AlaskaCare Retiree Health News | Monthly e-newsletter | February 2019

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

AlaskaCare Retiree Health News

Retiree News masthead

Volume 11 | February 2019

In This Issue

The Division of Retirement and Benefits sends monthly e-newsletters to provide you with accurate, timely information about your AlaskaCare retiree health benefits. You can expect to receive an e-newsletter each month, and the Division may also send out timely information and updates through this email list. If you prefer not to receive these email updates, you can unsubscribe at any time. Either way, you will continue to receive the HealthMatters newsletter in the mail, as well as your important health plan information.

Governor Names Department of Administration Commissioner

Kelly Tshibaka

On Thursday, January 31, 2019, Alaska Governor Michael J. Dunleavy proudly appointed Kelly Tshibaka to serve as the next commissioner of the Alaska Department of Administration.

Kelly Tshibaka is a born and raised Alaskan, having graduated from Stellar Secondary School in Anchorage in 1995. She has over sixteen years of leadership experience in federal government and intelligence oversight roles, including audits, investigations, complex reviews, data analytics, and executive management.

Most recently she was the Chief Data Officer for the United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General, where she was part of the executive team responsible for oversight of the US Postal Service, an agency with more than $70 billion in annual revenue, $13 billion in contracts, and 620,000 employees.

Prior to that, she was the Acting Inspector General of the Federal Trade Commission, served as legal counsel to the Inspector General of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and performed sensitive reviews at the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. Tshibaka has dedicated her public service career to improving government agencies’ efficiency and effectiveness. Tshibaka has a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University.

Tele-Town Hall: Thursday, March 21, 2019

What is a Tele-Town Hall? 

Tele-town halls are group calls hosted by the Alaska Department of Administration, Division of Retirement and Benefits for all interested AlaskaCare retirees and families to ask questions about your health plan. You can join the call to learn more about your health plan and ask Division staff any questions you have about your benefits. This format gives retirees a chance to connect directly with Division staff, seek out answers, and learn more about the health plan.

When is the Next Tele-Town Hall?

Thursday, March 21, 2019 | 10 to 11 a.m. AKST (1 hour)
The Division has hosted seven events since August 2018, and retirees have asked some great questions! If you missed any of these events, you can find written summaries of the discussion and recordings of the calls on the AlaskaCare website.

How do I participate in the Tele-Town Hall?

If you would like to participate, please register on the AlaskaCare website. Registration opens approximately one week before each event. During the registration process, you will be asked to provide a phone number and when the event starts, all registered participants will automatically be called at that number. To participate, just answer that call and stay on the phone!

News from the Retiree Health Plan Advisory Board

The Retiree Health Plan Advisory Board (RHPAB) is tasked with facilitating engagement and communication among the Commissioner of Administration, the Division of Retirement and Benefits, and the community of AlaskaCare retirees. The seven-member board meets four times per year, with additional meetings of the modernization committee each quarter.

Next Quarterly Board Meeting: May 2019

The next board meeting is scheduled for May 2019 with locations in Juneau and Anchorage and teleconference provided. The agenda will include updates and in-depth discussion about the modernization project, a collection of initiatives and proposed changes to the health plan under consideration by the Division to provide updated and improved benefits for all retirees. The exact time will be provided at a later date.

Next Modernization Subcommittee Meeting: March 2019

The next Modernization Subcommittee meeting is scheduled for March 2019 with locations in Juneau and Anchorage and teleconference provided. The exact time will be provided at a later date.

Members of the public are always welcome to attend and observe the meetings or listen in via phone. Each RHPAB board meeting includes time on the agenda for public comment, and written comments may be submitted to the board at  If you want to be sure that your comments are included in the agenda packet for the next quarterly board meeting, please submit them at least thirty days in advance of the next scheduled meeting. Please see the public comment guidelines for more information and what to expect in a board meeting.

For more about RHPAB and upcoming meetings, including meeting locations, teleconference information and meeting materials, please visit the RHPAB web page.

2019 Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transistion

As of January 1, 2019, OptumRx is the Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM) for all AlaskaCare plans. OptumRx now manages pharmacy benefits for our members, including retail, mail order and specialty prescription drugs, claims processing, and prior authorization requests for prescription medications. This does not impact medical, vision, or dental benefits. Those will continue to be administered by Aetna and Moda, respectively.

thought cloud

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Your Pharmacy Benefits Plan

We know you may have questions or need assistance during this transition.

OptumRx’s pharmacy health care advisors are ready to answer your questions. Call OptumRx Member Services toll-free at (855) 409-6999 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

You can also access OptumRx online through a member portal. To create your individual account, go to or download the OptumRx mobile app.

OptumRx Transition Frequently Asked Questions

Enhanced Employer Group Waiver Plan (EGWP) Frequently Asked Questions

We update the FAQs regularly. Please keep checking back for new information!

Here are some recent additions:

I received a phone call from an OptumRx representative, but my caller-ID says the call is coming from United Health Care. Is this a scam?

OptumRx is a subsidiary of United Health Care, which is why “United Health Care” may appear on your caller-ID when you receive a call from OptumRx. This is not a scam. However, if you are unsure if the call is legitimate, you can always decline the call and then contact OptumRx at (855) 409-6999 to ensure the call is genuine.

I received a call from an OptumRx representative who stated my mail-order prescriptions have transferred over and then asked me for personal information. Is this a scam?

If you were previously enrolled in the Aetna pharmacy mail order program, most remaining prescription fills were transferred automatically to OptumRx’s home delivery program. The OptumRx home delivery unit has been reaching out to members to assist with setting up their home delivery accounts and to verify the prescriptions they want delivered. If you receive a call to this effect, it is not a scam. However, if you are unsure if the call is legitimate, you can always decline the call and then contact OptumRx at (855) 409-6999 to ensure the call is genuine.

What if my prescriptions have expired?

You will need to obtain a new prescription from your doctor, and either bring the written prescription with you to the pharmacy or have your doctor send the prescription to OptumRx’s Home Delivery pharmacy. Instructions on how to have your doctor send new prescriptions to OptumRx’s Home Delivery pharmacy were included in the Welcome Kit you received at the end of November along with your ID card. You can call OptumRx at (855) 409-6999 if you would like to have OptumRx assist you in contacting your doctor to obtain a new prescription for home delivery.


What Do You Need to Know About EGWP?

On January 1, 2019, the pharmacy benefit manager for AlaskaCare changed from Aetna/CVS to OptumRx.  At the same time a new program that resulted in a few changes to the retiree prescription drug plan for Medicare eligible retirees and dependents was implemented.

Eligible retirees and dependents were automatically placed in a group Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, through an employer group waiver program: “EGWP” or “egg-whip” for short. Additional prescription drug benefits wrap around the standard Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to ensure that the plan continues to cover the same medications. Your dependents who were not eligible for Medicare continue to be covered under the plan in the same way.

This change allows the plan to receive greater federal subsidies, so the plan pays less for your medications, but most importantly your benefits remain the same.

  • You will pay the same copays as you did in the past.
  • If you are covered under two AlaskaCare plans, the plans will continue to coordinate.
  • AlaskaCare will still have an open formulary, so all the same drugs will be covered and virtually all the same network pharmacies are available.
  • You will still need to present only one prescription ID card.
  • OptumRx has a home delivery program so you can continue to receive your prescription fills through the mail.
  • You will see benefit improvements, such as the addition of the shingles vaccine.

To view a short EGWP information video or review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), please click here

Health Benefit Contact Information

Division of Retirement and Benefits 
DRB Call Center: (907) 465-4460 | Toll Free: (800) 821-2251

Medical Benefits: Aetna
Member Services: (855) 784-8646

Long Term Care Benefits: CHCS Services, Inc.
Member Services: (888) 287-7116

Dental Benefits: Moda/Delta Dental
Member Services: (855) 718-1768

Pharmacy Benefits: OptumRx
Member Services: (855) 409-6999

Specialty Pharmacy: BriovaRx
Enrollment Services: (855) 427-4682