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

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AlaskaCare Retiree Health News

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Volume 36 | May 2021

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

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused us all to make adjustments and changes to 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 is monitoring the status of COVID-19 in Alaska and will continue to provide updates regarding the effective dates of the remaining temporary changes when more information becomes available. For more information, click here

AlaskaCare Retiree Plan Coverage for Flu and Pneumonia Shots: Available through December 31, 2021

What does this mean for you?

  • In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, retiree plan members have been provided temporary coverage for flu (influenza) and pneumonia (pneumococcal) shots.

  • To receive AlaskaCare coverage for your flu or pneumonia shots before December 31, 2021:
    • Visit your local network pharmacy and AlaskaCare will cover 100% of the cost. Call OptumRx at (855) 409-6999 if you need help locating a network pharmacy.

    • If you get your shots at an out-of-network pharmacy, you will need to pay for the shot up-front and submit a claim to OptumRx to be reimbursed for the plan’s portion of the cost.

    • If you get your shots at your doctor’s office, the standard deductible and coinsurance will apply.

  • In 2019, AlaskaCare expanded coverage for vaccines covered by Medicare Part D for all AlaskaCare retiree plan members. Flu and pneumonia vaccines are covered by Medicare Part B and therefore are not included in the regular AlaskaCare plan benefits. Common vaccines that have been added to the AlaskaCare retiree pharmacy benefit include shingles, diphtheria, tetanus, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), polio, hepatitis, and HPV.

Teladoc® for Retirees: Available through June 30, 2021

After June 30, 2021, Teladoc® services will no longer be a temporary benefit available to retiree plan members.

What does this mean for you?

  • In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, retiree plan members have been provided temporary access to general medical consultations through Teladoc®—a virtual care system offering telehealth visits with licensed health care providers for non-emergency conditions.

  • To access your temporary Teladoc® benefits before June 30, 2021:

The AlaskaCare retiree health plan currently covers and will continue to cover telemedicine services delivered by your regular providers. If you or your provider are unsure which telehealth services are eligible for coverage, please contact Aetna at (855) 784-8646 for more information. Teladoc® continues to be available to AlaskaCare active employee health plan members.

The following benefits are permanently available to all 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. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

The COVID-19 vaccine is available to anyone living or working in Alaska age 16 or older at no cost.

Do you have family or friends planning to visit Alaska this summer?

  • Beginning June 1, 2021, vaccines will be provided for anyone traveling to Alaska who chooses to be vaccinated. Read Governor Mike Dunleavy’s Administrative Order.

Check availability with Alaska COVID-19 vaccine providers in your community

Call the COVID-19 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.  

Drug Recall Notice

On April 29, 2021, Acella Pharmaceuticals announced a recall of varied lots of NP Thyroid tablets. Routine testing has found these lots to be sub potent, containing less than 90% of the labeled amount of liothyronine (T3) and/or levothyroxine (T4).

How do I know if I received the recalled medication?

  • Contact your pharmacy. 

  • Review the table below: 
Product Description NDC# Lot# (Expiration Date)
NP Thyroid 15 mg tablet 42192-0327-01 M327D20-1 (03/31/22)
M327D20-3 (03/31/22)
M327H19-3A (07/31/21)
M327L19-1 (04/30/21)
NP Thyroid 30 mg tablet 42192-0329-01 M329D20-2 (03/31/22)
M329D20-3 (03/31/22)
M329D20-1 (03/31/22)
NP Thyroid 60 mg tablet 42192-0330-01 M330K19-10 (09/30/21)
M330D20-1 (03/31/22)
M330D20-2 (03/31/22)
M330J19-2A (08/31/21)
M330J19-4A (08/31/21)
M330J19-5A (08/31/21)
M330J19-6A (08/31/21)
M330K19-1A (09/30/21)
M330K19-9 (09/30/21)
M330J19-9A (08/31/21)
M330J19-7A (08/31/21)
NP Thyroid 90 mg tablets 42192-0331-01 M331K19-1 (09/30/21)
M331K19-2 (09/30/21)
M331J19-6A (08/31/21)
M331J19-2A (08/31/21)
M331J19-11 (08/31/21)
M331J19-10A (08/31/21)
M331K19-6 (09/30/21)
NP Thyroid 120 mg tables 42192-0328-01 M328H19-2B (08/31/21)
M328K19-2 (09/30/21)
M328J19-7A (08/31/21)
M328J19-6A (08/31/21)
M328J19-5A (08/31/21)
M328J19-4A (08/31/21)
M328J19-3A (08/31/21)
M328J19-11 (08/31/21)
M328K19-4A (09/30/21)
M328J19-2A (08/31/21)

If your prescription does not show the NDC or lot number, please contact your pharmacy for more information.

What should I do if I have received the recalled medication?

  • If you have the recalled NP Thyroid tablets, contact your pharmacy, they may be able to give you a safe replacement.

  • Do not change or stop your therapy until you have contacted your healthcare provider.

What is the risk to someone who has been taking the recalled NP Thyroid tablets?

  • Patients being treated for hypothyroidism who receive NP Thyroid with a lower amount of medication, may experience signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) which may include:
    • fatigue
    • increased sensitivity to cold
    • constipation
    • dry skin
    • puffy face
    • hair loss
    • slow heart rate
    • depression
    • swelling of the thyroid gland
    • unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight

For more information or if you have any questions, please call OptumRx at (877) 399-0329.


Notify Us of Your Dependent Status Changes

If you have a dependent that will be graduating from college, remember to notify the Division of Retirement and Benefits of their change in status. You should also notify the Division if you need to add or remove dependents due to marriage, divorce, birth, death, or adoption.

You can find the Dependent Status Change form on the Division's website.

In accordance with Alaska Statutes 39.35.680(12) and 14.25.220(13):

  • If your dependent child is under 23 years old, they are required to be registered at and attending on a full-time basis an accredited educational or technical institution recognized by the Department of Education and Early Development.

  • If your dependent child is age 19 or older and is not a fulltime student, then the dependent is eligible for coverage only if they are totally and permanently disabled, and the disability was documented prior to their 23rd birthday.

Let us and Aetna know if your dependent child has recently become a full-time student. The AlaskaCare Verification of Student Status form is available on the AlaskaCare website.

Future AlaskaCare Town Hall Events

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 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.

Please join us for a Town Hall event on:

The Retiree Health Plan Advisory Board

The Retiree Health Plan Advisory Board (RHPAB) was created through Administrative Order No. 288 on September 29, 2017 to facilitate engagement and coordination between the State of Alaska’s retirement systems’ members, the Alaska Retirement Management Board, and the Commissioner of Administration regarding the administration of the retiree health plan.

The RHPAB provides valuable input and has been instrumental in evaluating new proposals that would help modernize the retiree health plan while sustaining the benefit level.

We invite you to attend or listen to any or all the meetings, members are always welcome. The meeting dates are posted to Online Public Notices and to If you would like to offer public comment for the board to review, send an email to

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