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

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Volume 35| April 2021

COVID-19: What Your AlaskaCare
Health Plan is Doing for You

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused us all to adjust our daily routines. Here at AlaskaCare, we made temporary changes and limited benefit expansions to your health plan to support the public health COVID-19 response, reduce the strain on the medical system, and to assist you in accessing the care you need. You can find up to date information about the temporary changes to your benefits at

The Division of Retirement and Benefits (Division) is monitoring the status of the Alaska COVID-19 outbreak and will provide updates regarding the effective dates of the remaining temporary changes when more information becomes available. A copy of the Spring Health Matters newsletter will be arriving in retirees’ mailboxes soon. The publication includes the following information:

Beginning May 1, 2021, the following temporary changes are no longer effective:

  • Cost Share Waiver for COVID-19 Inpatient Admissions and Emergency Transportation
    What does this mean for you? If you receive inpatient services or emergency transportation due to a COVID-19 diagnosis, your standard deductible and coinsurance will apply. As always, AlaskaCare will continue to cover medically necessary treatments or supplies required to treat COVID-19.

  • Suspension of Incapacitated Dependent Verification
    What does this mean for you? If you cover an incapacitated dependent under your AlaskaCare retiree health plan, you must periodically provide verification that your dependent remains incapacitated. The Division of Retirement and Benefits will resume the standard verification process. Verified incapacitated dependents remain eligible for coverage by the AlaskaCare retiree health plan.

The following benefits are permanently available to AlaskaCare members:

  • COVID-19 Testing: If you receive laboratory tests to diagnose or treat COVID-19, AlaskaCare is waiving your deductible and coinsurance. To qualify, your laboratory tests must be deemed medically necessary under the terms of the plan and they must be FDA-approved.

  • COVID-19 Vaccines: The AlaskaCare health plan covers the cost for FDA approved COVID-19 vaccines, subject to recognized charge, under both the medical and pharmacy plans, at any authorized site of care. AlaskaCare members receive the vaccine at no cost.

The COVID-19 vaccine is now available for anyone living or working in Alaska who is age 16 or older.

Check availability with Alaska COVID vaccine providers in your community Call the COVID Vaccine helpline if you need assistance making your vaccine appointment (907) 646-3322.

If you are located outside of Alaska, check with your local health authorities to find out more about vaccine eligibility and availability in your area.

How to Give a Family Member or Caregiver Permission to Call Medicare on your Behalf

Would you like a family member or caregiver to be able to call Medicare on your behalf? Medicare can't give your personal health information to anyone unless they have permission in writing first. There are two ways you can give permission:

  1. Print and fill out Medicare Form CMS-10106, "Authorization to Disclose Personal Health Information" and mail it in.

  2. Submit the form online at

You can call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) for more information.

Health Plan Coverage while Traveling
in a Foreign Country

Now that I’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, I’m thinking of making future travel plans. If I travel outside of the U.S. will my health insurance still cover me?

Yes, your AlaskaCare Retiree health care coverage is good worldwide. Your AlaskaCare plan provides coverage for emergency or urgent care as well as for other medically necessary services—within the U.S. and out of the country—as follows:

  • Physician, hospital, and other services received abroad are subject to the same calendar year deductible and coinsurance rate applicable to claims for services received in the U.S.

  • The same plan precertification requirements that apply in the United States also apply while traveling abroad.

  • The same coverage rules apply internationally as they do in the U.S. If a service or medication is not covered within the U.S., it would also not be covered abroad.

  • The AlaskaCare plan of benefits does not include coverage for repatriation of remains. “Repatriation” means to return to one’s own country.

  • The AlaskaCare plan only pays travel costs within the contiguous limits of the U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii; these costs are not covered abroad.

Since international providers do not utilize Tax Identification Numbers, Aetna cannot pay them directly in the same manner they can for providers within the U.S. Therefore, you are responsible to pay the provider at the time the services are rendered and submit a claim for reimbursement. Reimbursement for these claims will be based on the exchange rate that applies on the date the services are rendered.

Please be sure to include the following items when submitting your claim:

  • Medical documentation describing your medical condition and treatment,
  • An itemized bill describing what services were provided, and
  • Proof of your payment.

Medicare and the AlaskaCare Long-Term Care benefit do not cover services received or expenses incurred outside the United States.

For questions on how to submit claims for services received abroad, please contact the Aetna Concierge at (855) 784-8646.

COVID-19 Vaccine is Provided at
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 1-800-HHS-TIPS or the website

More Resources:

Paperless Explanation of Benefits

Do you prefer to receive your Aetna Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) online instead of by mail? You can securely access your current and past EOBs at your convenience, day, or night. Print them as needed—less paper is good for the environment. Go paperless today!

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Sign into the Aetna member portal.
  2. Click on the dropdown next to your member name in the top right corner of the screen, and select Profile and Preferences.
  3. Under preferences, select Paperless.
  4. Click on the Go Paperless box.

Once you select paperless delivery, Aetna will send you an email notification whenever you have an EOB available for review. If you change your mind and want to receive your EOB by mail again, simply update your preferences or contact the Aetna Concierge at (855) 784-8646.

Future Townhall Events

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.

The next Town Hall event will be on:

Medicare Townhall Event in May

Please join us in May for a Town Hall event focused on Medicare! An expert from the State Medicare Information Office will join us to help answer your questions.

We Value Your Feedback!

As a 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:

Physical Address:

State Office Building
6th Floor
333 Willoughby Avenue
Juneau, AK 99801 

Mailing Address:

State of Alaska
Division of Retirement and Benefits
P.O. Box 110203
Juneau, AK 99811-0203


Please Note: The DRB offices are closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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