Friday is the deadline to apply for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.
Premiums are down this year and that’s in part due to the Alaska Reinsurance Program.
The state-run program helps cover the high price of care associated with certain health conditions and has reduced the average cost of an individual health plan in Alaska by 22 percent.
Nearly 20,000 Alaskans signed up for insurance last year. This year’s enrollment period is six weeks shorter than last year’s. The state’s Division of Insurance estimates fewer than 15,000 Alaskans had enrolled by Dec. 9.
Division director Lori Wing-Heier is hoping for a strong showing in the final week.
Premera Alaska is the only insurance company offering individual plans in the state.
- Federal ocean managers are making more than $2 million available to try to help fishermen catch less of the wrong fish. The agency says it is prioritizing projects such as gear modifications, avoidance programs and improved fishing practices.
- The president is marking the first anniversary of his inauguration with a government shutdown. Lawmakers are back at the Capitol trying to break the impasse — and playing the political blame game.
- This year’s local contingent of the international event saw upwards of 800 people come together. They came to voice their dissatisfaction with President Donald Trump and many of the policies enacted during his first year in office.
- If the federal government shuts down, many federal workers will be furloughed. Federal courts have enough money to continue operations for about three weeks. Active-duty military go to work as normal.