Health Overhaul-Alaska

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has approved a proposal intended to help stabilize Alaska's individual health insurance market.

    State leaders hailed the news. But U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan said that work still remains in providing affordable health care for all Alaskans.

    Congress is currently debating overhauling the existing federal health care law.

    The state last year established a program to address claims for high-cost conditions in an effort to stem a continued double-digit rise in premiums. Rather than have the costs of those claims spread across Alaska's relatively small market, they were to be paid through a tax that insurance companies already paid.

    The state asked for federal help in keeping the program going, which it received this week.

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