AlaskaCare Retiree Health News | Monthly e-newsletter | August 2022

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AlaskaCare Retiree Health News

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Volume 51| August 2022

Fall Health Fairs

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The AlaskaCare Health Plan, in partnership with the Pacific Health Coalition, is pleased to once again be offering Health Fairs this fall in five Alaskan cities. Health Fairs give AlaskaCare plan participants easy access to flu shots as well as convenient blood screening, prostate-specific antigen testing, thyroid testing, Vitamin D testing, and other preventive care services at reduced rates.

The pre-registration website opened on August 8, 2022

Registration Closed Saturday, September 24, 2022 Mat-Su Mat-Su Regional Medical Center
Registration Open Saturday, September 24, 2022 Fairbanks Carlson Center
Registration Open Sunday, September 25, 2022 Fairbanks Carlson Center
Registration Open Saturday, October 8, 2022 Soldotna Central Peninsula Hospital
Registration Closed Sunday, October 9, 2022 Anchorage Romig Middle School
Registration Open Sunday, October 16, 2022 Juneau  Centennial Hall

The Health Fair offers preventive care lab tests to adults aged 18 and over. Screenings like these can help you learn about your health and detect potential problems early on.

Reminder: Effective January 1, 2022, AlaskaCare expanded preventive care coverage in the Retiree Defined Benefit health plan. AlaskaCare covers preventive care for you and your eligible dependents. There are no copays, deductibles, or coinsurance for covered preventive services when you see a network provider. Each month from January through June, we took a closer look at some of the preventive services. If you missed any of the previous newsletters, find a copy here.

Note: Additional comprehensive lab-only appointments have been added to the Soldotna event on October 8. If you are interested in attending the Soldotna Health Fair, check the pre-registration page for availability.

Save the Date: Dental-Vision-Audio
Open Enrollment

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Open Enrollment for the Retiree Dental-Vision-Audio (DVA) plan will open on October 12 and close on November 23, 2022. Retiree DVA plan members—this is your opportunity to review your DVA coverage options and make benefit elections for you and your family for the next plan year, which begins on January 1, 2023. Visit for more information about your DVA plan.

Ounce of Prevention: Shingles Vaccine

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We cannot prevent all the health issues we will experience in a lifetime, but taking care of ourselves and our family’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being helps us avoid or address problems early and maintain a good quality of life. This month’s prevention tip is about the shingles vaccination.

The AlaskaCare retiree health plan provides coverage of preventive services such as vaccinations, including the shingles vaccine.

Shingles is a viral infection (the same virus that causes chickenpox) that causes painful, itchy rashes. Shingles are common in older adults, even if you have previously been exposed to chickenpox, and can have other health complications in addition to considerable pain and discomfort.

Two vaccines are licensed and recommended to prevent shingles in the U.S.

  • Zoster vaccine live (ZVL, Zostavax) has been in use since 2006
  • Recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV, Shingrix), has been in use since 2017

Shingrix is recommended by the CDC-Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices as the preferred shingles vaccine. Both Shingrix and Zostavax are covered under the retiree plans. The Division encourages retirees and others at risk of shingles to talk with their doctor and consider getting vaccinated at their local pharmacy or network provider's office!

Getting to Know your Benefits: Travel

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The Retiree Defined Benefit Medical Plan pays travel and ambulance costs within the contiguous limits of the United States, Alaska, and Hawaii.

This includes:

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Transportation to the nearest hospital by professional ambulance



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Round-trip transportation, not exceeding the cost of coach class commercial air transportation, from the site of the illness or injury to the nearest professional treatment (treatment must be received for travel to be covered).



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Travel does not include reimbursement of airline miles to purchase tickets, the cost of lodging, food, or local ground transportation such as airport shuttles, cabs, or car rentals.



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Travel benefits do not apply to the dental, vision, or audio plans.

Contact the Aetna Concierge at (855) 784-8646 for pre-certification before you or your dependent travel.


Travel Coverage*
checkmark image Travel is covered for emergencies checkmark image Travel is covered for treatment not available locally

Travel is covered if you have an emergency condition requiring immediate transfer to a hospital with special facilities for treating your condition. Precertification is waived if you are immediately transferred in a ground or air ambulance; you do not need to call Aetna before this occurs.

An emergency condition is a recent, severe medical condition, including but not limited to severe pain, which would lead a prudent layperson possessing an average knowledge of medicine and health to believe their condition, sickness or injury is of such a nature that failure to get immediate medical care could result in:

  • Placing the person’s health in serious jeopardy.
  • Serious impairment to bodily function.
  • Serious dysfunction of a body part or organ.
  • In the case of a pregnant woman, serious injury to the health of the fetus.



Travel is covered for you to receive treatment that is not available in the area you are currently located in. Treatment is defined as a service or procedure, including a new prescription, which is medically necessary to correct or alleviate a condition or specific symptoms of an illness or injury. It does not include any diagnostic procedures or follow-up visits to monitor a condition. Treatment must be received for travel to be covered. Benefits for travel to receive treatment that is not available locally are limited during each benefit year to:

  • One visit and one follow-up visit for a condition requiring therapeutic treatment;
  • One visit for prenatal or postnatal maternity care and one visit for the actual maternity delivery;
  • One pre-surgical or post-surgical visit and one visit for the surgical procedure;
  • One visit for each allergic condition.

If you need transportation for a nonemergency condition that cannot be treated locally, you must contact the claims administrator prior to traveling. Failure to pre-certify travel will result in a denial of travel benefits.


Travel Coverage*
checkmark image Travel is covered for second surgical opinions checkmark image Travel is covered for surgery in other locations if less expensive

Travel is covered if you require a second surgical opinion which cannot be obtained where you are currently located. If you require transportation for a second surgical opinion that cannot be obtained locally, you must contact the claims administrator prior to traveling. Failure to pre-certify travel will result in a denial of travel benefits.





Travel is covered if you have surgery which is provided less expensively in another location. If the actual cost of surgery, hospital room and board, and travel to another location for the surgery is less expensive than the recognized charge for the same expenses at the nearest location you could obtain the surgery, your travel costs may be paid. The amount of travel costs paid cannot exceed the difference between the cost of surgery and hospital room and board in the nearest location and those same expenses in the location you choose. Travel costs include round-trip coach airfare or ground transportation if the most direct route exceeds 100 miles. Precertification from the claims administrator is not required for this situation but is recommended.
red x image Travel is not covered for diagnostic purposes red x image Travel is not covered for co-travelers

Travel is not covered for diagnostic purposes.



Travel is not covered for co-travelers. Travel charges for a physician or a registered nurse are covered when authorized by Aetna. If the patient is a child under 18 years of age, a parent or legal guardian’s travel charges are allowed. Travel must be pre-certified to receive reimbursement under the Medical Plan.


Limit on travel for transplant services

  • $10,000 per transplant occurrence

Visit Limits Travel Benefits: Therapeutic treatments

  • One visit and one follow-up per benefit year

Visit Limits Travel Benefits (one visit per benefit year)

  • Prenatal/postnatal maternity care
  • Maternity delivery
  • Presurgical or postsurgical
  • Surgical procedures

What you will need for claim submission after you travel:

  • Medical Benefit Request Form (claim form)
  • Precertification Acknowledgment Letter
  • Boarding Passes and Passenger Receipts 
  • Proof of expense such as receipts or bank statements
  • Any other supporting documentation you would like to provide

Contact the Aetna Concierge at (855) 784-8646 for pre-certification before you or your dependent travel.

Travel claims can be submitted to:  Aetna
  P.O. Box 14079
  Lexington, KY 40512-4079

*For complete benefit information, see the Retiree Health Plan Information Booklet Section 3.3.18 Travel.

Network Partner Spotlight: Alaska Regional Senior Health Clinic

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Alaska Regional Senior Health Clinic provides high-quality, cost-effective healthcare to Medicare beneficiaries in Anchorage and its surrounding communities. The Alaska Regional Senior Health Clinic is unique in that it provides integrated physical and mental health services to patients who participate in Medicare Part B. Alaska Regional Senior Health Clinic is committed to the care and improvement of human life, treating each patient with the compassion and respect they deserve.

The Alaska Regional Senior Health Clinic is open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can reach their offices at (907) 433-5100.

Aetna Local Offices 

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Want to talk to an Aetna representative in person?

AlaskaCare members can make an appointment to visit the Aetna office in Juneau or Anchorage and talk directly with an Aetna representative. The Aetna local offices reopened in January 2022 after being closed during 2021 due to COVID-19. They can assist you with questions about your benefits, and with services such as:

  • Paper claim submissions
  • Travel precertification
  • Appeals assistance
  • Eligibility issues
  • Help to understand your explanation of benefits
  • Coordination of benefits for multiple plans
  • And more…

To schedule an appointment, contact the Aetna Concierge at (855) 784-8646. Appointments will be available:

  • Monday and Wednesday afternoon from 1:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday morning from 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Juneau Office
One Sealaska Plaza, Suite 305
Juneau, Alaska 99801
Anchorage Office
2525 C Street, Suite 205
Anchorage, Alaska 99503

Please welcome the following providers to the Aetna Network!

Aetna continues to expand the list of in-network providers. Please welcome the following providers added during the first half of 2022.

Anchorage Far North Health Services
  The Osterbauer Clinic
  Schumacher Orthopedics
  Alaska Compass, LLC
Eagle River Alcan Medical Group
Fairbanks Kintsugi Counseling, LLC
  Spine Care Specialists of Alaska
Kodiak Foreman Counseling, LLC
Juneau Southeast Radiology Consultants, LLC 
Wasilla Little Loon Pediatric Therapy
  Alyeska Physical Therapy

Future AlaskaCare Town Hall Events

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Retiree 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.

Town hall events occur on the third Thursday of each month and you can pre-register now online. We want to hear from you!

Please join us for a Town Hall event on:

We Value Your Feedback!


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


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