AlaskaCare Employee News | October & November 2019

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October & November 2019 | #85

AlaskaCare Employee Open Enrollment is Going On Now!

OE Header

AlaskaCare Employee Open Enrollment begins today and will close Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at 5 p.m. AKST. Your enrollment elections will become effective January 1, 2020. You should receive an Open Enrollment Guide in the mail that outlines the choices available to you under the State of Alaska select benefits plan, commonly referred to as AlaskaCare. Because you may have different needs than your coworkers and friends, you can create a personal benefit program from a range of benefits and levels of coverage.

Check out the Open Enrollment webpage for more information about each plan option, Voluntary Supplemental Benefits (VSB), how to opt out of coverage, and FAQs. You can also find the Health Plan Cost Comparison Tool, which can help you make informed choices about the best plan for your needs based on your anticipated costs for the coming year and the estimated cost of each plan.

Remember! You can access the online enrollment portal to make open enrollment elections 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from Wednesday, November 6 through Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at 5 p.m. Alaska Time.

Reminder: Health Flexible Spending Account

The Health Flexible Spending Account (HFSA) provides an opportunity for you to save by setting aside money for health care on a pre-tax basis.

How it works:

  • Each month, you decide the amount you want to contribute, up to the monthly limit.
  • When you file claims during the benefit year, you are reimbursed with the tax-free dollars from your account. 
  • You benefit because you don’t pay taxes on the dollars you contribute to your account.

You must enroll in HFSA each year during the open enrollment period, it does not automatically continue from one benefit year to the next. All services must be received prior to the end of the benefit year and claims must be filed within 90 days of the end of the benefit year (December 31, 2019). The deadline is March 31, 2020 to file claims for the 2019 benefit year.

The HFSA allows for a maximum of $500 in unused funds to be carried-over from one benefit year to the next. This amount will be in addition to any new benefit year amount you select as deductions in your pay.

If you do not have any other health coverage, you can elect to have your HFSA be set up with “streamlining”. Streamlining sends the unpaid portion of your claim (deductible, your portion of coinsurance, etc.) directly to your HFSA account for reimbursement.

You may not elect streamlining if you have other coverage that will coordinate with AlaskaCare.

Getting to Know Your Benefits: Aetna Maternity Program

Advice for Mothers and Moms-to-be
Thinking of starting a family or expanding yours? It can certainly raise a lot of questions, but you can feel prepared with expert medical advice from Aetna. The Aetna Maternity Program is here to support you through the process and help you have a successful pregnancy.

Joining is easy. This program is already included with your AlaskaCare Employee Plan health benefits— there’s no extra cost to you. Just sign up and answer a few questions.

Why wait? Start receiving care and information for a healthy pregnancy. Call Aetna at 1-800-CRADLE-1 (1-800-272-3531), weekdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET, or log in to your Aetna member account and navigate to “Stay Healthy.”

Getting to Know your Benefits: Telemedicine

Telemedicine for behavioral health is a benefit available for AlaskaCare Employee Health Plan Members and it allows patients and providers to connect via video or phone when they are unable to be in the same place at the same time.

Telemedicine behavioral health visits help meet patients’ needs for convenient, affordable and readily accessible behavioral health services.

Telemedicine can benefit patients in a number of ways, such as:

  • Improving access to care that might not otherwise be available (e.g., in rural areas).
  • Continuing care with an existing provider when you travel or are away from home.
  • Reducing the need for trips to the emergency room and delays in care.
  • Improving continuity of care and follow-up.
  • Reducing the need to take time off work, setting up childcare services, and more, in order to access appointments far away.
  • Reducing potential transportation barriers, such as lack of transportation or the need for long drives.

The AlaskaCare telemedicine benefit for AlaskaCare Employee Health plan members includes:

  • General medical and dermatology consults.
    • Teladoc Member Services: (855) 835-2362
  • Telemedicine behavioral health consults with your own provider. There are limitations and exclusions, so if you’re using an out of network provider, be sure to ask your provider to contact the Aetna Provider Services line at (888) 632-3862 for details. Members are also encouraged to verify that specific services are covered by contacting Aetna before receiving services.
    • Aetna Concierge at (855) 784-8646

Behavioral health consults are limited to services that can be provided safely via telemedicine. To verify if a service is covered, call the Aetna Concierge at (855) 784-8646.

Expanded Coverage for Habilitative Services

In 2018, AlaskaCare expanded the habilitative services for pervasive developmental delays such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). These include occupational therapy, speech therapy and more, including early intensive behavioral interventions such as applied behavioral analysis for treatment of ASD. 

Please note: Applied behavioral analysis requires precertification.

Not all habilitative services are covered, education or training, such as learning to teach sign language, vocational rehabilitation or employment counseling are not covered by the health plan.

For additional information on habilitative services covered under AlaskaCare, contact the Aetna Concierge at (855) 784-8646.

Recipe of the Month

Moroccan Vegetable Chorba


Exercise of the Month

Wall Push-ups


Health Fact of the Month
Go For Garlic!

Adding raw or lightly cooked garlic and onions to your meals may help keep you healthy this winter. Both preparations possess antiviral and antibacterial properties and may boost immunity, improve heart and blood vessel health, and may even help lower blood pressure!

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

Member Services: (855) 835-2362