More Alaskans signing up for health care compared to last year

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Despite its marketing budget being slashed by 90 percent by the Trump Administration, Alaska is seeing more people enrolling in health care through the individual marketplace than this time last year.

According to the Alaska Primary Care Association, the statewide grantee for the navigator program, 8,349 individuals have so far enrolled for health care. Last year at the five-week marker, 6,644 people had enrolled. It’s following a national trend that is seeing a spike in those signing up before the December 15th deadline.

“I think Alaskans really value this coverage and some things have changed this year,” said Jessie Menkens, the coverage initiative coordinator with the Alaska Primary Care Association. “For one, plan costs have gone down. We’re seeing overall plan rates are about 20 percent lower than they were last year.”

Still, she says 10 to 11,000 individuals still need to sign up for the individual market in order for the state to be on par with last year when 19,145 people enrolled in health care. However, this year Menkens says there have been some challenges with the Trump Administration slashing the overall marketing budget.

“That means over a million dollars in advertisements promoting healthcare.gov are gone now,” Menkens said as the overall program withstood a 25 percent reduction. She believes the conversations that are happening at the national level are helping people become aware of the individual marketplace.

Despite the cut, there is still a full team of navigators in place to help people enroll. Menken’s says there has been additional support coming from the state, as well as partner agencies to help boost the program.

The deadline to enroll is Dec. 15. Click here for more information.

You can also visit www.getcoveredalaska.org to find assistance in signing up for health care.



 
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