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Message from Commissioner Thayer

photo of Commissioner

Dear AlaskaCare Member:

Thank you for joining the AlaskaCare team at our recent town hall meetings in Juneau, Fairbanks, and Anchorage. During those meetings, we worked to ensure you had a better understanding of your AlaskaCare Retiree health benefits and how the Department of Administration, Aetna, and Moda Health are working together to administer your benefits. As the Commissioner of Administration, I’m focused on making sure your health benefits are administered appropriately, professionally, and with a highly competent level of customer service. After your years of dedication to public service, you have earned the health benefits Aetna and Moda Health administer on our behalf.

First, I’m thankful you and other members of the AlaskaCare plan were open about your concerns with your dental coverage, which is paid for by AlaskaCare members. After thoughtful review and discussion with Moda Health after our town hall meetings, AlaskaCare dental plans are changing the exam, fluoride and cleaning frequency from once every six months to two per year. This will accommodate those members who travel or are otherwise unable to schedule an exam or cleaning at the six-month mark. Additionally, going forward, nitrous oxide for both the active and retiree plans will be covered and Moda Health will reprocess any denials retroactive to January 1, 2014. While reprocessing claims can take several weeks, please feel free to contact Moda Health or the Division of Retirement and Benefits with your questions about these important changes.

As some of you know, AlaskaCare spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year for the health care coverage of about 85,000 members who live throughout Alaska and the Lower 48. In order to ensure AlaskaCare members receive the best value for our health care spending, I remain dedicated to ensuring your benefits are administered in accordance with sound medical science. Your care should be grounded in evidence and guided by experts like the State of Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hurlburt, who attended the town hall meetings in Fairbanks and Anchorage.

Additionally, our members deserve access to a large network of doctors, dentists, and pharmacists. An expansive and growing network will help us limit your out-of-pocket costs. Aetna and Moda Health are working to expand their networks in Alaska and in markets throughout the Lower 48, where many of our AlaskaCare members live or travel to regularly as they enjoy their retirement.

Navigating your health benefits can be a difficult process, especially for those of you with coverage through multiple insurance plans. Often, AlaskaCare members are working to understand complex coverage, insurance coordination, and travel issues at a time when they also need to focus on their health and quality of life. My staff at the Division of Retirement and Benefits is dedicated to supporting you as you navigate the complexities of your health insurance benefits. Please call us, email us, or visit us online at any time if we can help. We can be reached at: (800) 821-2251, doa.drb.mscc@alaska.gov, or visit our Contact page. And, we’ll be working hard in the weeks and months ahead to ensure your health benefits are understandable, accessible, and managed appropriately. If you experience any customer service concerns with the Division or with Aetna or Moda Health, please don’t hesitate to email me directly at Curtis.Thayer@alaska.gov. I’ll work hard to make sure your concerns are addressed in a timely fashion.

Again, thank you for joining us at our most recent round of town hall meetings. I look forward to working with all of you in the months ahead to continue to improve the administration of AlaskaCare.

Regards,

Curtis Thayer

Curtis W. Thayer
Commissioner
Department of Administration