AlaskaCare Retiree Health News | Monthly e-newsletter | March 2021

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Volume 34| March 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Status Update

Governor Mike Dunleavy announced the COVID-19 vaccine is now available
for anyone living or working in Alaska who is age 16 and older.

To schedule a vaccine appointment, visit or call (907) 646-3322.

If all slots are full in your area, please keep checking back. As more vaccines become available, more time slots will be added to the scheduling calendar.

The AlaskaCare health plan covers 100% of the cost for FDA approved COVID-19 vaccines under both the medical and pharmacy plans, at any authorized site of care. AlaskaCare members receive the vaccine at no cost.

View the press release issued by Governor Mike Dunleavy.

COVID-19 Vaccine is Provided at 100% No Cost to Recipients

All organizations and providers participating in the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program:

  • Must administer COVID-19 Vaccine at no out-of-pocket cost to the recipient

  • May not deny anyone vaccination based on the vaccine recipient’s coverage status or network status

  • May not charge an office visit or other fee if COVID-19 vaccination is the sole medical service provided

  • May not require additional medical services to receive COVID-19 vaccination

  • May seek appropriate reimbursement from a program or plan that covers COVID-19 Vaccine administration fees for the vaccine recipient, such as:

    • Vaccine recipient’s private insurance company

    • Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement

    • HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program for non-insured vaccine recipients

  • May not seek any reimbursement, including through balance billing, from the vaccine recipient

Individuals aware of any potential violations of these requirements are encouraged to report them to the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, by calling (800) HHS-TIPS or at

More Information:

Medicare Part D IRMAA Reimbursement Extension—December 2021

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

The deadline for submitting reimbursement requests for 2020 IRMAA charges is December 31, 2021.

What is an IRMAA? Certain high-income retirees are assessed an extra premium surcharge by Medicare, known as an Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount. This is similar to the surcharge for high-income enrollees in Medicare Part B plan, or Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. If you are an individual or a married couple earning more than the threshold, you will be assessed an extra surcharge for being enrolled in the AlaskaCare EGWP because it is a group Medicare Part D plan. Retirees whose household income is below this threshold will not be assessed the IRMAA premium surcharge.

You can be reimbursed if you are assessed the Medicare Part D IRMAA surcharge related to your AlaskaCare prescription drug coverage.

Follow these steps to establish your 2021 IRMAA reimbursement account online:

  1. Register and/or log in to your OptumRx account either online or through the mobile app.

  2. Navigate to forms by clicking on the "Information Center" tab on the Navigation bar at the top, select "Programs and Forms", then click on “IRMAA HRA Enrollment Form”.

  3. Complete the online IRMAA HRA Enrollment form.

  4. Navigate to forms by clicking on the "Information Center" tab on the Navigation bar at the top, select "Programs and Forms", then click on “IRMAA HRA Enrollment Form”.

  5. OptumRx will confirm eligibility and set up your Health Reimbursement Account (HRA).

  6. Once your HRA has been created, Optum Bank will send you a Welcome Packet.

  7. Log in to Optum Bank to view your HRA account status/balance or to sign up for Direct Deposit. Your banking information that may be with PayFlex cannot be transferred on your behalf to Optum Bank.

If you have any questions on how to submit your documents online or if you do not have internet access and would like to submit paper documentation, please contact OptumRx at (855) 409-6999.

Long-Term Care: Plan for the Future

You've worked hard to make sure that you have the financial security you want for you and your family, and you’ve tried to plan for the surprises that life may bring in the future. But even the most well-thought-out plans may not be enough to prepare you for the unexpected costs associated with long-term care.

Long term care insurance is coverage that will pay licensed nursing care facilities, in-home care provided by a licensed home health care agency, and adult day care in the event you are unable to care for yourself because of a chronic condition or disability. Long-term care insurance can be a smart purchase when you consider that 70% of those turning age 65 today will need some type of long-term care, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. With Americans living longer than ever, this could mean needing some extra help with everyday activities as you age. The benefits of long-term care insurance go beyond what your health insurance may cover by reimbursing you for services needed to help you maintain your lifestyle if age, injury, illness, or a cognitive impairment makes it challenging for you to take care of yourself.

Long-term care may benefit:

  • Families who want to help protect their loved ones, lifestyle and assets.
  • Retirees wanting to preserve the money they have worked so hard to save.
  • Individuals who may not have someone to care for them or significant assets to pay for these costs.

Many think that government programs such as Medicare will pay for all of their future long-term care needs. Surprisingly, they may only pay for some of these services and have many restrictions.

The State of Alaska is pleased to offer a voluntary Long-Term Care (LTC) Plan for benefit recipients and their spouses. The options available under this LTC Plan provide a range of health and social services for people who suffer a severe cognitive impairment or, because of a chronic condition, need help with the basic activities of daily living. You must apply for this coverage before appointment to your first benefit from any retirement system. If you do not apply for coverage at the time of retirement, you waive your right to apply for this coverage at a later date. There are three option available, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Long Term Care Benefit Summary
This information is only intended to be a summary of coverages provided. Please refer to the Long Term Care Booklet for additional information or exclusions.

  Silver Option Gold Option Platinum Option
Lifetime maximum benefit $400,000 all services to start $300,000 all services to start $300,000 all services to start
Inflation protection None Simple at 5% of original benefit each year. Applies to all daily and lifetime maximums. Compound at 5% of prior year’s benefit each year. Applies to all daily and lifetime maximums
Deductible 90 days of covered long-term care 90 days of covered long-term care 90 days of covered long-term care
Benefit eligibility Inability to perform two of six activities of daily living or severe cognitive impairment Inability to perform two of six activities of daily living or severe cognitive impairment Inability to perform two of six activities of daily living or severe cognitive impairment
Nursing care facility daily benefit $200 $200 $200
Assisted living facility daily benefit $150 $150 $150
Home health care daily benefit $125 $125 $125
Hospice care daily benefit $125 $125 $125
Respite care daily benefit Up to $200, maximum of 14 days per calendar year Up to $200, maximum of 14 days per calendar year Up to $200, maximum of 14 days per calendar year


For more information, contact:

CHCS Services, Inc.
Member Services Center
(888) 287-7116
Division of Retirement and Benefits
Member Service Center
(907)465-4460 | (800)821-2251

Social Security 101

A Free Webinar Hosted by the Medicare Information Office

The state’s Medicare Information Office is hosting two Social Security Presentations, Social Security Overview and Social Security Disability Insurance Presentation by Kirk Larson, the Washington Public Affairs Specialist for the Social Security Administration.

To attend these events, please register for each event using the registration links below.

Social Security Overview

Social Security Disability Insurance

To attend these events, please register for the event using the registration link.

How to File a Claim Appeal

The AlaskaCare health and dental plans provide members with the right to appeal claims and precertification that have been denied by claims administrators. If your health plan denies payment for a treatment or drug that you believe should be covered, you have the right to challenge that decision through the appeal process. Effective January 1, 2018, if the third-party claims administrator or external review organization uphold their original denial of your appeal, you have the right to appeal to the Division of Retirement and Benefits. This is called a level III appeal. Should the Division also uphold the denial, you retain the legal right to take the appeal to the Office of Administrative Hearings.

For more information see the AlaskaCare Health and Dental Appeal Guides located here

Welcome New Providers

Aetna’s Alaska Network Continues to Grow!

Please help us in welcoming these new providers:


  • Forget Me Not Healthcare Clinic
  • Alaska Digestive & Liver Disease
  • Pivotal Care Partnership
  • Kids First Pediatric Therapy
  • Connect Speech & Language
  • Pediatric Gastroenterology
  • Achieve Medical Alaska



  • Pediatric Resource Center of Alaska
  • Achieve Medical Alaska


  • Fireweed Pediatrics
  • Alcan Medical Group 

By utilizing the in-network providers within the AlaskaCare plan, members save substantially. Network providers have agreed on service charges, avoiding surprise bills. To find an in-network provider, or to see if your provider is in-network, call the Aetna Concierge at (855) 784-8646 or use the online DocFind tool.

AlaskaCare Town Hall

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. Pre-register now online.

Please join us for a Town Hall event on:

We Value Your Feedback!

As State of Alaska retiree, 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

  • 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