SEARHC Patient Health Benefits

SEARHC’s Patient Health Benefits program provides free help to Southeast Alaskans. If you need a helping hand with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplace at, Medicare, Medicaid, the Tribally Sponsored Program or Veteran’s Benefits we can assist you. We will also help you with filing tribal, hardship and affordability exemptions.

First, if you have not signed up for coverage our team can help find the right fit for you and your family. Alaska Native and American Indians are covered by the Indian Health Service for health care. Furthermore, getting additional coverage expands your options and services.

SEARHC Patient Health Benefits assistance

  • Sitka:  966-8662  |  966-8920  |  966-8405  
  • Juneau:  364-4589 

SEARHC Financial Counselors
 907-364-4465  |  907-966-8488  |  907-766-6322  



  • New applications
  • Renewals
  • Reporting changes
  • Adding newborns


  • 65 sign up for coverage- call at 64
  • Help paying for Medicare Part B & D
  • Supplemental plans
  • Change Part D (drugs) plans

Health Insurance Marketplace

  • Open Enrollment Nov 1st-December 15th every year
  • Special enrollments year round
  • Updating information & problem solving

Veteran’s Benefits

  • Sign up
  • Update income

Tribally Sponsored Health Insurance Program

  • Free coverage for eligible tribal members
  • Additional insurance
  • Year round enrollment

Alaska Native/American Indians

The Affordable Care Act‘s (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplace provides more choices for additional healthcare coverage beyond Indian Health Service services. You may qualify for special coverage and protections at

Indian Health Service (IHS)) coverage is not considered health insurance. Alaska Natives and American Indians are exempt from the requirement to purchase insurance as long as they file an exemption.

Important tips

  • If you are currently covered by employer insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, Denali Kid Care or Veteran’s Benefits: you don’t need to file an exemption because you have health insurance.
  • You may be eligible for the Tribally Sponsored Health Insurance Program: this program provides free additional health coverage if you are eligible (see flyer under the resource section).
  • If you currently use your IHS coverage without additional insurance, you will need to file an exemption:  You can file the exemption when you do your taxes.
  • Exemptions for Alaska Native/American Indians:  There is no longer a paper application to submit to the Health Insurance Marketplace. You can file for a lifetime exemption number by paper.  
  • Using your lifetime exemption number:  This exemption number can be used to file your taxes every year. You can also file a yearly exemption on IRS Form 8965.  The forms can be found below, on this web page under “Documents”.
  • If you fail to file an exemption or purchase additional insurance:  You will face a tax penalty of  $695/adult and $347.50/child (up to $2,085/family) or 2.5% of family income WHICHEVER is higher.


PDF files require Acrobat Reader


The Health Insurance Marketplace


  • MyAlaska – State of Alaska website
  • ARIES – Alaska’s Resource for Integrated Eligibility Services (ARIES) Self-Service Portal
  • Gen 50 – State of Alaska Application for Services
  • Medicaid recipient handbook – Note: changes made after the printing of this book will be made only to the online version of this handbook, located at this web page.


Tribally Sponsored Health Insurance Program (TSHIP)

  • TSHIP flyer – General information, including income guidelines for eligibility  
  • TSHIP FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions   

Veteran’s Benefits

  • Application form    
  • Serving Alaska Veterans – This video introduces Veterans to the three administrations of the VA — Health Care Administration, Benefits Administration, and Cemetery Administration. The video, produced in Alaska, may have relevance to Veterans throughout the United States who are eligible for benefits from the VA. Veterans are encouraged to make contact with the nearest VA. (Video published 07.14.16)