Employee AlaskaCare Health Benefits

  1. AlaskaCare Health Plan Overview
  2. What Plan Am I In?
  3. AlaskaCare Health Plan Summaries
  4. Health Flexible Spending Account (HFSA)
  5. Updated Policy: Removal of Leave Without Pay Rules for AlaskaCare Employee Health Plan Eligibility
  6. Gym and Fitness Benefits

AlaskaCare Health Plan Overview

The health benefits that the State of Alaska provides to its eligible employees is commonly referred to as AlaskaCare. AlaskaCare Health Plans can help you and your eligible dependents pay for medical, dental, pharmacy and vision expenses. You can find in-depth information on the different AlaskaCare plans in the AlaskaCare Health Plan Summaries section.

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What Plan Am I in?

Wondering what plan you are in? Your plan is based on your bargaining unit affiliation and depending on the specific plan you are in, you may be required to pay a portion of the premium.

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AlaskaCare Health Plan Summaries

  • AlaskaCare Medical Plans

    Both the Economy and Standard medical plan cover all the same services, including pharmacy benefits, but each has different deductibles, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximums. You choose the plan that is best for you based on how much you can afford to pay in deductibles and coinsurance as well as the premium.

  • AlaskaCare Dental Plans

    The Economy and Standard dental plans cover different services and reimburse different amounts depending on the plan selected. You choose the plan that is best for you based on the services you anticipate, those that are covered and how much you can afford to pay in deductible, coinsurance and the premium.

  • AlaskaCare Vision Plans

    The Vision plan helps cover different optometry services, including exams and can help provide discounts for your glasses and contacts. You can choose to carry no coverage if you don't anitipate needing vision coverage.

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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.

2021 Health Flexible Spending Account Contribution Limits
Minimum Monthly Amount $25.00
Maximum Monthly Amount $225.00
Effective: Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2021
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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Updated Policy: Removal of Leave Without Pay Rules for AlaskaCare Employee Health Plan Eligibility

The Division of Retirement and Benefits (DRB) has updated the AlaskaCare health eligibility rules related to employees in Leave Without Pay (LWOP) status to provide continued health insurance coverage for eligible AlaskaCare members. This change will eliminate unnecessary gaps in member health insurance coverage related to LWOP. LWOP rules during a new hire’s initial 30 day wait period remains the same.

Previous Rule:

Employees were required to be in pay status a minimum of four hours on the first workday of the month to be eligible for AlaskaCare coverage for that month. The “4-Hour” rule is outlined in the Alaska Administrative Manual (AAM 280.210.1 – Effects of Leave-Without-Pay on Employee Benefits):

“An employee may be ineligible for employer-provided group health and life coverage if LWOP is incurred over the first work day of a month. Ordinarily, to be covered, an employee must be in pay status a minimum of four (4) hours on the first scheduled work day of a month. To continue coverage, the employee must pay the premium”.

Updated Rule, effective January 1, 2020:

AlaskaCare eligible employees in LWOP status on the first working day of the month will continue their health insurance coverage if they continue to timely pay their monthly insurance premium (through payroll deduction or self-pay). The employee will no longer be required to be in pay status for four hours on the first workday of the month.

It is the employee’s responsibility to ensure the AlaskaCare premium is paid in order to remain covered. This may require action on the employee’s part as the AlaskaCare premium may not automatically be deducted from an employee’s paycheck when the employee is in LWOP status.

Note: Leave of absence rules, such as Seasonal Leave of Absence (SLWOP) remain the same and will still result in periods without coverage.

Employee Plan Insurance Booklet Updated January 1, 2020

The AlaskaCare Employee Plan Insurance Booklet has been updated with the following language to reflect this change:

SECTION 1.7.3. EMPLOYEES RETURNING FROM LEAVE WITHOUT PAY OR LAYOFF

“If you were covered under the plan when you were placed in leave without pay status or layoff status (through a personnel action), when you return to work, you are covered under the plan starting the day you return to work. For example, if you return to work from leave without pay on July 15, coverage begins under the plan for you and your dependents on July 15. This paragraph applies to the extent you did not continue coverage under the plan during an unpaid FMLA leave, as permitted under section 14.9, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If you have scattered leave without pay on your timesheet(s), you will not experience a break in health coverage. You are responsible for paying any owed premiums if there are insufficient funds in your paycheck to cover the cost. If you are entering leave without pay status and have questions about how your health coverage may be impacted, please contact your payroll office.”

Employee FAQs
  1. If I am going to be in LWOP status on the first of the month, what do I need to do?

    If you anticipate your paycheck will be sufficient to cover your health premium, you do not need to do anything. If you anticipate that your paycheck will not cover your health premium, you need to contact the Division of Retirement and Benefits (907-465-4460) to coordinate payment.

    If you are self-paying premiums, you can send checks to:
    Division of Retirement and Benefits/Health Section
    P.O. Box 110203
    Juneau, AK. 99811-0203

  2. What happens if I am in LWOP status on the first working day of the month and I do not pay my premiums timely?

    If you do not pay your premiums within 30 days after the first premiums were missed, your coverage will retroactively terminate effective the last day of the last month in which premiums were collected. Any insurance claims you may have will be reprocessed. If more than 30 days have elapsed, contact the Division to discuss your options.

    Example: If pay period December 1-15 is paid on December 31, and no health premiums were taken due to insufficient funds, DRB will attempt to recover the missed premiums automatically in the pay period December 16-31, paid on January 15. In the even that there are insufficient funds again, the employee would need to arrange payment by January 31.

  3. What happens if I am on LWOP during my new hire wait period?
    If you have leave without pay (except for a leave taken as a result of injury or illness) during your first 30 days of employment, you are covered after you return to work and are in pay status for 31 consecutive days. AlaskaCare Employee Health Plan Booklet Section 1.7.1.
Definitions

AlaskaCare eligible employees: Eligible employee means a permanent or long-term nonpermanent employee of the State whose bargaining unit or employee group participates in the plan and who meets the criteria set forth in section 1.3.1 (in the employee health plan booklet), Eligible Employees. An eligible employee does not include temporary employees, leased employees, or employees who are scheduled to work less than 15 hours per week, except if the employee otherwise meets the criteria outlined under the employer shared responsibility provisions in section 26 U.S. Code § 4980H.

AlaskaCare Participating Employee Groups

The following employee groups are under AlaskaCare benefits administered by DRB:

  • AVTEC
  • Confidential
  • Correctional Officers
  • Marine Engineers
  • Mt. Edgecumbe Teachers
  • Supervisory Unit
  • Unlicensed Vessel Personnel
  • Employees not covered by collective bargaining (Exempt)

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Gym and Fitness Benefits

Eligible State of Alaska employees can take advantage of special discounted rates at participating gym and fitness facilities across the state. Proof of state employment is required. The following may be used as proof of employment, however please confirm this directly with the provider as it is subject to variation at their discretion:

  • State of Alaska employee ID
  • Pay stub with the financial information blacked out
  • Listing in the online employee directory
  • Email from a State of Alaska email address

  Membership or participation with these fitness providers is voluntary on the part of employees and families. The State of Alaska (the State) neither advocates nor recommends any particular club, facility, or fitness service nor endorses specific programs or business practices. The State will not be liable for any personal injury, property damage, or theft that may occur as a result of an individual participating in any club, gymnasium, or fitness service that is referenced in this site. The State does not guarantee the rates/fees or discounts as they are subject to change. The State is not a party to any agreement between the employee and fitness provider and shall not be liable for payment of any membership fee. Membership fees are the sole responsibility of the employee. Any individual deciding to start a fitness regimen or exercise program should consult with his/her physician.

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