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How does COBRA insurance work in Alaska?

Alaska, like any other state in the US, observes the federal COBRA law, which means that eligible employees in Alaska have the right to continue their employer-sponsored health coverage, regardless of the size of the employer. This helps employees maintain the continuity of their health coverage after a significant life event and allows them to transition smoothly to a new coverage option.

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Continuing Health Insurance Coverage In Alaska

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Alaska and COBRA Insurance

Alaska, like all states, follows the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) which is a law that allows certain individuals the right to continue their employer-sponsored health coverage for a limited period of time after a qualifying event such as the loss of a job, reduction in hours, or divorce.  This law applies to employers with 20 or more employees and is governed by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).

Employers in Alaska are required to provide information about COBRA to their employees and to administer the program, the same as any other state in the US. Individuals who are eligible for COBRA coverage in Alaska must pay the full cost of their insurance premium, plus a 2% administrative fee. The coverage period typically lasts for 18 months, but it may be extended in certain circumstances.

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Health Insurance For Pre-Existing Conditions In Alaska

For many people in Alaska who have lost their employer-provided health insurance coverage, purchasing health insurance through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) can be a more cost-effective option than continuing their coverage under COBRA.

The cost of Marketplace plans can vary depending on a range of factors, including income, family size, and location, among others. However, for many people, Marketplace plans may be less expensive than COBRA continuation coverage, especially if they are eligible for financial assistance in the form of tax credits or cost-sharing reductions.

Marketplace / Obamacare

Sometimes state and federal subsidies help offset the premium for individual marketplace insurance.

A loss of work health insurance is a qualifying event to find new healthcare through the public healthcare exchange.

In 2023, the average ACA health plan premium in Alaska is $746/month per individual, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

You May Qualify For A Subsidy

Apply For COBRA

Employer Has 20+ Employees

As an employee, you may continue your most recent work health insurance for up to 18 months. Family members may access the plan for up to 36 months.

You sign up for COBRA with your former employer or their third party.

The premium will be $400 – 700 / month, per insured person.

Medicare

After your workplace insurance ends, you’ll sign up for Medicare within 8 months.

In general, you can sign up for Part A and Part B starting three months before your 65th birthday and ending three months after your 65th birthday.

Learn more about Medicare deadlines and how Medicare Advantage plans can replace original Medicare at no cost to you.

COBRA Is Available in All 50 States

Employee continuation of health insurance coverage is not required in all states. When a state lacks laws governing the continuation of work-related medical benefits, the federal COBRA Act protects these rights. Find out more about your state.

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