2017 Plan Changes

  1. Intro to Select Benefits
  2. Consider your choices
  3. Changing your coverage
  4. Opt-Out of AlaskaCare
  5. Choosing Which Facility
  6. Employee Cost Share
  7. Expanded Preventive Care
  8. Medical Benefits
  9. Pharmacy Benefits
  10. Dental Benefits
  11. Vision Benefits (VSP)
  12. Life insurance
  13. Health Flexible Spending Account (HFSA)
  14. Who will receive your benefits if you die?

Introduction to Select AlaskaCare Benefits

This enrollment guide provides the choices available to you under the State of Alaska Select Benefits plan, commonly refered to as AlaskaCare. In addition to enrolling when you are first eligible or during annual Open Enrollment, benefits may be changed within 30 days of a qualified change in family or employment status.

Select Benefits allows you to choose your benefit plans. Because you may have different needs than your coworkers and friends, you can create a personal benefit program from a range of benefits and levels of coverage. Best of all, you can spend your dollars for benefits that better meet your needs. Here's how it works:

  • You consider the monthly cost of each option and decide which benefits to purchase.
  • If you make selections that require a monthly employee contribution, that amount will be taken through pretax payroll deductions. This means deductions are withheld from your pay before federal income taxes are applied. The monthly employee contribution amount is divided in half and deducted from your paychecks in equal amounts throughout the benefit year.

The online enrollment system will automatically calculate your monthly employee contribution amount as you make selections, allowing you to change your choices until you are satisfied with the choices and cost.

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Consider Your Choices

Listed below are the Select Benefits for which decisions will be required. Follow the links for more details about these important benefits. You may enroll in or change these benefits when first hired into an eligible position, following a qualified change in family or employment status or during the Open Enrollment.

Your Select AlaskaCare Benefits choices:
AlaskaCare Health
Voluntary Supplemental Benefits (VSB)

 ** You must elect this benefit each Open Enrollment period; it will not automatically continue from one benefit year to the next. Limitations to this plan may apply; refer to the Select Benefits Information Booklet for greater details about this plan.

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Changing your coverage before Open Enrollment ends

You may change your mind about any benefit choices as long as you re-enroll in your final choices before the enrollment deadline. Reminder—each time you re-enroll, a new enrollment is processed. The previous enrollment will no longer exist. Make sure to re-select each of your elections.

The only time you can change your coverage other than during Open Enrollment is within 30 days of a "qualified status change."

Your change in benefits must be consistent with the status change. You also may change life insurance or disability selections due to a qualified status change. However, certain rules prohibit addition, cancellation, or changes in the Health Flexible Spending Account at any time during the year.

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Choosing to Opt-Out of AlaskaCare

Effective January 1, 2017, if you are an AlaskaCare Employee Health Plan covered employee with other medical coverage, you may elect to opt-out, or waive, coverage for yourself and your family for one or more of the medical, dental, and vision plans offered through AlaskaCare. You may also elect employee-only coverage while opting-out of coverage for your family from one or more of the AlaskaCare benefits.

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Choosing Which Facility to use

Network facilities in the Anchorage area are changing and it could impact how much you pay. It is more important than ever to use a preferred facility to avoid costly balance bills and increased cost share.

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Employee Cost Share

The deductible and maximum out of pocket limits are changing for the 2017 plan year.

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Expanded Preventive Care

The State surrendered grandfather status of the AlaskaCare employee plan effective January 1, 2017. The plan has now fully adopted provisions required by the 2010 federal health care reform law, commonly referred to as Obama Care or the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Most provisions were voluntarily adopted prior to surrendering grandfather status, but effective January 1, 2017, you may notice expanded preventive and women’s health benefits covered by the AlaskaCare plan. The attached brochures contain additional details on these expanded benefits.

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Medical Benefits

Your medical coverage helps you and your eligible dependents pay for hospital, surgical, and other medical expenses.

You can choose from two different AlaskaCare health plan options: a Standard Plan or an Economy plan. Each may be elected with or without Family depending on your family demographic. If you have other medical coverage, you may opt-out, or waive, coverage for yourself and your family, or waive coverage for your family only while retaining your coverage.

As of January 1, 2017 the Premium medical plan is no longer being offered. The current Premium medical plans will expire Dec 31, 2016.

The new AlaskaCare premiuns effective Jan. 1, 2017 are as follows:

AlaskaCare 2017 Active Employee Premiums
Medical Monthly Premiums SU, CEA, Exempt Members IBU, MEBA, AVTECHTA, COs, TEAME Members
Standard -
Employee & Family
$315.00 $315.00
Economy -
Employee & Family
$75.00 $0.00
Standard -
Employee Only
$115.00 $115.00
Economy -
Employee Only
$30.00 $0.00
Dental Monthly Premiums All AlaskaCare Members
Standard -
Employee & Family
Economy -
Employee & Family
Standard -
Employee Only
Economy -
Employee Only
Vision Monthly Premiums All AlaskaCare Members
No Coverage $0.00
Managed Care -
Employee & Family
Managed Care -
Employee Only
Effective: Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2017

Unless you voluntarily waive their coverage, your dependents, if any, are automatically covered in AlaskaCare health plans, as follows:

  • When you choose Standard or Economy medical coverage, you and your eligible dependents are covered under the same option.

You will see from the Summary of Benefits and Coverage that the deductible, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximums are different for each option. To determine which plan is right for you, think about how much you can afford out of your own pocket to pay for medical expenses. We want to be sure all eligible State employees have medical coverage in the event of serious illness or injury, so you are required to choose a medical and dental option, unless you are a part-time employee for whom coverage is optional, or if you have other medical coverage and you waive AlaskaCare coverage.

 * Under the authority of 2 AAC 39.920, Select Benefits will only pay 30 percent of covered charges for your dependents if your spouse or children are covered by a State employee health trust and that coverage:

  • has been waived,
  • pays less than 70 precent of covered expenses, or
  • has an individual out-of-pocket maximum, including deductible, of more than $3,500

This applies to any dependent covered by Select Benefits where the trust plan would normally pay first if you hadn't reduced or waived coverage. When your spouse or the parent of any of your children selects coverage under a State employee health trust, they must ensure they are electing a plan that covers at least themselves and any dependents for which they have primary responsibility and that coverage provides full family coverage. Failure to do so will result in less coverage for your dependents in the coming year.

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Pharmacy Benefits

Prescription drugs are the fastest growing cost in most health plans, including ours. Higher claim costs from prescription drugs, as with any other expense, means higher premium payments to all participants in the plan. There are some important changes to the pharmacy benefit in 2017. To ensure you get the most out of your benefits you should consider switching to mail order where your co-pay goes further. In addition, choosing a lower level drug (generic) when it is appropriate can provide access to necessary medications to stay healthy, at a cost that is more affordable.

AlaskaCare 2017 pharmacy plan summaries
Prescription Tier Coinsurance Min. Covered Person Payment Max. Covered Person Payment
Retail 30 Day at Network Pharmacy
Generic prescription drug 80% $10 $50
Preferred brand-name prescription drug 75% $25 $75
Non-preferred brand-name prescription drug 65% $80 $150
Mail Order 31-90 Day at Network Pharmacy
Prescription Tier Copayment
Generic prescription drug $20
Preferred brand-name prescription drug $50
Non-preferred brand-name prescription drug $100
Out-of-Network Pharmacy
Coinsurance for all prescription drugs 60%
Out-of-Pocket Limit
Annual individual out-of-pocket limit $1,000
Annual family out-of-pocket limit $2,000
Effective: Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2017

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Dental Benefits

Knowing how much you pay for your dental benefits makes you a smarter consumer. To help you understand your 2017 AlaskaCare dental benefits, we've created a handy summary chart for you to see the differences between the AlaskaCare Standard plan and AlaskaCare Economy plan.

AlaskaCare 2017 dental plan summaries
-- Standard Economy
Monthly Employee Contribution
Employee Only $34.00 $0.00
Employee and Family $93.00 $0.00
Calendar Year Costs
Maximum per person $1,500.00 $500
Deductible per person $25.00 $25.00
Deductible per family $75.00 $75.00
Service Benefit Amount Benefit Amount
Preventative 100% 100%
Basic 80% 10%
Major 50% 10%
Orthodontics 50% coinsurance up to a $1,000 lifetime maximum --
Effective: Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2017

Monthly employee contributions are subject to change.

Note that although the Economy plan offers limited coverage for non-preventive procedures, it will still save you money by restricting the cost for those services to Delta Dental's negotiated rates. This only applies when you see a provider in the Delta Dental Premier network.

To learn more about the enhanced dental plans, please visit AlaskaCare.gov. You can also call Delta Dental of Alaska for questions about your benefits at 855-718-1768.

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Vision Benefits (VSP)

Monthly employee contributions are subject to change.

AlaskaCare 2017 Active Employee Premiums
Vision Monthly Contributions
No Coverage $0.00
Managed Care -
Employee & Family
Managed Care -
Employee Only
Vision Yearly Co-Pays
Exams $10.00
Rx Glasses $25.00
Rx Contacts $60.00 max
Diabetic Eye-Care $20.00
Effective: Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2017

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Life Insurance

The plans you make now—and the benefits you choose—can make a difference to your family later. Select Benefits lets you customize the amount of life insurance that is right for your situation. The IRS limits the pretax premiums to the cost of group-term life insurance coverage up to $50,000. If you are a member of a bargaining unit that provides $10,000 in Basic Life insurance, this leaves a remainder of $40,000 in coverage that can be purchased with a pretax premium without exceeding the IRS limit of $50,000. If you elect coverage combinations from the pretax life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) options that exceed the $50,000 IRS limit, a portion of the premiums you pay will become imputed income. Only the portion of the premium representing the coverage amount over $50,000 will be taxable.

To determine your monthly premium, find your age as of January 1, 2017, the amount of insurance elected, and the corresponding premium on the chart.

2017 Select Life and AD&D Rates
Age Rate Per $1,000 per month
Under 30 $0.05
30 – 39 $0.06
40 – 44 $0.10
45 – 49 $0.15
50 – 54 $0.23
55 – 59 $0.36
60 – 64 $0.51
65 – 69 $0.74
70 – 74 $1.63
75 – 79 $2.06
80 – 84 $2.06
85 & over $2.06
Effective: Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2017

There are several plans available to you: (overview)

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Health Flexible Spending Account (HFSA)

With the Select Benefits Health Flexible Spending Accounts (HFSA), you can set aside money to pay for certain health care expenses on a tax-free basis. You must contribute in whole dollar amounts. The contribution amount you elect will be deducted from your paycheck in equal amounts throughout the year.

2017 Health Flexible Spending Account Rates
Minimum Monthly Amount $20.00
Maximum Monthly Amount $216.00
Effective: Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2017
Here's How It Works

Each benefit year, you decide the amount you want to contribute, up to the limits, on a pretax basis. During the benefit year, you file claims and are reimbursed with tax-free dollars from the account. You benefit from reduced taxes, because you don't pay taxes on the dollars you contribute to your accounts.

Some Important Rules

The government imposes certain restrictions on Health Flexible Spending Account plans to give you these pre-tax advantages.

  • You cannot enroll in, cancel or change your Health Flexible Spending Account (HFSA) amount at any time during the year except during Open Enrollment.
  • You must elect these benefits each open enrollment period, they do not automatically continue from one benefit year to the next.
  • The upcoming benefit year runs from January 1 to December 31. You must budget contributions carefully. You may carry over up to $500 of unused funds in your Health Flexible Spending Account (HFSA) to the next benefit year, but unused amounts over $500 are forfeit.
  • Services for eligible expenses must be received while you are covered by the plan—coverage stops during periods of leave without pay and at termination. Under HFSA, coverage also stops when you move to a bargaining unit which does not participate in the Select Benefits /AlaskaCare health plan. With the exception of the $500 carry over in the HFSA plan, services must be received prior to the end of the benefit year, December 31. Claims for the benefit year must be filed within 90 days of the end of the benefit year.
  • Health Flexible Spending accounts will now allow for a maximum $500 carry-over of unused funds from one benefit year to the next. This amount will be in addition to any new benefit year amount you select as deductions in your pay.

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Who will receive your benefits if you die?

There are valuable benefits to be paid to your beneficiaries if you die. Many people complete beneficiary forms when they are first hired, but forget to update them when they marry, divorce, have a child, or experience a death in the family. Often beneficiaries move, but their addresses are not updated. This means your benefits could be paid to someone you would prefer not to pay, or benefit payments could be delayed while attempts to locate your beneficiary are made. If you cannot remember the last time you submitted a beneficiary form or who you designated, fill out a new form to ensure your benefits go to the people you want.

The following is a list of benefits that may be available upon your death:

  • Pension Benefits
  • Group Life Insurance Plan
    • Basic Life and AD&D Insurance
    • Travel Accident Insurance
    • Select Life Insurance
  • Supplemental Annuity Plan
  • Supplemental Life Insurance/AD&D
  • Alaska Deferred Compensation Plan
  • Unpaid Compensation (last paycheck plus leave not taken) and Travel Accident Insurance

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