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University of California, Riverside –
Anthem Blue Cross

The UCppoplans.com website was updated with some new additional free resources that Anthem PPO members have access to in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. The three resources are described below.

COVID-19 Mental Health Resource Hub

Anthem has joined with Psych Hub, a free digital hub to help UC members with the stress resulting from COVID-19. This hub brings together a variety of resources to help members cope with social isolation, job loss and mental health issues.

Aunt Bertha Social Support Services

During this time, we understand members may need help with food, housing, job training, transportation and other social support. Anthem is partnering with Aunt Bertha to connect individuals and families to social services in their communities. Members can access these services by visiting Aunt Bertha and entering their ZIP code.
 

COVID-19 Test Facility Finder

Anthem and Castlight have partnered to provide a nationwide directory of COVID-19 testing facilities: COVID-19 Test Facility Finder.

The search feature within the UCVita/Engage app has been enhanced so members can search using the words “COVID”, “COVID-19” or “coronavirus” to find results about the virus and their care options.

Here are the direct links to each medical plan administered by Anthem:  

 HealthEquity (Health Savings Account)
  • IRS Notice 2020-18 Relief for Taxpayers extended the 2019 federal income tax filing, payment, and HSA contribution deadline from April 15 to July 15, 2020. Health Savings Plan members can still make HSA contributions directly with HealthEquity for the 2019 tax year up to the new extended IRS tax filing deadline of July 15, 2020. Members with questions should call HealthEquity customer service 24/7 using the number on the back of their HSA card.
  • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act enacted into law on March 27, 2020, allows the use of HSA funds to pay for over-the-counter (OTC) medications and supplies without a prescription. These items are now considered qualified expenses by the IRS and is retroactive to January 1, 2020. This means that HSA funds could be used to purchase any eligible OTC items throughout 2020 and beyond. This new benefit is permanent.  
  • HealthEquity (HEQ) implemented a new microsite designed for account holders in response to the CARES Act. To notify members, HEQ has sent an electronic communication to all HSA account holders introducing the new microsite and highlighting the two major HSA-related changes resulting from the passage of the law. In addition, the existing https://www.healthequity.com/uc site will have a link to the new microsite of https://healthequity.com/cares/
Health Net / Managed Health Network 
COVID-19 Test and Treatment

Health Net covers the testing/screening for COVID-19 at $0 copay for all members where a treating provider determines it is medically necessary to screen you or test you regardless of the type of facility the screening is performed in. If the visit is not for the purpose of screening and/or testing for COVID-19 then the co-payments or co-insurance would still apply. Health Net is not waiving cost share for the treatment of COVID-19.  Only co-pays on testing and screening are waived.  See below information reflected on the Health Net website.  

Does My Plan Cover COVID-19 Testing/Screening Services?

Yes. When medically necessary diagnostic testing or medical screening services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider, Health Net will cover the cost of medically necessary COVID-19 tests and the associated physician's visit. If applicable, the plan's copayment, coinsurance and or deductible cost-sharing will be waived for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing and/or medical screening services.

If I Need Treatment For Coronavirus, Is That Covered By My Plan?

Any medically necessary treatment related to COVID-19 would be considered a covered benefit. Health Net is committed to ensuring access to COVID-19 treatment services in accordance with federal and state law.

Complementary Webinar Resource

Health Net’s Wellness is making a helpful webinar available. Although recorded in 2019, the information is very appropriate at this moment in time.  Please see the biography of the presenter below along with the overview of the presentation and the recording link listed at the end of this e-mail.  

Presenter 

Dr. Dawn Upchurch is Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA School of Public Health. She received her BS in Human Biology from Stanford University and her PhD in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Dawn is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of women’s health and in complementary and alternative medicine.  She is especially interested in understanding the ways in which stress affects the mind and body and how evidence-based complementary therapies can ameliorate those effects.  In addition to her training as a researcher, she is also a licensed acupuncturist and a trained mindfulness facilitator.

Overview:
  • What is stress?
  • The stress response
  • Types of stress
  • The brain & stress
  • Cognitive distortions
  • Strategies for positive coping
  • How does mindfulness work to help with stress?
  • Short guided meditation

Listen to – Participate in “Navigating Life’s Challenges: Resilience through Mindfulness and Positive Coping” Webinar – this webinar expires on May 22, 2020

Kaiser Permanente
Temporarily Closed Facilities

Please find an updated list of Kaiser Permanente Temporary Closures of facilities in Northern and Southern California that have been temporarily closed. Most of their facilities are open and members can still access care through video or phone appointments, as well as in-person care, when appropriate.

As a reminder, all Southern California facility updates can be found at Kaiser Permanent - COVID-19 Temporary Closures and Consolidations.

Voluntary transfer of non-COVID-19 patients to USNS Mercy Hospital Ship

As the fight against COVID-19 continues, Kaiser Permanente is working diligently to ensure their hospitals have the beds and intensive care rooms needed as more and more patients with COVID-19 are admitted. Following the Presidential Declaration of a Federal Emergency, the USNS Mercy Hospital Ship has been made available to expand the inpatient capacity of surrounding hospitals.
 
Docked in the Port of Los Angeles, the USNS Mercy is a hospital ship that is fully staffed with U.S. Navy physicians, nurses and medical staff, and is already providing inpatient care exclusively for non-COVID-19 patients. It is equipped to provide a full spectrum of medical services including surgeries, critical care and inpatient care for adult patients.
 
Starting the week of April 6, 2020, Kaiser Permanente began transferring non-COVID-19 patients who voluntarily agreed to relocate and receive medical care aboard the USNS Mercy from Kaiser Permanente’s LA basin hospitals – Baldwin Park, Downey, LAMC, South Bay, West Los Angeles, Woodland Hills and Panorama City. All patient transfers will be made in consultation with their physician for patients who meet the hospital ship’s patient clinical criteria. Kaiser Permanente will not be deploying physicians, nurses, other health care staff or equipment and supplies as part of this patient transfer program.
 
Regarding transferred patients, please know:

  • Patients who are voluntarily transferred will not be responsible for any additional costs due to the move to the USNS Mercy.
  • Kaiser Permanente will provide a transfer summary of care and medical history to the USNS Mercy so that care can continue seamlessly. In addition, Kaiser Permanente will partner with the USNS Mercy team to coordinate discharge and follow-up care.
  • To protect everyone against the spread of the coronavirus, patients’ visitors are not allowed onboard the hospital ship.

This collaborative effort with the USNS Mercy enables Kaiser Permanente to use the hospitals’ intensive care units and ventilators for incoming COVID-19 patients, while ensuring all other non-COVID patients continue to receive high-quality, compassionate care.

Testing and Treatment of COVID-19

Kaiser Permanente’s National Benefit Policy was updated to now include waived member out-of-pocket costs for treatment related to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Members who are diagnosed with COVID-19 will not have to pay co-pays or other cost-share related to their medical care and treatment of COVID-19, even if they have to stay in the hospital.

The updated National Benefit Policy now includes:

As of April 1, 2020, Kaiser Permanente is waiving member out-of-pocket costs for inpatient and outpatient services when treating COVID-19. Members who are diagnosed with COVID-19 will not have to pay co-pays or other cost-share related to the medical care and treatment of COVID-19, even if they have to stay in the hospital. This waiver applies to all admissions whose date of service is from April 1 to May 31 (unless superseded by government action or extended by Kaiser Permanente).

This waiver of member out-of-pocket costs will apply to all places of service including, but not limited to, Hospitalization, Office Visit, Telemedicine, Emergency Room and Urgent Care.

This waiver also applies to inpatient medical, inpatient pharmacy, outpatient medical and transportation costs associated with the treatment of a COVID-19 diagnosis. This includes waiving copays and out-of-pocket costs for ground and air ambulances if the service is associated with the treatment of a COVID-19 diagnosis and the member must be transferred, or can’t get to a Kaiser Permanente facility.

Kaiser Permanente’s updated National Benefit Policy applies to all fully insured benefit plans across all Lines of Business in all Kaiser Permanente regions (unless prohibited or modified by local law or regulation).

Please note: This waiver of out-of-pocket pharmacy costs does not apply to outpatient pharmacy or over-the-counter pharmacy costs as there are currently no Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved pharmaceutical treatments for use with a COVID-19 diagnosis. Kaiser Permanente will continue to monitor developments on treatments and evaluate coverage as needed. 

Optum Behavioral Health
COVID-19 Resource: Mental Health Tips

Attached are 2 new fliers for your use with members to support them during COVID-19:

 UnitedHealthcare (UC Medical Choice)
UnitedHealthcare’s Support to Retirees  

For the week of April 6, 2020, UHC’s focus continued to be the supporting of their members through these unprecedented times with COVID-19. Outbound calls were deployed to the highest-risk members and resources are being prioritized by those geographic locations hardest hit. We are pleased to share that UnitedHealthcare® will be waiving cost-sharing not only for COVID-19 testing, but for treatment as well. Many of UHC’s programs make it easier for people to connect with their health care provider from home such as with their fitness benefits and even their HouseCalls program, which helps members close gaps in care. UnitedHealthcare also launched their own COVID-19 symptom tracker, Buoy, that members have access to once they log on to UHCRetiree.com

New! UnitedHealthcare is waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment; continuing to expand access to telehealth
  • UnitedHealthcare (UHC) is waiving member cost-sharing for the treatment of COVID-19 through May 31, 2020, for its fully-insured Commercial, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid plans. This builds on the company's previously announced efforts to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and testing-related visits, and the expansion of other member services.
  • Starting March 31, 2020, until June 18, 2020, UnitedHealthcare will now also waive cost-sharing for in-network, non-COVID-19 telehealth visits for its Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and fully-insured Individual and Group market health plans (for plans not already covering virtual visits at 100% in-network and out- of- network). The company previously announced the waiving of the cost-sharing for telehealth visits related to COVID-19 testing, in addition to waiving cost-sharing for 24/7 Virtual Visits with preferred telehealth partners.
Supporting Members with their Prescription Drug Needs

UHC teams are making outbound calls to Medicare Advantage Part D Prescription Drug Plan (MAPD) and Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) members who are utilizing immunocompromising drugs, and those with Diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or heart failure, by a UnitedHealthcare pharmacist or pharmacy technician.

The purpose of these calls is to:

  1. Help members stay safe during COVID-19. This includes not only staying away from crowds, but also continuing to get the care and prescription drugs they need.
  2. Educate about self-distancing. Educate members on the importance of self-distancing or isolating themselves from exposure.
  3. Ensure members have enough medication. Members are given the option to be connected to OptumRx for home delivery of their medications (where available) or refer them to call their local pharmacy for home delivery – many pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS are also offering free delivery services at this time.
HouseCalls Visits Are Now Virtual

To ensure members are safe and continue to receive their HouseCalls visits even during the COVID-19 national emergency, UHC shifted their in-person HouseCalls program to a House Call - Virtual Visit. HouseCalls will be offered over the course of a few weeks through a telehealth platform to help members get the care they need and identify gaps in care. The in-person HouseCalls visits will resume as soon as possible while considering the health and safety of members and UHC clinicians.

Fitness Moves "At Home"

With the temporary closure of gyms and fitness centers across the country, UHC is introducing a way for members to stay active in the safety of their own homes. UHC fitness programs have launched various digital classes on demand and "At Home" kits that members can access for free from the comfort of their homes. If any of our retirees reach out to you regarding what "At Home" fitness benefits they may have access to, please direct them to call the number on the back of their ID card for assistance.

Buoy Symptom Tracker

With UHC’s continued effort to expand access to care and support for COVID-19, members are provided with a symptom tracker through Buoy. This is an online symptom tracker that helps a member assess their risk for COVID-19 and provides options for treatment, care and support. Members must log in to their UHCRetiree.com portal to access the Bouy Symptom Tracker.

On-demand Emotional Support Is Available

Sanvello, a free mobile app that can help members cope with stress, anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic is now available from the App Store or Google Play.

Outreach is well underway by mail, e-mail and telephone to answer members questions and ensure they have the information they need.

Claims processing for member COVID-19 claims started on April 1, 2020.