ANCHORAGE — A report analyzing Alaska’s health care safety net and identifying where gaps exist for Alaskans who fall between the eligibility lines of Medicaid and subsidized insurance on the Federal Healthcare Marketplace was completed by the Department of Health and Social Services and delivered to Gov. Sean Parnell Monday, June 9.
The report defines the gap population, provides an overview of the safety net services available in Alaska, gives a brief description of funding that supports these services and describes gaps in services for the identified population. It is available to the public online at: https://dhss.alaska.gov/
The Governor requested the analysis in November, when he announced the formation of the Medicaid Reform Advisory Group (MRAG), which will meet regularly over the next seven months to review the existing Medicaid program and provide recommendations for reform.
“I believe this analysis will inform the group’s future deliberations,” said DHSS Commissioner William J. Streur. “And in turn, I expect their work and recommendations will further our understanding of opportunities to provide coverage for service gaps identified in this report.”
The gap population is defined as someone who is between the ages of 18–64, does not have health insurance, is not eligible for Medicaid, is not covered under another health care system that provides benefits for members (such as Tribal health beneficiaries), does not have dependents, has an income less than 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, and is not disabled.
The analysis estimates that 10,000–12,000 Alaskans met that definition and do not have access to any type of health care coverage. However, through a combination of Tribal health organizations, community and federally qualified health centers, public health centers, and hospital systems, Alaskans without health care coverage can access a comprehensive set of services in over 200 communities throughout the state.
“Gaps exist, but they are more limited than what is perceived,” said Commissioner Streur. “Like Governor Parnell, I remain committed to funding the safety net of health care services already available to Alaskans who do not qualify for Medicaid, yet cannot afford private insurance.”