What is the
Alaska Native and American Indian people have special protections and benefits when it comes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Exemption from the requirement to have health care coverage:
The ACA requires that most Americans have health care coverage. If you don’t have health care coverage for you and your family, you could be assessed a tax penalty. You may have heard the term "Individual Mandate." Alaska Native and American Indian people are exempt from this requirement, but, you must apply for this exemption. For more information on how to get the exemption for you and your family, please click here.
One of the most important things for Alaska Native and American Indian people to know about the ACA is, even if you don’t buy insurance, you and your family will still be able to get health care services at your Tribal health facility. The health care services provided at IHS/Tribal health facilities are not changing.
Special Benefits for Alaska Native and American Indian people who want to purchase health care coverage:
There are special benefits in the ACA for Alaska Native and American Indian people who choose to purchase health care coverage. For instance, a family of four with
income up to $89,460 who purchases coverage at www.healthcare.gov, won’t have to pay out-of-pocket costs like deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance even if you don’t get your care at a Tribal health facility. The federal government pays those costs for you. And, no matter how much you earn, if you purchase a plan at healthcare.gov, the federal government will always pay these costs when you are seen or referred by Tribal Health facilities.
We have heard from many Alaska Native and American Indian people who are interested in health care coverage for different reasons:
- People who don’t live near a Tribal health facility,
- People who travel away from their Tribal health facility,
- Parents with children going to school out-of-state, or
- People who want more health care options
For lots of reasons, Alaska Native and American Indian people may want to know more about these special benefits. And, you can use this and all other types of health care coverage -- Medicaid, Veteran’s Benefits, Denali KidCare, Medicare or insurance provided by your employer -- at Tribal health facilities. Your local Tribal health facility can bill insurance to help build an even stronger Tribal health system for generations to come.