Health Insurance, Medicaid, and Denali KidCare Frequently Asked Questions

MAGI Medicaid includes the categories of Parent/Caretaker Relatives, Pregnant Woman, Under 21, Children under 19, Former Foster Care Children, and the Expanded Group.  MAGI Medicaid does not include Disabled or Old Age (+65 years old) Medicaid.

Federal law has introduced many new changes that affect Medicaid,and health insurance. Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions related to these subjects. For Alaska-specific question about Public Assistance programs, please e-mail our policy section at

What is the Affordable Care Act?

The Affordable Care Act is the nation’s health reform law enacted in March 2010.The law consists of two pieces of legislation: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), enacted on March 23, 2010, and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA), enacted on March 30, 2010. Jointly they are referred to as the Affordable Care Act or ACA.

What is the Federally Facilitated Marketplace?

The Marketplace is a new way to find health coverage that fits your budget and meets your needs. With one application, you can see all your options and enroll.The Marketplace will be responsible for calculating health insurance premiums subsidies, enrollment, and certification of qualified health plans that can be sold in the marketplace.

Beginning November 1, 2015, the Marketplace will also be able to determine your eligibility for MAGI Medicaid if you have limited income and do not qualify for other coverage through the Marketplace. If you are determined eligible by the Marketplace your account will be transferred to the Division of Public Assistance for issuance of Medicaid benefits. If the Marketplace is unable to confirm Medicaid eligibility, your account will be transferred to the Division of Public Assistance to complete the eligibility determination.

The Marketplace is also delegated authority to conduct fair hearings on decisions to deny Medicaid eligibility. However, an individual may choose to have the State of Alaska conduct the fair hearing.

For more information about the Federally Facilitated Marketplace please visit:

What do Alaska Natives and American Indians need to know about the Marketplace? provides detailed information on how both Alaska Natives and American Indians are impacted by the new Health Insurance Coverage Options offered through the Marketplace.

Where and how can I apply for Health Insurance or Medicaid?

There are several ways to apply for Medicaid. You can apply online, by mail, or in-person.

  1. Apply for Medicaid throught the Federally Facilitated Marketpalce. If your household appears eligible for Medicaid, the Federal Facilitated Marketplace will transfer your application to the Division of Public Assistance. Website: Phone: 800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (TTY: 855-889-4325)
  2. Apply for Medicaid online at MyAlaska (which is the same one you use to apply for a PFD.) Under Services for Individuals Click on ARIES Self-Service Portal; or
  3. Download and print an application and mail, fax or drop it off at a Division of Public Assistance (DPA) office; or
  4. Pick up and submit an application at a Public Assistance Office or with a fee agent in their village.

You can also receive assistance with applying from a Fee Agent, Navigator or other qualified helper.

What Medicaid eligibility groups are affected by the ACA?

Effective September 1, 2015 the following MAGI Medicaid groups are covered in Alaska:

  • Parents and other caretakers with dependent children,
  • Children under the age of 19,
  • Young adults under the age of 21,
  • Former foster care children up to the age of 26,
  • Adults without dependent children between the ages of 19 and 64, and
  • Pregnant women.

What is happening with the other people currently receiving Medicaid?

MAGI based Medicaid does not impact elderly and disabled persons currently receiving Adult Public Assistance related Medicaid, or Long Term Care.

Are the names of the Medicaid programs changing?

No. However, Medicaid ID cards, identified as either DenaliCare or Denali KidCare cards are issued for each eligible Medicaid Recipient. DenaliCare cards for adults include MAGI and Non-MAGI categories.

What is the “Modified Adjusted Gross Income” (MAGI)?

MAGI is the Internal Revenue Services’ (IRS) calculation of income and household size. MAGI will be used to determine eligibility for health insurance programs including Medicaid and Denali KidCare, as well as premium cost sharing assistance for tax credits provided to low and moderate income individuals under ACA.

How will the Marketplace or the Division of Public Assistance verify the information on my application?

The information you provide on the application will be, when possible, verified electronically. The Marketplace and the Division of Public Assistance will use a federally operated database and other interfaces to verify citizenship, immigration status and federal benefits such as Social Security. If we are not able to verify the information electronically we may ask you to provide additional verification.

Will my information be kept private?

Yes, protecting your privacy is very important to us. Information that you provide to the Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Assistance and the Federally Facilitated Marketplace on, and the Self Service Portal will be safeguarded in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. Section 552a).