AlaskaCare Wellness News | November 2018

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November 2018 | #74

Welcome to Open Enrollment—It's Happening Now! 
Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment began on Wednesday, October 31 and will run through to Wednesday, November 21, 2018.

Who is it for?
Open enrollment is for anyone who: 

  • Is eligible for AlaskaCare health care coverage.
  • Is eligible for Voluntary Supplemental Benefits (life insurance, critical illness, etc.)

AlaskaCare members! You can find a 2019 health plan that's right for you by:

Questions? Visit

Stay tuned for more Open Enrollment information coming your way!

OptumRx Telephone Lines are Open!
Doctor On Phone

OptumRx, the AlaskaCare Health Plan’s new pharmacy benefits manager, is ready to take your calls. The OptumRx team is available to answer your questions, assist with your prescriptions, and make sure you are ready for the transition. You can contact OptumRx Member Services at (855) 409-6999 (TTY 711), they are available M-F 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. & Sat/Sun 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. AKST. Beginning January 1, 2019, the OptumRx pharmacy health care advisors will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

In the meantime, your AlaskaCare pharmacy services will continue to be managed by Aetna’s pharmacy benefit manager, CVS/Caremark, until the end of 2018.

Good News About SurgeryPlus!

The SurgeryPlus Enhanced Medical Travel Service Benefit is off to a great start. AlaskaCare members and their eligible dependents are reporting positive engagement with AlaskaCare’s newest vendor.

“I tried SurgeryPlus for the first time and need to share how impressed I am with the process. I called SurgeryPlus when I needed surgery. I was assigned a Care Advocate and she was with me throughout the whole process, from planning my travel to after I was home. The doctor that was highly recommended was on the approved list, and Rachel the Care Advocate was able to help me with my appointments, flights, and a good hotel. Rachel sent me a pre-loaded charge card to cover expenses, like a taxi to-and-from the airport and doctor’s office. Rachel was amazing during the process and checked in at each step. She made me feel important and took care of the details so that I could focus on my recovery.”

-AlaskaCare Member Testimonial

Juneau AlaskaCare Member

  • Surgery Location: Seattle, WA
  • Travel cost to member: $0
  • Total travel time: 5 days
  • Procedure: Hernia Repair and chemo port removal
When you need to travel for a non-emergency medical procedure, consult SurgeryPlus! To learn more, contact a SurgeryPlus Care Advocate toll-free at (855) 715-1680.


As we welcome in the winter season, don’t let sickness be the reason you miss out on the holiday festivities. If you start feeling sluggish, a little blue, and you can’t figure out if you’re coming down with a cold or seasonal flu, it’s OK to telephone a friend for sympathy. But for medical opinions, it’s always a good idea to Teladoc.

Teladoc professional medical consults are available to you 24/7/365!

To utilize your new benefit, AlaskaCare Employee Plan members can begin by registering for a Teladoc account. 

There are three ways to register: 

  1. Online:
  2. Mobile App:
  3. Phone: (855) TELADOC (835-2362).

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month 

Man Testing Lancet Pen

Diabetes is a disease in which the levels of sugar (glucose) in your blood are too high. It is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. 

There are two types of diabetes: 

  • Type 1, where the body does not produce insulin, and
  • Type 2, where the body has too little insulin and does not utilize insulin effectively.

If it’s not controlled, diabetes can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems. One in ten Americans have diabetes—more than 30 million people—and another 84 million adults are at a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. One in three American adults have prediabetes. Prediabetes occurs when a person’s blood glucose level is elevated, but is not high enough for a Type 2 diagnosis. Prediabetes can be reversed, but knowing your risk is the first step. Take the Risk Test today.

Do you know your risk for prediabetes?

For more information, visit

Have questions?
We can help! Contact (800) DIABETES (342-2383), Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.
For assistance with the management of chronic conditions, reach out to Aetna’s In Touch Care Program. To access Aetna's In Touch Care Program, log in to our secure member website at Select "Health Records>Health Dashboard", and from your Health Dashboard, click "Launch My Programs".

Nurse case managers are available for support and to assist you with developing your action plan for disease management. This service is free of charge as part of your AlaskaCare Health Plan benefits.

Thanksgiving Day is National Family Health History Day

Family Thanksgiving

National Family Health History Day is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is celebrated on November 22, Thanksgiving Day.

Over the holiday when families gather, the Surgeon General encourages you to discuss and record the health problems that run in your family. Sharing your family’s health history with your doctor provides an invaluable tool for your health care. How you look in your jeans after eating that giant roasted turkey leg is not half as important as how you look in your actual genes! A genetic predisposition is an increased likelihood of developing a particular disease based on a person’s genetic makeup, which is inherited from your parents. Get informed, be proactive, and when you utilize your AlaskaCare Health Plan’s annual preventive screening benefits, report your family’s medical history to your doctor.

More Information

My Family Health Portrait
The Surgeon General's Family Health History Initiative

Always consult your AlaskaCare Health Plan or call the Aetna Concierge, at (855) 784-8646 for a complete benefit quote prior to getting services.

Weight Watchers (now WW) Workplace Workshop Kick-Offs Coming Soon!

Have you ever been interested in joining the WW Community (formerly known as Weight Watchers)? Now is a good time! If you enroll in a session at one of the upcoming kick-off workshops, you will receive a special Journey Incentive Discount. Don’t miss this great opportunity to become a member of the WW Community!

The Kick-Off for the AOGCC Anchorage will be on Wednesday, November 28, 2018, from 12-12:45 p.m. The 18-week series will run from November 28 through April 3, 2019. (No session will be held on December 26 and you will not be charged for this week.)

Questions? Contact your WW Community onsite representative,

The Kick-Off for the DOA at the SOB in Juneau will be on Thursday, December 6, 2018, from 12-12:45 p.m. The 18-week series will run from December 6 through April 11, 2019. (No session will be held on December 27 and you will not be charged for this week).

Questions? Want to RSVP for the Kick-Off? Contact your WW Workplace coach,

The Snowden Building in Anchorage began their 18-week series on Friday, October 12, 2018, and will run through February 8, 2019. There is still time to join and you will only pay for the remaining weeks (the Journey Incentive Discount cannot be applied at this location). This group meets from 12-12:45 p.m.

Questions? Contact the WW Workplace coach,

Each new series requires a minimum of 15 enrollees before the session can start. The Journey Incentive Discount rate of $158.10 is a 15% savings and it applies to everyone who attends the Kick-Off date and enrolls in the new 18-week Workshop series.

Quit Smoking: You Won't Gain Weight

If you've finally decided to kick the habit, there's good news! Quitting smoking won't make you gain weight over the long term. Some people pick up 4 or 5 pounds early on, but that's only temporary.

Alaska Tobacco Quit Line offers FREE Tobacco Cessation Programs. Telephone, web and text-based support to help you quit tobacco are available in your community. Call today 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Herb Roasted Turkey

Recipe of the Month
Herb Roasted Turkey



Exercise of the Month



Health Fact of the Month
WASH UP! Help fend off colds by washing your hands well and often! It’s the best step you can take for prevention. Use plain soap and water and scrub for as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.


Not sure if that cold is worth the trip? 
Call the Aetna Nurse line, 24 hours, 7 days a week.

                           Call (800) 556-1555