AlaskaCare Retiree Health News | Monthly e-newsletter | February 2020

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AlaskaCare Retiree Health News

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Volume 21| February 2020

Don’t Forget—The Medicare Part D Surcharge
Reimbursement Form Deadline is March 31!

Are you enrolled in the AlaskaCare enhanced Employer Group Waiver Plan (EGWP)? Are you being charged a premium for your Medicare Part D coverage? If you answered “yes” to both questions, you may be eligible for reimbursement from AlaskaCare for your Medicare Part D Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA).

What is an IRMAA? Certain high-income retirees are required to pay an extra premium surcharge, known as an Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount. This is similar to the surcharge for high-income enrollees in the Medicare Part B plan. Because the AlaskaCare EGWP is a ground Medicare Part D plan, individuals and married couples earning more than the threshold, are required to pay an extra surcharge. Retirees whose household income is below this threshold will not be subject to the IRMAA premium surcharge.

If you are subject to the Medicare Part D IRMAA surcharge, you will be reimbursed for the surcharge related to your prescription drug coverage. The deadline for submitting reimbursement requests for 2019 IRMAA charges is March 31, 2020.

For all Medicare plans, the IRMAA is deducted directly from your monthly Social Security check (if you receive Social Security) or is invoiced to you directly each month. If you are charged a Medicare Part D IRMAA for your prescription drug coverage, the Division of Retirement and Benefits will reimburse you for the full cost of the surcharge each month, through a tax-advantaged Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) account. Please contact the Division to learn about your reimbursement options and visit our website for more information.

How Do I Establish an HRA Account for my 2020 IRMAA Premium Surcharge?

The Division is prohibited from paying your Medicare Part D IRMAA premium surcharge directly and will reimburse you instead. Follow the steps below to establish your 2020 IRMAA reimbursement account:

  1. Scan, copy, or take a photo of your Social Security letter or Medicare bill that shows what your 2020 Part D IRMAA surcharge will be.

  2. Complete the PayFlex Claim form.

  3. Mail, fax, or email your completed form and documentation to:
    Division of Retirement and Benefits
    P.O. Box 110203
    Juneau, AK 99811-0203
    Fax: (907) 465-3086

The Division will coordinate with PayFlex on your behalf to establish your 2020 HRA account. Please allow up to three weeks for processing. For more information, contact PayFlex at (800) 416-7053.

Don’t forget! The deadline for submitting reimbursement requests for 2019 IRMAA charges is March 31, 2020.

Are You Medicare Eligible?
Is Your Mail Delivered to a P.O. Box?

Make Sure You Have Also Provided a Physical Address to Remain
Eligible for EGWP Prescription Drug Coverage

Effective January 1, 2019, AlaskaCare implemented an enhanced Employer Group Waiver Program (EGWP) to provide prescription drug coverage for all Medicare-eligible members covered under the AlaskaCare Retiree Health plan. Members who have provided a P.O. box for their address must also provide a physical address in order to maintain EGWP eligibility. No mail will be sent to this address, it will only be used to verify you live inside the Medicare service area.

If you have only provided a P.O. box as your address, please contact OptumRx Member Services at (855) 235-1405 or the Division's Member Services Contact Center at (907) 465-4460 to provide your physical address. If you do not have a typical residential (street) address, please call the Division. We will work with you to record an address that will satisfy the CMS requirement.

The Retiree Health Plan Advisory Board
Represents You, the Retirees

Boardroom graphic

The Retiree Health Plan Advisory Board (RHPAB) was created through Administrative Order No. 288 on September 29, 2017 to facilitate engagement and coordination between the State of Alaska’s retirement systems’ members, the Alaska Retirement Management Board, and the Commissioner of Administration regarding the administration of the retiree health plan.

The seven-member board is an elected group of individuals that represent you, the retirees. It consists of PERS, JRS, and TRS retired and/or active members, a public member, an Alaska Retirement Management Board trustee, and an human resources official or financial officer employed by an entity that participates in the State’s retirement systems. The board members may be nominated by retiree stakeholder groups including CBJ, NEA, AFL-CIO, and RPEA, and are selected by the Governor.

The RHPAB provides valuable input and has been instrumental in evaluating new proposals that would help modernize the retiree health plan while sustaining the benefit level. The modernization effort undertaken between RHPAB and the Division is intended to help align the plan with the current healthcare environment. An example of a recent change is the roll-out of the enhanced Employee Group Waiver Program (EGWP) for Medicare-eligible retirees. Implementing this change has maintained prescription drug coverage for EGWP participants, expanded coverage of certain vaccines to all AlaskaCare retirees, and will save the retiree health trusts millions of dollars annually. The board voted in favor of implementing EGWP effective January 1, 2019.

We invite you to attend, members are always welcome. If you cannot be there in person, audio recordings of the meetings are available online. You can find the audio recordings, meeting dates and materials on the AlaskaCare Retiree Health Plan Advisory Board webpage, as well as the Online Public Notices page. If you would like to offer public comment for the board to review, please send an email to

Reminder: Shingles Vaccine is a Two-Part Series

If you’ve already received your first dose, don’t forget your second!

As a result of the adoption of the AlaskaCare enhanced EGWP, the Division has expanded coverage of vaccines covered by Medicare Part D to both Medicare-eligible and non-Medicare eligible retirees when administered at a pharmacy.

Common vaccines that have been added to the AlaskaCare retiree pharmacy benefit include shingles, diphtheria, tetanus, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), polio, hepatitis, and HPV. Don’t forget to have the vaccines administered at your pharmacy!

Your immune system declines as you age, and that puts you at an increased risk for shingles. For those who are 50 years and older, the vaccine helps your immune system defend against the shingles virus. The vaccine is typically given as a 2-dose series, so to be properly protected, it's very important to get both shots. If you’ve already received your first dose, don’t forget to set aside time for your second. The second dose is typically given 2-6 months after the first. If you have any questions about the timing of the doses, talk to your pharmacist or physician.

Need Help Managing Your Chronic Medications?

The use of numerous prescription and over-the-counter medications is common among seniors. To get the most benefit from those medications, it is important to take each one exactly as your doctor prescribes. It may seem like an overwhelming task, but a little information, organization, and help, can keep you on your medication schedule and away from drug interactions.

The Medication Therapy Management Program (MTMP) offered by OptumRx can help. MTMP is focused on improving therapeutic outcomes for Medicare Part D members taking eight or more chronic medications. The program includes:

  • A review of medications to assess their use and identify medication-related problems. The review may be conducted person-to-person, "behind the scenes" by a qualified provider, or with computerized, clinical algorithms.
  • An interactive, person-to-person consultation performed annually by a qualified provider to all MTMP-eligible members.
  • An individualized, written summary of the members consultation, including but not limited to, a personal medication list (PML), reconciled medication list, action plan, and recommendations for monitoring, education, or self-management.

To see if you qualify, or to register for the program, contact OptumRx Member Services at (855) 409-6999.

Join the Conversation—Retiree Town Hall Events

Town Hall Events 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 the AlaskaCare health plans. 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 to hear the latest news on all things AlaskaCare, raise questions, share comments, and learn more about the health plans.

For those of you who have participated, thank you for joining us, you have asked some great questions! Town Hall events are held on the third Thursday of the month.

Upcoming Schedule

We Value Your Feedback!

As an AlaskaCare Retiree member, your input is valued and important. Below is a list of ways to contact us with your feedback. Also, a full list of AlaskaCare health plan and partner contact information can be found on our website.

AlaskaCare, Plan Administrator

  • Toll Free: (800) 821-2251
  • In Juneau: (907) 465-4460
  • TDD: (907) 465-2805
  • Fax: (907) 465-3086
  • Email:

Come visit us:
State Office Building, 6th Floor
333 Willoughby Avenue
Juneau, AK 99801

Send us a letter:
State of Alaska
Division of Retirement and Benefits
P.O. Box 110203
Juneau, AK 99811-0203

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