AlaskaCare Employee News | August 2020

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August 2020 | #94

COVID-19 Resources

In response to the COVID-19 national public health emergency declared on January 31, 2020 and the State of Alaska public health disaster emergency declared on March 11, 2020 by Governor Mike Dunleavy, the Division of Retirement and Benefits has implemented temporary plan changes and suspensions in the AlaskaCare health plans. Learn how your health plan is supporting you.

Get Ready for Flu Season

During the 2020-2021 cold and flu season, getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever to protect yourself, your loved ones, your community, and the global community from flu. Especially now, everyone needs to do their part to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, like flu and COVID-19. What will happen this fall and winter is uncertain, but it is likely that there will be COVID-19 and seasonal flu activity. Getting a flu vaccine will be important for protecting your own health. It will also help to protect the health of people around you.

Where can I get my flu shot and how is it covered?
You can get a flu shot at many different places including your local pharmacy, your primary care provider, or at other special events. Flu shots received from a network pharmacist or provider are covered 100% by the health plan making this a no brainer for your health and your wallet!

Do we need to get a flu vaccine earlier this year?
There is no change in CDC’s recommendation on timing of vaccination this flu season. September and October are good times to get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated in July or August is too early, especially for older people, because of the likelihood of reduced protection against flu infection later in the flu season. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue.

Update on the Fall Health Fairs

Our members’ health and safety are our top priority. Out of concern for the well-being of the AlaskaCare members, event staff, volunteers, and the community, the 2020 health fair events have been cancelled. AlaskaCare typically partners with the Pacific Health Coalition in the fall to hold health fairs for AlaskaCare members. Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the health fairs will not be held in 2020. We look forward to offering health fairs next year as things return to normal.

For those of you that were planning to participate in the 2020 health fair events, remember that the vaccines and preventive screenings offered at the health fairs are covered benefits through your AlaskaCare employee health plan coverage. Contact your regular health care provider or visit your local pharmacy to ask about what vaccines or screenings you may need this year.

Keep an “Eye” on Your Vision

It is especially challenging right now to look ahead and plan for the future—but one thing you can do in the meantime is take good care of your vision! As we all adjust to spending more time on screens, from virtual meetings and events, to new set-ups for working and learning at home, it is more important than ever that we keep our eyes healthy. Some tips for day-to-day vision care:

  • Take breaks: Schedule short, frequent wellness breaks during your workday. Not only is it healthy and refreshing to take a brief walk or stretch, but it also gives your eyes a rest from screen glare.
  • Screen placement matters: OSHA recommends that computer monitors be positioned at least 20 inches from your typical sitting or standing position, with the top of the screen at or below eye level.
  • Lighting matters: If possible, use softer or indirect natural light in your workspace. Position your workstation perpendicular to a window, to avoid glare on your screen or in your line of sight while working. If you work in bright sunlight, wear sunglasses or a hat with a brim.
  • Reduce exposure to blue light at night: During evening and nighttime hours, exposure to “blue light” through computer, television, and phones can increase eye strain, inhibit the brain’s ability to wind down at the end of the day, and impact sleep quality. Smartphones have built-in settings or easily available apps that reduce exposure to blue light and dim your screen.

It is also important have an annual vision exam, and ensure your prescription is up to date if you use corrective lenses. The AlaskaCare Employee plan covers one vision exam per calendar year, with a $10 co-pay and 100% coverage (after co-pay) if completed by an in-network provider. Consult the plan benefit booklet for details about coverage of corrective lenses, frames, and other options.

AlaskaCare Employees Have Easy
Access to Teladoc Telehealth Services

Talk to a doctor by phone or video, anywhere, anytime.

Teladoc is already part of your AlaskaCare Employee health plan. You can talk to a doctor in minutes. AlaskaCare Employee Health Plan members have 24/7/365 access to health care for non-emergency conditions by web, phone, or mobile app. For example, if you have symptoms of the flu, you can contact Teladoc and a doctor can evaluate and help with next steps when necessary.

The AlaskaCare Employee Health Plan has partnered with Teladoc since September 1, 2018 to provide you with a convenient and affordable way to receive quality medical care. All Teladoc doctors are board-certified, state-licensed and can treat many health issues, including:

  • Cold and flu symptoms
  • Allergies
  • Bronchitis
  • Skin problems
  • Respiratory infections
  • Sore throat
  • Sinus problems
  • Dermatology
  • Caregiving
  • ...and more!

How to use Teladoc
To utilize the benefit, begin by registering your Teladoc account. There are three ways to register:

  1. Online:
  2. Mobile App:
  3. Phone: (855)Teladoc (835-2362)

Preventive Dental Care

AlaskaCare knows that regular visits to the dentist can improve your oral and overall health. Those twice-yearly checkups can help your dentist identify any problems before they cause pain or discomfort. That is why receiving preventive dental services is so important. As an AlaskaCare member, you have access to great dental care, close to home and when you are traveling. Your dental plan gives you access to Delta Dental, the largest network of dentists in the nation. You will find Delta Dental providers close to home and across the country. Both the Standard and Economy plans cover preventive (Class I) services—such as cleanings and periodic oral exams—100% when using a network provider.

Use the Dentist Locator Tool to search for providers who participate in the PPO network or contact Delta Dental customer service at (855) 718-1768.

We Value Your Feedback!

As an employee of the State of Alaska, your input is valued and important. Below, please see 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

  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
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