AlaskaCare Employee News | September 2019

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September 2019 | #84

Getting to Know Your Benefits: Oral Health for Kids

Teeth Brushing


Healthy Smiles for a Healthy School Year

A healthy smile is important no matter your age! Visiting the dentist is the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy, and doing so keeps your whole body healthy.

Back to school is a great time to schedule those dental visits!

It’s important for your children to have their teeth cleaned twice a year for a healthy smile. Visiting a dentist regularly will help prevent cavities and other dental problems. As part of their school schedule, encourage a tooth brushing in the morning and before bed. Children should brush for two minutes, two times a day. In addition to regular brushing, flossing teeth is recommended once a day for healthy gums. If your kid needs help brushing or flossing, try these tips:

  • Have them lie down with their head in your lap.
  • Have them roar like a dinosaur! (This makes them open wide.)
  • Gently brush teeth, working up to two minutes, two times a day.
  • Sing or tell a story while they brush.
  • Have your child practice brushing teeth on a favorite stuffed animal or doll.
  • Humming the “Alphabet Song” or “Happy Birthday" twice for each half of the mouth.

Getting to Know Your Benefits: Oral Health, Total Health

Dental Tools


Dental Benefits that Protect More Than Just Your Smile

If you are diabetic or pregnant in your third trimester, the Oral Health, Total Health program offers more ways to care for your teeth and mouth—and keep the rest of your body healthy, too.

If you have diabetes

Diabetes increases the risk of cavities, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth loss, dry mouth and infection. If you have been diagnosed with this disease, you are eligible for four preventive cleanings (or periodontal maintenance visits) per year through our Oral Health, Total Health program. Protect your teeth and gums by enrolling today.

For details on the Oral Health, Total Health program, refer to AlaskaCare Employee Health Plan booklet or visit myModa, your personalized member website.

If you’re pregnant

Pregnant women who have periodontal disease are more likely to have a premature and underweight baby. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the mouth, and the body’s response to the infection can trigger early labor. If you are expecting, you can enroll in the Oral Health, Total Health program to help prevent gum disease. If you’ve already had two cleanings for the year, you’ll be eligible for another cleaning or checkup during your third trimester. This added preventive visit is covered regardless of normal plan frequency limits. That way, you can receive a dental cleaning during the third trimester, no matter what.

Learn more and enroll

To enroll in the Oral Health, Total Health program, access the form online by logging in to myModa at Once you’ve signed in, simply click on “Oral Health, Total Health” in the myHealth tab.

Coming Soon! Open Enrollment

Couple on Computer


Open enrollment for the upcoming benefit year is November 6, 2019 through November 27, 2019. Enrollment elections become effective January 1, 2020. In late October, you will receive an Open Enrollment notice with instructions on accessing everything you need to review your benefits and enroll for the coming benefit year. During Open Enrollment, you will be able to review your current benefit elections on the Division of Retirement and Benefits website and review any new plan offerings for 2020.

Get Ready for Flu Season

Flu shot


Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk of serious flu complications. There are two main types of influenza virus: Types A and B. The two viruses that routinely spread in people (human influenza viruses) are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year.


You can take Action to Protect Against Flu

Get Vaccinated

The best way to prevent flu is by getting vaccinated each year. It can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu.

Preventive Steps

You can take actions every day to help stop the spread of germs. Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home when you are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Wash your hands often, it will help protect you from germs.


Most people with flu have a mild form of the illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people. If, however, you have flu-like symptoms and are in a high-risk group or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider. There are prescription medications called antiviral drugs that can be used to treat flu illness.

Additional Resources:

  • The CDC's comprehensive website with general information on influenza transmission, symptoms, prevention, treatment and more can be found here: Influenza Information
  • Click here to get a map of retail pharmacies offering vaccine near you.

Free Flu Shots in Anchorage provided by Alaska Regional Hospital

Don’t Get the Flu. Drive on Thru!
Roll down your window, roll up your sleeve, then roll on down the road.

  • WHO: Participants 9 years and older.
  • WHAT Free flu shots & windshield / headlight washing.
  • WHEN: 5:30 – 8 P.M. October 3 and 9.
  • WHERE: Alaska Regional Hospital, C Building parking lot,
    2801 DeBarr Road, Anchorage, AK 99508

No appointment necessary. Drive through only, no walk-ups.

Eggplant Parm

Recipe of the Month

Speedy Eggplant Parmesan


Exercise of the Month

Single Leg Dead Lift


Tobacco Lungs
Health Fact of the Month

Roughly 4,000 children and teenagers begin smoking every day.
Kick the habit with help from Alaska Quit Line! 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Health Benefit Contact Information

Division of Retirement and Benefits
Member Services: (907) 465-4460 | Toll-Free: (800) 821-2251

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

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

Health Flexible Spending Accounts (HFSA): PayFlex
Member Services: (800) 416-7053

Surgery Plus
Member Care Advocate: (855) 715-1680

Vision & Audio Benefits: Aetna VSP
Member Services: (855) 784-8646