The benefits team is committed to keeping you up to date. This website contains the archives of our benefit news. We send a benefits email out to all benefit-eligible employees twice a month - typically on Tuesdays. If you have any questions on the news items or the emails that you receive, please reach out to us at ua-benefits@alaska.edu. 

 

Calendar Year 2023 Benefits News

February 14 at 8 a.m. Alaska Make the move toward long-term financial security: Your midcareer retirement check-in webinar
February 15 at 8 a.m. Alaska Healthy In & Out: Maximizing Immune Health webinar

Webinars

  • Healthy In & Out: Maximizing Immune Health |TouchCare Webinar (live) | Wednesday, February 15 at 8 a.m. Alaska
    • Since 2020, there's been a huge focus on immune health. 1 in 5 Americans have tried a new service or treatment to support their immune health such as incorporating a healthy diet & exercise, IV therapy, vitamins & supplements, and more. But which of these are the most effective strategies to support our immune system? Join TouchCare to discuss the do's and don't of maintaining an optimized immune system.

  • Recipe for Successful Aging | TouchCare Webinar (recorded)
    • TouchCare brought in Manisha Parulekar, M.D, FACP, AGSF, CMD from Hackensack Meridian Health. Dr. Parulekar shared helpful tips on how we can successfully adapt to the changes that come with aging.

  • Make the move toward long-term financial security: Your midcareer retirement check-in | TIAA Webinar (live) | Tuesday, February 14 at 8 a.m. Alaska
    • For anyone halfway down the road to retirement, this webinar is a critical checkpoint. It takes you through the keys to successful money management, how to juggle competing financial demands and retirement saving strategies that can help put you on the path to lifelong financial security.  

Resources & Reminders

  • COMING SOON! Open Enrollment | April 17 - May 6, 2023
    • We have many exciting changes happening to our benefit plans for the 2024 plan year. Below are the highlights of some of the changes. We are working on all our open enrollment materials, communication schedule, and a dedicated website and want to share some high level information while we prepare. More information will be coming on February 21st! 
      1. Mark your calendars! Open Enrollment begins on April 17 and ends on May 6, 2023.

      2. Medical, dental and vision will now be unbundled - this means you can elect just medical, just dental or any combination of the three. Get the exact coverages you need!

      3. Because our plans will be unbundled, all benefit eligible employees will be required to submit a form. In previous years, we required forms only from employees who are making changes to their coverage/dependents or electing a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). This year, if you are a UA employee in a benefit-eligible position, we require you to submit an open enrollment form. We want to be sure that employees are familiar with the changes for this upcoming plan year and that everyone is given an opportunity to enroll in the exact coverage they need for their family.

      4. TouchCare will be hosting several live benefit overview sessions to go over the changes with the UA population. The schedule is being finalized and will be released in the next few weeks. 

  • Electronic Explanation of Benefits (EOB)
    • The University of Alaska would like to remind employees that electronic EOBs are available for all our UA Choice Plan members. This is your opportunity to go paperless for your EOBs - saving time and money! You can sign up for electronic EOBs with Premera. Enrolling is easy:
      1. Log into your premera account at premera.com

      2. Click on “my account” in the upper right corner and select “account settings”

      3. In the “Preferences” box, switch the Paperless Explanation of Benefits (EOB) to “on”

      4. Enjoy more room in your mailbox!

    • There are several benefits for enrolling in the electronic EOBs:
      1. Your EOBs will always be in one place. You can log into your secure Premera account and view current or previous EOBs. This makes referencing your documents a breeze. 

      2. You will receive an email notification anytime a new EOB is generated and ready for you to access online. Always know when EOBs are complete.

      3. You will have immediate access to completed EOBs (both current and past). No more waiting for EOBs to come via mail.

      4. Enrolling in electronic EOBs will help the university mitigate administrative costs on our health care plan.

  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
    • The University of Alaska offers an EAP through ComPsych. The program provides confidential emotional support, legal guidance, financial guidance, and work-life guidance. The service is available whenever and wherever you need it. These services are free, completely confidential, and can be easily accessed by calling the 24/7 toll-free helpline at 1-888-969-0155. The benefit is extended to anyone living in your household, too. More information can be found on our EAP website.

  • LifeWorks
    • The University of Alaska has partnered with Securian to provide LifeWorks to UA employees. Many services provided by this program are free of charge and include financial, legal, and grief counseling services. More information can be found on our LifeWorks website.
  • TouchCare
    • TouchCare is our third party patient advocacy program available to all UA employees free to charge. TouchCare can help you determine what plan(s) work best for you and your family, assist with billing questions, finding in-network providers, cost-comparisons, price transparency, and more. More information can be found on our TouchCare website.

  • Additional Premera Programs
    • Premera offers several additional programs to UA employees enrolled in a UA choice plan. We have telehealth providers, mental and behavioral health programs through TalkSpace and Brightline, substance use disorder assistance through BoulderCare and WorkIt Health, and diabetes and hypertension management through Livongo. To learn more about these additional programs and see if you qualify, please review our Additional Premera Programs website.

General Wellness Activities

  • Wellness Calendar
    • We have a calendar of events at the bottom of our wellness program page. These are local events that you can participate in - and possibly earn points for the program. Review the calendar and program details on our wellness website. For questions on the program, please reach out to Victoria Carver at victoria.c@zomohealth.com.

January 8, 2023 Maintain Don't Gain wellness challenge ends
January 10, 2023 at 10am FML Training with Unum


Webinars

  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Training with Unum
    • Unum hosted an FMLA training for all employees, supervisors, and HR Coordinators on Tuesday, January 10, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Alaskan. This training went over new changes to the FML process and gave an opportunity for a Q&A. A recorded version of the training can be found on our FML Training website.


Resources & Reminders 

  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
    • The University of Alaska offers an EAP through ComPsych. The program provides confidential emotional support, legal guidance, financial guidance, and work-life guidance. The service is available whenever and wherever you need it. These services are free, completely confidential, and can be easily accessed by calling the 24/7 toll-free helpline at 1-888-969-0155. The benefit is extended to anyone living in your household, too. More information can be found on our EAP website.

  • LifeWorks
    • The University of Alaska has partnered with Securian to provide LifeWorks to UA employees. Many services provided by this program are free of charge and include financial, legal, and grief counseling services. More information can be found on our LifeWorks website.

  • TouchCare
    • TouchCare is our third party patient advocacy program available to all UA employees free to charge. TouchCare can help you determine what plan(s) work best for you and your family, assist with billing questions, finding in-network providers, cost-comparisons, price transparency, and more. More information can be found on our TouchCare website.

  • Additional Premera Programs
    • Premera offers several additional programs to UA employees enrolled in a UA choice plan. We have telehealth providers, mental and behavioral health programs through TalkSpace and Brightline, substance use disorder assistance through BoulderCare and WorkIt Health, and diabetes and hypertension management through Livongo. To learn more about these additional programs and see if you qualify, please review our Additional Premera Programs website.
  • Updates to the HSA and 403(b) from the IRS
    • The IRS has released the updated amounts for calendar year 2023 for the Health Savings Account (HSA) and the 403(b). These increased rates are available beginning January 1, 2023.
  • Pharmacy Updates
    • There are pharmacy updates beginning January 1, 2023, that may affect specific employees on a UA Choice Health Plan. Between now and December 2, 2022, Premera will be sending out notices to those affected with the action items to ensure continued prescription coverage with no disruption. Please keep an eye out for this information to be delivered to your HR address. To review a list of in-network pharmacies, please go to express-scripts.com/findapharmacy. For questions regarding this update, please reach out to Premera by calling the customer service number on the back of your ID card or by logging into your account at premera.com

Activities

  • Maintain Don't Gain Wellness Challenge
    • The goal of this challenge is to concentrate and maintain weight during the holiday season while practicing healthy habits. Log and track your weight throughout the entire challenge from November 21, 2022 through January 8, 2023. This challenge is available to all UA employees on a UA Choice Health Care Plan. Remember - spouses and Financially Interdependent Partners (FIPs) can participate if they are on a UA Choice Health Care Plan, too! 

  • Wellness Calendar
    • We have a calendar of events at the bottom of our wellness program page. These are local events that you can participate in - and possibly earn points for the program. Review the calendar and program details on our wellness website. For questions on the program, please reach out to Victoria Carver at victoria.c@zomohealth.com.

Calendar Year 2022 Benefits News

December 14 at 8am Healthy Eating through the Holidays Webinar
December 23 - January 2, 2023 UA will observe the hard closure
January 10, 2023 at 11am FML Training with Unum


Webinars

  • Healthy Eating through the Holidays Webinar
    • Wednesday, December 14 at 8:00 a.m. Alaskan
      It's easy to stress eat during the holidays. With all the added responsibilities of the season, it's no surprise that many people fall into bad eating habits. We'll be sharing tips & tricks to keep our health a top priority while still enjoying everything delicious this season offers.

  • FMLA Training with Unum
    • Unum will host an FMLA training for all employees, supervisors, and HR Coordinators on Tuesday, January 10, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Alaskan.  There have been several updates to the process (including the removal of earnings code 601 and 602) and we encourage all to attend. This training will be recorded and will be added to our FML Training webpage.
    • Register for FML Training with Unum on myUA.

Resources & Reminders

  • Update your beneficiaries!
    • UA would like to remind employees to keep their beneficiaries up to date. Remember - beneficiaries for the accounts below are not maintained in UAOnline. 
      • All benefit-eligible employees have basic life insurance in the amount of $50,000. Please review the basic life insurance website to update your basic life insurance beneficiaries.
      • You can also update your beneficiaries for your supplemental life and AD&D by visiting our Life Insurance webpage
      • If you are a PERS/TRS DC member, please check  your beneficiaries with Empower Retirement.
      • If you are a PERS/TRS DB member, please check your beneficiaries with the Division of Retirement and Benefits.
      • If you are an ORP member, please check your beneficiaries directly with your vendor (Fidelity, TIAA, VALIC, or Lincoln). Contact information can be found on our ORP webpage under "Enrollment / Manage your ORP" and "Manage your ORP."
      • If you have a UA Pension Plan, please check your beneficiaries with your vendor (Fidelity, TIAA, VALIC, or Lincoln). Contact information can be found on our UA Pension Plan webpage under "Enrollment / Manage your UA Pension" and "Manage your UA Pension."
      • If you have a Tax-deferred Annuity (TDA or 403(b))  you will want to reach out directly to your vendor to update your beneficiaries. 

  • Vivacity/ComPsych Holiday Tips - Review Holiday tips including intuitive eating and creating a holiday budget.

  • 1:1 with Fidelity Representatives. Schedule yours on Fidelity's website.

  • Winter Hard Closure
    • As a reminder, hard closure will be observed from December 23, 2022 - January 2, 2023. More information, including soft closure dates, can be found in the Winter Closure Memo from Chief Human Resources Officer, Memry Dahl.

  • Updates to the HSA and 403(b) from the IRS
    • The IRS has released the updated amounts for calendar year 2023 for the HSA and the 403(b). These increased rates are available beginning January 1, 2023.
  • Alaska 529 Reminder
    • The Alaska 529 is a versatile, tax-advantaged education savings plan that can be used for qualified expenses at nearly all colleges, universities, and technical schools nationwide, as well as for K-12 tuition. Contributions to accounts are taxable, earnings grow tax-deferred, and are tax-free if used for qualified education expenses. Visit the Alaska 529 Plan website or contact alaska529@alaska.edu for more information.

  • An FMLA Update Communication was sent regarding the 601 and 602 earnings codes and the 5-day reporting period.

  • Pharmacy Updates
    • There are pharmacy updates beginning January 1, 2023, that may affect specific employees on a UA Choice Health Plan. Between now and December 2, 2022, Premera will be sending out notices to those affected with the action items to ensure continued prescription coverage with no disruption. Please keep an eye out for this information to be delivered to your HR address. To review a list of in-network pharmacies, please go to express-scripts.com/findapharmacy. For questions regarding this update, please reach out to Premera by calling the customer service number on the back of your ID card or by logging into your account at premera.com

Activities

  • Maintain Don't Gain Wellness Challenge
    • The goal of this challenge is to concentrate and maintain weight during the holiday season while practicing healthy habits. Log and track your weight throughout the entire challenge from November 21, 2022 through January 8, 2023. This challenge is available to all UA employees on a UA Choice Health Care Plan. Remember - spouses and Financially Interdependent Partners (FIPs) can participate if they are on a UA Choice Health Care Plan, too! 

November is diabetes awareness month
November 7 will end our first wellness challenge of this plan year (Stress Less Wellness Challenge)
November 16 at 8am Zero Out Prostate Cancer Webinar
November 18 is when the wellness rebate will pay out
November 21 - January 8, 2023 is our Maintain Don't Gain Wellness Challenge


Webinars

  • Zero Out Prostate Cancer Zero Out Prostate Cancer Webinar - Watch On Demand
    • Wednesday, November 16 at 8:00 a.m. Alaskan
      According to the CDC, prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among men in the United States. Join TouchCare to discuss prostate cancer risks & symptoms, the importance of early detection, and the support available if diagnosed. 

Resources & Reminders

  • 1:1 with Fidelity Representatives. Schedule yours on Fidelity's website

  • Winter Hard Closure
    • As a reminder, hard closure will be observed from December 23, 2022 - January 2, 2023. More information, including soft closure dates, can be found in the Winter Closure Memo from Chief Human Resources Officer, Memry Dahl.

  • Livongo
    • November is diabetes awareness month. The University of Alaska and Premera work with Livongo to assist with diabetes management. If you are an employee on a UA Choice Plan and you qualify for the Livongo program, you can participate with no charge to you. For more information, please visit the Livongo website.
  • Updates to the HSA and 403(b) from the IRS
    • The IRS has released the updated amounts for calendar year 2023 for the HSA and the 403(b). These increased rates are available beginning January 1, 2023.
  • An FMLA Update Communication was sent regarding the 601 and 602 earnings codes and the 5-day reporting period.

  • There are pharmacy updates beginning January 1, 2023, that may affect specific employees on a UA Choice Health Plan. Between now and December 2, 2022, Premera will be sending out notices to those affected with the action items to ensure continued prescription coverage with no disruption. Please keep an eye out for this information to be delivered to your HR address. To review a list of in-network pharmacies, please go to express-scripts.com/findapharmacy. For questions regarding this update, please reach out to Premera by calling the customer service number on the back of your ID card or by logging into your account at premera.com

Activities

  • Maintain Don't Gain Wellness Challenge
    • The goal of this challenge is to concentrate and maintain weight during the holiday season while practicing healthy habits. Log and track your weight throughout the entire challenge from November 21, 2022 through January 8, 2023. This challenge is available to all UA employees on a UA Choice Health Care Plan. Remember - spouses and Financially Interdependent Partners (FIPs) can participate if they are on a UA Choice Health Care Plan, too! 

  • Wellness Rebate
    • The wellness rebate will be paid out with the November 18th paycheck. Remember - to qualify for the rebate you must (1) have completed all the required activities of the wellness program from July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022, (2) be a current employee, and (3) be on a UA Choice Plan when the rebate is paid out. For more information on the wellness program, visit our wellness website.

  • Ended on November 7, 2022 - Stress Less Wellness Challenge
    • Take control of your stress in this five week challenge from October 3 - November 7, 2022! In this individual challenge, participants will practice a variety of stress management techniques each week. Each week a new healthy habit is introduced. This challenge is available to all UA employees on a UA Choice Health Care Plan. Remember - spouses and Financially Interdependent Partners (FIPs) can participate if they are on a UA Choice Health Care Plan, too!

October is National Save for Retirement Month
October 3 - November 7 is our Stress Less Wellness Challenge
October 10 is World Mental Health Day
October 19 at 8am Supporting your Spine Webinar
October 21 at 12pm Halfway There Webinar


Webinars

  • Women Talk Money
    • Join Fidelity in their Women Talk Money workshops through the month of October.

  • Supporting Your Spine Webinar - Watch On Demand 
    • Maintaining a healthy spine and back is an important endeavor that can prevent serious pain in the long term. Join TouchCare in learning about spine-healthy tips. 

    • Give your retirement savings a checkup and learn steps to help get back on track if you’re behind. This webinar will expand your financial knowledge by exploring the following topics:
      (1) Strategies for saving for your ideal retirement
      (2) Methods to manage and pay down debt
      (3) Tools to determine if you are on track to reach your goals
      (4) How your risk tolerance, time horizon, and unique characteristics shape your personalized investment portfolio


Resources & Reminders


Activities

  • Stress Less Wellness Challenge
    • Take control of your stress in this five week challenge from October 3 - November 7, 2022! In this individual challenge, participants will practice a variety of stress management techniques each week. Each week a new healthy habit is introduced. This challenge is available to all UA employees on a UA Choice Health Care Plan. Remember - spouses and Financially Interdependent Partners (FIPs) can participate if they are on a UA Choice Health Care Plan, too!

 

Webinars

  • The Golden Years Webinar - Watch On Demand 
    • TouchCare shares ways to help you plan for your healthcare needs as you transition to Medicare. TouchCare will also be sharing how to strategize caregiving for an elder family member.