Alaska

Though Alaska is the biggest state in the U.S. in terms of land area, it has a relatively small population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Alaska’s total population equaled 753,132 in 2013. Male residents outnumber their female counterparts by more than 2%. Exactly 9% of the state’s population constituted of older adults ages 65 and above.

Trust for America’s Health predicts that in 2025, approximately 7,700 senior Alaska residents will face challenges brought by Alzheimer’s. In addition, poverty affected 10.8% of the population from 2011 to 2012. Limited financial resources can significantly impact a person’s state of health.

Alaska’s rank in health factors rests halfway among the 50 states in America’s Health Rankings, a nationwide report by the United Health Foundation. With minimal urbanization and pristine wilderness, Alaska ranked 2nd place in air quality. Residents also benefit from the low health disparity in relation to educational attainment. In 2013, binge drinking among adults dropped by exactly 4%.

The number of Alaska seniors 85 years of age and above might increase by nearly 300% by 2030, according to estimates by AARP, or the American Association of Retired Persons.

 

Cost of Care

Below are the average daily cost* of long-term care services in Alaska.

City Nursing Facility1 Assisted Living1 Adult Day Care2 Home Health Aide3
Anchorage $370 $181 $100 $156
Juneau $550 $77 $120 N/A

Notes:

*Costs are rounded to the nearest whole dollar.
1Daily average for a private room.
2Based on five days of care per week.
3Based on six hours of care per day, five days per week.

 

Insurance Options

In Alaska, Mutual of Omaha modified the rates of inflation riders found in two of its long-term care insurance products: Mutual Care Plus and United LTCi Solutions. The newer rates became effective in the state on March 1, 2012.

Transamerica sells a more recent product, known as TransCare III, to Alaska residents who are interested in long-term care coverage. TransCare III’s marketing operations in the state began on September 10, 2013. Along with enhancements in maximum daily benefit amount and elimination period, this product also features a higher couples discount and riders that may prove useful.

On December 5, 2013, MedAmerica introduced three additional inflation options and two more choices for waiting period in its FlexCare LTCI policy. Given these extra options, the application process for FlexCare separated into one for individual business and one for Association Program business. Changes in the preferred health and marital discounts of Alaska’s FlexCare policies took effect four days later, on December 9.

Other insurers that offer LTCI coverage include Bankers Life, Genworth, John Hancock, Massachusetts Mutual, New York Life, Physicians Mutual, State Farm, and Unum Life.

 

State Long-Term Care Programs

Senior citizens and younger adults with disabilities can make use of some long-term care coverage offered by the Medicare program. Part A can pay for skilled care in nursing facilities and home health care. Part B, on the other hand, can cover some preventive services. Medications fall under Part D. Medicare in Alaska began providing diabetes treatment supplies to beneficiaries through mail order in coordination with certified national suppliers.

Alaska residents with limited income can get assistance in paying long-term care services through Medicaid, another government health program. State general funds sustain one-half of Alaska’s Medicaid while federal funding takes care of the other half. Nearly 70,000 citizens in Alaska benefit from this program, which also provides food stamps and Adult Public Assistance.

The ANTHC Elder Care Program, an initiative by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, allows senior citizens to receive long-term care in the proximity of their homes. According to the program’s motto, “elders need to be near the river where they were raised.” Moreover, it ensures that older Alaska Natives get long-term care with consideration to their culture.

 

More Resources

To get more specific information regarding long-term care services and insurance options in Alaska, please check the following websites:

Department of Administration

Informs about long-term care insurance through a brochure, and comes with extra resources.

Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska

Provides dementia support through knowledge, a guide to care services, and resources.

 

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