Press Release: Controlling Health Care Costs in Alaska

Click here to open the press release as a PDF in a new tab.


For Immediate Release June 30, 2020                                                                                 

Contact: Melodie Wilterdink, (410) 725-9079,



ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Over the past 30 years, expenditures on health care in Alaska have grown considerably faster than the national average. By some measures, Alaska has the most expensive health care in the country. High and rising health expenditures adversely affect the lives of Alaskans in many ways, from stunting wage growth for individuals to crowding out government spending on other policy priorities.

In a new report, Controlling Health Care Costs in Alaska, Dr. Benedic Ippolito examines many factors contributing to high health care expenditures in the Last Frontier, and provides recommendations to reduce and stabilize that spending. His recommendations include, among others, eliminating surprise medical billing, requiring accurate insurance network listings, reforming Alaska’s certificate of need law, and improving transparency through an all-payer claims database.

“With health expenditures exceeding $11,000 per resident, opening a business in Alaska and providing benefits for workers can be prohibitively expensive, reducing job opportunities for Alaskans. And it’s not just the private sector that’s affected. The state government faces similar challenges when providing health benefits to employees, and that spending usurps funds that could have been directed to vital programs.”

— Quinn Townsend, Policy Manager at Alaska Policy Forum

For the state and its residents to flourish, policymakers must thoughtfully consider all options to reduce health care costs. Dr. Ippolito’s suggested reforms could improve the efficiency of the health care market and encourage competition and transparency to increase the affordability of health care for Alaskans.


Alaska Policy Forum (APF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to empowering and educating Alaskans and policymakers by promoting policies that grow freedom for all. APF does not accept any form of government funding. To learn more about APF, visit