The cost of living in Alaska is higher than 47 other states, with only Vermont, Maryland, and Connecticut being more expensive. However, no state has higher medical expenses than “The Last Frontier” of Alaska. So, just how expensive is it, and why does it cost so much for these services that you choose?
Let’s get straight to the point. The average health insurance premium per person costs $780/month in Alaska. Hawaii is the cheapest state in America at $411/month in premiums. The Alaskan health insurance premiums represent a remarkable 88% markup when compared to Hawaii. In 1990, Alaska and Wyoming had the exact same health care costs. While Wyoming is still expensive, it’s monthly health insurance premiums are $118/month cheaper than Alaska’s.
Additionally, in 2016, the three most expensive cities in the country for health care costs were Juneau, Fairbanks, and Anchorage. That’s remarkable considering there are fewer than 750,000 people in the entire state! The low population of Alaska might be a contributing factor to elevated medical costs.
Some of these factors include the small population, the small number of medical providers and competition among providers, and the risky behaviors and lifestyles of its residents.
The cost of living in Alaska, especially regarding medical expenses, is unparalleled. Suggested remedies for the price increases include:
-Telemedicine care (communication regarding problems/diagnosis/treatment via technology)
-More home visits in the small Alaskan communities
-General education about the harmful impact of obesity, mental illness, and drugs
-Transparency of fees and costs associated with medical care
Alaska is a place that many dreams of living. It’s a beautiful, scenic state and home to America’s highest point, Mt Denali. Unfortunately, Alaska’s medical expenses also mark some of the highest points in healthcare. The view from the summit of Mt Denali might be majestic, but for those with medical issues, the associated costs might be more breathtaking.