. Ripinsky last month is now relaying data on weather conditions that could help hikers, climbers and skiers prepare for bad weather -- especially avalanches.
- Kids attending the Homer Folk School learn everything from making apple juice to building kayaks.
- Bethel has made more than a quarter of a million dollars from its 12 percent sales tax on alcohol since legal alcohol sales began in April.