Alaska Health Maintenance Organization Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Health Maintenance Organization Insurance. Health Maintenance Organizations - shortened to HMOs - are a type of health insurance provider using a unique business model. These health insurers partner with a network of physicians.
Subsequently, clients who opt to insure themselves through the Health Maintenance Organization may access covered medical care through this network. This model benefits physicians, as the HMO ensures an influx of patients. It also has marked advantages for patients, who obtain less costly health insurance.
Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) act as both a medical insurance carrier and as the coordinator of health services for its members, who pay a monthly fee to receive all the medical services needed at a reduced cost or co-payment to them.
The HMO contracts with doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals to serve members 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Members may be required to select a primary care physician (PCP). Except for medical emergencies, this PCP determines the member's need for hospitalization or referrals for specialized services such as diagnostic tests or physical therapy.
Preventive care services are often offered free or at a reduced charge. The HMO is generally limited to a particular geographical area but may have reciprocal agreements with HMOs in different areas to provide service to customers outside their primary service location.
HMOs are regulated at both AK state and federal levels.
HMOs unquestionably provide an important service. While these insurance providers will do everything they can to run a smooth operation, however, they are subject to a range of risks, just like any other business.
Therefore, HMOs require excellent insurance coverage as well. What types of Alaska health maintenance organization insurance coverage are crucial? Discover more in this brief guide.
Alaska health maintenance organization insurance protects your HMO insurance and health services business from lawsuits with rates as low as $77/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do AK Health Maintenance Organizations Need Insurance?
As health insurance providers, HMOs will understand the fact that disaster can strike unexpectedly better than most businesses. Health Maintenance Organizations are vulnerable to some of the same risks as any other commercial venture, as well as facing hazards unique to this particular industry.
The office space of a AK Health Maintenance Organization may be impacted by large-scale acts of nature, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, or wildfires - leading to severe damage to the building, as well as the loss of important smaller assets.
Theft, cyber theft, vandalism, and accidents represent other important threats, along with the sudden breakdown of essential equipment.
Employees, or third parties present on the premises, may be injured for accidental reasons or those related to negligence. HMOs will, likewise, have to consider the costs associated with claims of professional misconduct, which can be astronomical even if the lawsuit is ultimately dismissed.
Any of these perils, alongside numerous others, can lead to such devastating financial consequences that the HMO may not be able to recover - however, protected by excellent insurance coverage, you no longer have to worry about this.
In addition to the fact that you will legally be required to carry certain types of Alaska health maintenance organization insurance, this explains, in short, why the right commercial insurance is important.
Some of the largest HMOs in the US include; Aetna, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, Kaiser Foundation and UnitedHealthcare.
What Type Of Insurance Do Alaska Health Maintenance Organizations Need?
Each Health Maintenance Organization will have unique insurance needs. The types of coverage that will best protect your business depend, after all, on factors such as the size of your company, the jurisdiction in which your business is based, your number of employees, and the value of your assets.
Because of this, it is crucial to discuss your individual risk profile with a skilled commercial insurance broker who understands your industry. However, among the key types of Alaska health maintenance organization insurance are:
- Commercial Property - Should your commercial premises be impacted by unforeseen circumstances that include vandalism, theft, and acts of nature, this form of coverage serves the purpose of protecting your HMO from the financial consequences. Your building and its contents are both covered, up to a predefined limit. Flood insurance should be purchased additionally, as that does not fall under most commercial property policies.
- Commercial General Liability - In the event that your business faces a third party personal injury or property damage claim, this kind of Alaska health maintenance organization insurance covers many of the legal costs that arise. Attorney fees, medical bills, repair expenses, and settlement payments are examples of the types of expenses covered.
- Errors and omissions - Also called E&O insurance, this type of professional liability coverage protects a HMO in the event that a client or a clinic within their network files a lawsuit alleging professional negligence or misconduct. This form of coverage is essential to any insurance provider or company within the financial sector.
- Workers Compensation - Assuming that you have employees, your business will also need to carry workers' comp insurance in most states. This important form of coverage takes care of the medical expenses of employees who have been injured in the workplace under circumstances for which the company could be held responsible. In addition, it covers any wages the injured employee loses to related work absences.
While HMOs are likely to have further insurance needs - in the forms of commercial auto and cyber security insurance, for instance - these types of coverage will offer a large degree of protection.
To find out what other Alaska health maintenance organization insurance policies you may benefit from, direct your questions to a commercial insurance broker.
AK Health Maintenance Organization's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is very limited because most member and insurer contact is done over the phone, electronically or by mail. If clients visit the premises, they must be confined to designated areas to prevent them from observing other clients' confidential information or overhearing private conversations.
To prevent slips, trips, or falls, all areas accessible to customers should be well lighted with floor coverings in good condition. The number of exits must be sufficient and well marked, with backup lighting in case of power failure. Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slips and falls.
Personal injury liability exposures include allegations of assault, breach of confidentiality, discrimination, and invasion of privacy.
Professional liability exposures are increasing in some states. The HMO does not technically diagnose illnesses or prescribe treatment but relies on the judgment of participating doctors and other health care service providers.
However, an HMO can deny certain types of services based on cost, the likelihood of a successful outcome, or status of the treatment as experimental or in a clinical testing environment. An HMO may also restrict the amount of time a recuperating patient may spend in a hospital, resulting in allegations of forced early discharge and subsequent worsening of a health condition.
As a result, some states now permit members to sue HMOs directly for medical malpractice. The exposure increases if the HMO fails to conduct thorough background checks to verify employees' credentials and education, if non-professional workers are allowed to make decisions that only professionals should make, or if error checking procedures are ignored or are inadequate.
Workers compensation exposures are primarily those of an office. Since office work is done on computers, potential injuries include eyestrain, neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and similar cumulative trauma injuries that can be addressed through ergonomically designed workstations.
There may also be off-premises travel, which can result in injuries from slips and falls, assaults, or vehicular or aviation accidents.
Property exposure is limited to an office. Extensive phone and computer networks are in place for the handling of claims. Ignition sources include adequacy of electric wiring, heating and air conditioning systems, wear and overheating of equipment. Smoking must be prohibited.
There may be storage of client or medical staff information in paper form, although these are now often digital instead of paper format. Paper should be stored in fireproof cabinets.
Fire suppression systems can result in damage to computers and electronic systems. Computers and other electronic equipment may be targets for theft.
Inland marine exposures are from accounts receivable for credit payments, computers, and valuable papers and records for members' and carriers' information. Power failure and power surges are potentially severe hazards.
Backups of all records must be made regularly and stored off-site. Due to the confidentiality of medical records, adequate security features should be taken to prevent unauthorized access to paper or computerized information.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty, computer fraud, and forgery. Employees have access to members' personal medical information. Potential for theft, directly or through identity theft, is great. Background checks should be conducted on all employees.
Hazards increase without monitoring procedures and securing all records to prevent unauthorized access. There must be a separation of duties between persons handling deposits and disbursements and reconciling bank statements.
All activities must be carefully monitored with internal audit systems and checks and balances in place.
Business auto exposure is generally limited to hired and non-owned. If the company supplies vehicles to employees for sales or other types of calls, there should be written procedures in place regarding personal use by employees and their family members.
All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be maintained and records kept in a central location.
Alaska Health Maintenance Organization Insurance - The Bottom Line
To learn more about the exact types of Alaska health maintenance organization insurance policies needed, what coverage limits you should carry and the associated premiums - consult with a reputable broker that is experienced in commercial insurance.
Alaska Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
If you're an entrepreneur who is thinking about starting a business in Alaska, it's important to have a basic understanding of the state's overall economy before you set up shop. Regardless of how high-quality the products and services you are planning on offering may be, if the location where you open your organization doesn't offer a target market that your products and services will appeal to, chances of success are slim. Furthermore, if a workforce isn't available to support your business, you'll have a hard time staying afloat.
With that said, it's important for business-minded individuals who are thinking about starting a company in Alaska to familiarize themselves with the state's economy; it's also a good idea to have an understanding of the commercial insurance requirements.
Following is an overview of economic trends and commercial insurance policies that business owners are required to carry in The Last Frontier.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Alaska
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Alaska was 6.1% in December of 2019. While that's significantly higher than the national unemployment rate, which was 3.4% in December, 2019, it's lower than it was one year prior, when the rate of unemployment was 6.5% in December of 2018. Though the workforce is growing slower than it is in other states, economists do predict that the rate will continue to decline in the coming years.
Despite Alaska's remoteness and cold climate, it's actually a great start to start a business. According to the Tax Foundation, Alaska is the second most tax-friendly state for business owners in the United States, as there's no individual income tax or state sales tax. Additionally, Alaska has the second highest rate of new business owners, as well as the second highest percentage of available employees (as per 2016).
As in most states, the best spots to start a business in Alaska are the state's biggest cities and the surrounding areas. This includes Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks. Other key areas that are seeing a boost in business development in recent years include Homer, Sitka, Prudhoe Bay, and Ketchikan.
While there are several industries that are experiencing growth in The Last Frontier, specific sectors thrive more than others. Businesses that are related to the following industries are booming in AK:
- Fishing, which is also one of the largest contributors to the state's economy.
- Mining, which provides more than 4,500 jobs in Alaska.
- Petroleum, which is responsible for 34% of jobs in the state. In fact, Prudhoe Bay is North America's largest oil field.
- Tourism is the second largest private sector employer in the state. Each year, millions of people from around the globe travel to Alaska to marvel at the numerous natural wonders that can be found here.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Alaska
The Alaska Division of Insurance regulates insurance in AK. Alaska mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Alaska requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Alaska also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
Additional Resources For Medical Insurance
Discover small business insurance for medical and dental professionals. Medical malpractice insurance is a type of professional liability that protects health care professionals from liability causing in bodily injury, medical expenses and property damage.
- Ambulatory Surgical Center
- Art Therapy
- Assisted Living Facilities
- Blood Banks
- Dental Lab
- Dental Office
- Diagnostic Imaging Centers
- Health Maintenance Organizations
- Healthcare Facilities
- Home Medical Equipment Dealers
- Marriage & Family Therapy
- Medical Clinics
- Medical Laboratories
- Medical Marijuana Dispensary
- Medical Practice
- Medical, Surgical & Hospital Supply Store
- Mental Health Counseling
- Nurse Registry
- Occupational Therapy
- Osteopathic Physicians
- Physicians Office
- Plastic Surgeons
- Skilled Nursing Facilities
- Speech Therapy
- Substance Abuse Counseling
- Telemedicine Business Insurance
Health care providers are the most trusted individuals in our society. Ironically, they are the same ones who can do the greatest harm. They actually have the right to invade our bodies with knives and to poison us with chemicals - all in the name of health care and with the goal of relieving our symptoms and hopefully bringing about a cure.
While the actions of these professionals normally benefit us, insurance coverage must be available for the times when mistakes happen and things go wrong. These professionals and their facilities have extensive property exposures that are becoming more and more intricate and whose values are increasing exponentially.
The 'one size fits all' approach that once could have applied to insurance for health care providers and their facilities no longer applies.
Professional liability offers protection against claims of malpractice for all sums that the medical professional becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of rendering or failing to render professional services.
Professional and medical malpractice exposures are the most expensive and difficult of all exposures for health care providers. The commercial general liability policy excludes these exposures so separate coverage is needed. Most professional liability policies are written on a claims-made basis and, as a result, tail coverage and retroactive dates are important coverage issues to be aware of when evaluating the insured’s coverage needs and comparing coverages.
The coverage provided is often called medical malpractice. For decades, many involved in the health care field and insurance companies that provide insurance coverage to providers have stated that malpractice lawsuits have created an ongoing crisis of restricting insurance availability, due to loss of insurance companies that write the coverage and significant rate increases.
As a result, state legislatures have taken the following actions to address the situation:
Imposed a dollar limitation of liability for malpractice suits.
Modified statutes of limitation to limit the number of years that a suit may be brought against a physician following a negligent act.
Modified when the statute of limitations takes effect. An example is beginning from a negligent act's occurrence rather than from its discovery.
Passed laws to modify tort law procedures and doctrines that relate to malpractice.
Because of differences in law by state it is important to know the states in which the covered health care providers are licensed and regularly practice. Some health care providers may practice in multiple states because of their particular specialty, their reputation or the demand for their services. Some hospitals may have ownership in facilities or provide services to patients that are outside of their main location state.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Physicians and Surgeons Floater, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Professional, Umbrella, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.
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Also find Alaska insurance agents & brokers and learn about Alaska small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including AK business insurance costs. Call us (907) 531-9001.