The Alaska Health Care Commission contracted with the Alaska Department of Labor and the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) to determine what is happening to employer-sponsored insurance in Alaska. Nationwide, the number of employers providing insurance is dropping and Alaska is facing premiums that are 30 percent above the US average. To determine the current state of employer sponsored insurance in Alaska, Mouhcine Guettabi, Rosyland Frazier, and Gunnar Knapp of ISER analyzed the survey results and found the following:
• Two-thirds of Alaska businesses don't provide health insurance, and they reason they cite most often is no surprise: it's too expensive.
• The share of businesses providing insurance varies a lot among small and large firms. Almost all firms with more than 100 employees provide health insurance, compared with less than 24% of the smallest firms (those with fewer than 10 employees).
• About 35% of employees at firms covered by the survey work part-time or seasonally, but very few of them have employer-based insurance. Full-time employees account for 95% of the employees carrying health-insurance through their employers, while part-time and seasonal workers make up only 5%.
• Some businesses that provide insurance, especially the largest, are taking steps they hope will help hold down insurance costs. Close to 40% of the largest firm offering insurance have established wellness programs for their employees and nearly 30% are providing employees with comparative information on the cost and quality of services at different medical facilities.
The full report can be found at http://www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu/Publications/2014_10-AKHealthBenefitsReport.pdf.
There is also a summary report at http://www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu/Publications/2014_10-RS079-AKHealthBenefitsSummary.pdf
Both are great resources in the search for information regarding health-care in Alaska.