AlaskaCare Employee News | March 2020

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March 2020 | #89

COVID-19 Coronavirus


Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a novel (or new virus) that causes respiratory illness. It is highly contagious and includes symptoms like fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The risk in the U.S. is currently low but knowing how to protect yourself is key.

Everyday Preventive Actions

Everyone should always practice good personal health habits.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use at least a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. CDC Handwashing Guidelines

To monitor the latest information on COVID-19:

How the AlaskaCare Plan Is Supporting You

In response to the national health public health emergency associated with the COVID-19 virus, the Division of Retirement and Benefits is immediately taking the following steps:

  • Medication Preparation: Effective March 3, 2020, the AlaskaCare employee and retiree health plans lifted restrictions on early medication refills. This allows members to refill medications earlier than they typically would to ensure an adequate supply. This does not apply to opioid medications. Members may refill a prescription early by requesting the pharmacy contact OptumRx. For more information, visit AlaskaCare's OptumRx web page.

  • Testing: The AlaskaCare plan will waive the member deductible and coinsurance for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza, respiratory panel, and COVID-19 testing, effective as soon as administratively possible, anticipating the week of March 9, 2020.


AlaskaCare Employee Plan Members Have Access to Medical Care from Wherever You Are and Whenever You Need It

Not Feeling Well

You can connect with a doctor via phone or video call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Teladoc doctors can diagnose many health issues like sinus problems, respiratory infection, allergies, flu symptoms, and many other non-emergency illnesses.


The doctor will call you back in minutes. Talk to the doctor, take as much time as you need…there’s no limit. Your Teladoc copay for general medical and dermatology consults is $0!


Teladoc is a convenient and affordable way to receive care wherever you are and whenever you need it. If medically necessary, a prescription will be sent to the pharmacy of your choice.

Feel Better. It’s that easy! Register today.

Using telemedicine may help you avoid exposure to potentially sick people in public places and may also allow you to obtain treatment while remaining at home.

Copay Information for Office Visits in the
Standard and Economy Plans

Did you know going to the doctor can cost as little as $25 or $35? Don’t avoid going to the doctor! AlaskaCare makes it easy to get the care you need whenever you need it. Beginning January 1, 2020, if you elect the Standard or Economy medical plan, you and your dependents will now pay a flat copay amount for in-network primary care and specialty care office visits.

Instead of paying the full cost of your office visit before you meet your deductible and a percentage of the cost (coinsurance) after you do, you will only pay a flat copay for all office visits. These copays cost less than what you would typically pay for a visit through your deductible or coinsurance. Copays do not apply to your deductible, but they do apply to your annual out-of-pocket maximum. 

Plan In-Network Primary Care
Office Visit Copay
In-Network Specialty Care
Office Visit Copay
Standard Plan $25 $45
Economy Plan $35 $55

IMPORTANT! Keep in mind that copays only apply to in-network providers, and only cover the office visit. Facility charges, ancillary services, and other services such as labs that are not billed as part of an office visit will be subject to a deductible and coinsurance.

Find a network provider or check to be sure that your current provider is in-network by calling Aetna at (800) 821-2251 or by using the online DocFind tool.

New in 2020: Simplified Prescription Drug Schedule

Calculating how much you can expect to pay for your prescription drugs can be difficult. This year, we’re simplifying the process and reducing the cost for some medications. You can now get your generic and preferred brand-name prescription drugs for a flat maximum copay.

AlaskaCare has also added an additional, lower cost prescription drug tier for generic maintenance medications, reducing your costs for generic medications used regularly to manage chronic conditions

2020 AlaskaCare Employee Health Plan Prescription Drug Benefit Schedule

Retail: 1-30 Day Supply at Network Pharmacy

Prescription Tier Copay
Maintenance Generic $5
Generic $10
 Preferred Brand-Name  $35
 Non-Preferred Brand Name  65% coinsurance ($80 minimum/$150 maximum)

Home Delivery: 31-90 Day Supply at Network Pharmacy

Prescription Tier Copay
Maintenance Generic $10
Generic $20
 Preferred Brand-Name  $50
 Non-Preferred Brand Name $100

See the new pharmacy benefit schedule in the AlaskaCare Employee Insurance Booklet for the complete prescription drug schedule. Not sure what tier your medication falls into? You can call OptumRx at (855) 409-6999 or go online to to find out.

Please note: The non-preferred brand-name medications still require a coinsurance as outlined above. Medications in this tier are more expensive for both the member and the plan than other alternative options.

These changes simplify your prescription drug benefits, encourage use of generic and preferred brand-name drugs, and make it less costly for you to adhere to your maintenance medication regimen.

Send Medications Right to your Home with Home Delivery

You can receive many medications through the mail through OptumRx home delivery. Enroll in OptumRx home delivery to get up to a 90-day supply of the medications you take regularly. Your medication will come right to your mailbox. To start home delivery, log in to, use the OptumRx app or call (855) 409-6999 / TTY 711.

  • Convenience: Get free standard shipping on medications delivered to your mailbox.
  • Online: Visit and select Get Started or use the OptumRx app. From there, you can fill new prescriptions, transfer others to home delivery and more.
  • Phone: Call OptumRx at (855) 409-6999 to speak to a customer service advocate.

Once OptumRx receives your complete order for a new prescription, your medication should arrive within 10 business days. Completed refill orders should arrive in about seven business days.


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