These officials are working with lawmakers, the governor’s office and others to draw a new insurer.
Regulators for the Alaska health insurance industry have said that they will be working with the congressional delegation in the state, in addition to the state’s lawmakers and the governor’s office.
Their goal is to make sure health insurance companies see the appeal of returning to the state.
This action from the Alaska health insurance regulators has arrived on the heels of an announcement that Moda Health Plan has been suspended from being able to accept new policies or issuing renewals for existing policies. The reason is that the insurer has been found to have considerable financial struggles that have disqualified it from being able to sell coverage. This decision isn’t unique in the American insurance industry as Oregon made a similar choice in placing Moda under additional supervision as a result of those same financial challenges.
The departure of Moda from the Alaska health insurance landscape leaves residents with a single choice.
Without Moda, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield is the only choice left to Alaskans who are shopping for a health plan. According to the Enroll Alaska vice president, Aimee Crocker, “Moda represents about half of the individual market in Alaska for coverage,” adding that “Based on a release from HHS today Alaska has 20,285 enrolled as of January 9th, 2016.”
State officials spoke at a news conference in Juneau, explaining that they are aware that their decision has left only Premera as a choice for Alaskans and that there will be a monopoly over the health plan marketplace until a new insurance company can make its way into the state. However, the Division of Insurance director, Lori Wing-Heier, underscored that officials will be acting vigilantly in ensuring that the only remaining insurer does not begin charging discriminatory or excessive rates.
She said that they will “apply the same standards” on the insurance company regardless of whether they are covering massive numbers of people or one person all by him or herself. Moda customers whose health plans will already extend through the rest of 2016 are being advised to keep up their premium payments and their health care assessments.