Alaska Rated Most Expensive for Heathcare

The Council for Community and Economic Research studied 300 cities across the country and found 4 Alaskan cities to be the most expensive for healthcare.

 

Juneau was ranked #1, followed by Fairbanks, Kodiak and Anchorage.

 

Kenai and Homer weren’t included in the list, but at the recent Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting, Nikiski representative Wayne Ogle said Borough residents travel to Anchorage for financial relief…

 

Asm. Ogle(Nikiski): “There is a feeling that our community hospital is becoming too expensive and now that we have very large deductible that people have to face, I have a friend that has a $10,000 deductible, so just about anything they do – procedures, anything – is coming out of their pocket, so they’re very concerned about that.”

 

Bob Letson, CEO of South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, agreed that costs are high and that they’re getting higher with the implementation of the President’s new health care…

 

Letson: “The Affordable Care Act has changed first of all insurance policies, as you know, in terms or pre-existing conditions and deductibles. So it’s impacted the cost of our employee health program, which in some ways is an advantage to citizens, but it has increased our costs.”

 

Borough Mayor Mike Navarre said he was concerned with South Peninsula Hospital’s financial situation…

 

KPB Mayor Navarre: “I’m pretty concerned that we’re seeing an increase in actual expenses, but an increase in projected revenues that is not realistic and it’s not sustainable, and absent the contribution to operations that is being made by the mill levy at the service area, this hospital would be under water. So it’s something that I’m concerned with, and the mill rate is already fairly significant, so I don’t know if that’s an option.”

 

Alaska’s expensive healthcare has been blamed on the costs of shipping, higher cost of living for hospital employees and higher rents.

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