Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

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What is HIPP?
General Program Information
>  Insurance Covered by HIPP
HIPP Participation is Free

Qualifying for HIPP
General Qualifications
Cost-Effectiveness and Eligibility
Continuing the Eligibility

Applying to the Alaska HIPP Program
When to Apply
Submitting the Application
Knowing the Eligibility

Still have unanswered questions? Contact us.

General Program Information

What is HIPP?
The Alaska HIPP program is designed to save money for families with high health care costs by reimbursing recipients for the cost of group health insurance provided by an employer or through COBRA. In some cases, recipients can receive reimbursement for the premium cost of a family health insurance policy. The program also eliminates some out-of-pocket medical expenses for qualifying Medicaid recipients.

Can I receive benefits from Alaska HIPP and Medicaid at the same time?
Yes. To qualify for the HIPP program, an applicant must be eligible for either Medicaid within the state of Alaska. Benefits from both programs are available as long as qualification is met for each program (separately).

Will Alaska HIPP pay for my entire family’s health insurance coverage?
In some cases, an applicant will qualify to be reimbursed for family health insurance coverage. This depends on the health insurance policies the employer provides as well as the family plan’s cost-effectiveness.

Why is the State offering additional assistance to Medicaid recipients?
Every dollar saved as a result of the HIPP program allows the State to expand services for others.

Insurance Covered by HIPP

To be eligible for the Alaska HIPP program individuals must have access to group health insurance that is offered by a job or COBRA.

What is COBRA?
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is a federal law that allows former employees to continue health insurance coverage for 18 – 36 months after leaving a job. If an applicant has access to COBRA, the applicant meets the insurance requirement for Alaska HIPP. If all other qualifications for participation are met, HIPP will send the monthly reimbursements for all or a portion of the cost of the COBRA plan.

What is employer-sponsored insurance (ESI)?
Employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) is health insurance that employers offer to their employees, and is typically offered as part of an employee benefits package. ESI is offered to current employees.

Am I eligible for Alaska HIPP if I have insurance that is not provided by an employer?
No. Alaska HIPP is offered to recipients who have access to employer-sponsored insurance or coverage through COBRA.

HIPP Participation is Free

Is Alaska HIPP Free?
Yes. At no cost to Medicaid and COBRA recipients.

General Qualifications

Do I have to be a Medicaid client recipient to qualify for Alaska HIPP?
Yes. All Alaska HIPP applicants must be active Medicaid recipients.

Do I have to live in Alaska to receive Alaska HIPP benefits?

Do I need to be enrolled in a health insurance policy before applying to HIPP?
No. An applicant must have access to a health insurance policy that includes comprehensive medical coverage provided by an employer or COBRA. If preferred, individuals may enroll in a health insurance policy after it is determined whether they would qualify for the Alaska HIPP program. ∗Dental only, Vision only, and or Audio only policies are not eligible for HIPP program consideration.

Can I be an Alaska HIPP recipient if I am unemployed or have recently lost my job?
If an individual has recently lost their job and has access to COBRA the individual may qualify for the HIPP program. In some cases, former employers will offer COBRA benefits for 18 – 36 months after leaving a job. COBRA provides a continuation of employer-sponsored insurance that would otherwise end once the employee is terminated from his/her job.

Cost-Effectiveness and Eligibility

What does it mean to have a case that is cost-effective?
A case is cost-effective if it is determined that the State will save money by paying the annual cost of the group health insurance premiums. The HIPP program determines cost-effectiveness once the application and other documentation are received.

Does my dependent need to have a catastrophic illness to be eligible for HIPP?
No. Any individual with a high-cost medical condition will be considered for the HIPP program.

Will you give me some examples of a high-cost medical condition?
Some examples of high-cost medical conditions that may qualify for HIPP are:

  • Pregnancy
  • Asthma
  • Kidney disease
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Diabetes
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Low birth weight babies
  • Muscular dystrophy

Continuing Your Eligibility

How can I help avoid payment interruptions and remain eligible for Alaska HIPP?

  1. Keep the Medicaid dependent(s) enrolled in the policy that is on file.
  2. Provide a copy of all Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) for every Medicaid eligible person covered by the employer sponsored insurance policy within 30 days of receipt. Failure to provide EOBs may result in a loss of your premium reimbursement and/or impact your eligibility for continued enrollment in the HIPP program.
  3. Provide proof of premium payment within 30 days of payment or paycheck issuance.
  4. Notify the program of changes, including:

● Insurance policy or plan
● Employer
● Premium deduction/ payment amount
● Client(s) status change
● Address

How will I find out if I am no longer eligible for the HIPP program?
If an individual becomes ineligible at any time, the monthly payments will stop and the individual will receive a letter in the mail with the reason for this determination.

Losing HIPP eligibility does not affect the Medicaid eligibility.

When to Apply

Does the Alaska HIPP program receive applications at any time of the year?
Yes. Apply now.

Can I apply for HIPP outside of my employer’s open enrollment period?
Yes. Qualifying for the Alaska HIPP program is a qualifying event and makes it mandatory for employers to make enrollment options available to the individual from the first day they qualify for HIPP until 60 days after.

What if I have access to ESI but I am not yet enrolled?
Individuals may still apply to the HIPP program if they have not yet enrolled in the employer’s health benefits.

What if I am already enrolled in my employer’s health care plan?
The next step is to apply to HIPP. Once the program has all information and documents needed, it will take within 30 business days to send you a determination letter.

Submitting the Application

What type of information is asked for when applying to HIPP?

  • Policyholder’s social security number
  • Policy number & group number
  • Employer & employee share of premium cost
  • Client(s) name & case identification number

Besides my application, will I need to submit any other type of documents?
Yes. To process the application, we will need the following documents mailed or faxed to our program:

• A copy of the front and back of the insurance card
• Premium rate sheet provided by the Human Resources department or insurance carrier
• Summary of benefits document
• Pay stub or other proof of a premium payment
• EOBs

Knowing your Eligibility

How long does it take to process my application?
Once the completed application is submitted along with all supporting documentation, it will take no longer than 30 business days to process the application.

How will I find out if I have been accepted onto the HIPP program?
The individuals will receive an acceptance or a denial letter in the mail once an eligibility determination is made.