The information below reflects current COVID-19-related benefits changes and enhancements. Content will be updated as UC makes additional decisions or changes in light of the this dynamic situation.
As you are aware, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be a rapidly developing situation. COVID-19 is an illness that affects your breathing and lungs and can spread between people in close contact (6 feet) or by touching an infected surface or object. Officials report that in most cases, symptoms are mild to moderate and similar to the flu—fever and cough.
Screening and Testing Guidelines and Coverage Treatment Options and Costs Telehealth and Virtual Care Pharmacy Benefits Emotional and Social Support General COVID-19 Guidance and Information Health Savings Account
COVID-19 screening and testing guidelines. Get the latest information:
Get tested, if necessary. There is no cost to you for the COVID-19 screening, test or associated services (e.g., the doctor office visit to receive the test). If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you will need to pay the applicable copay or coinsurance for care related to treatment of the illness.
Learn about vaccine distribution. Following the U.S. government’s approval and rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, UC has been closely tracking the state’s efforts to vaccinate residents. As you may know, California’s vaccine distribution strategy is frequently changing as the state works to distribute and administer vaccine doses as quickly as possible. Read more.
If you start to feel sick, call your doctor before you go. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough or shortness of breath, and believe you may have been exposed, call your health care provider or local health department before seeking care. Contacting them in advance will help ensure you can get the care you need without putting others at risk. Be sure to let the doctor know if you’ve been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, or have recently been to an area where the virus has spread.
Telephonic-only care. Effective March 27, 2020 and through June 30, 2021, UC will cover telephonic-only visits with in-network providers. Out-of-network coverage will be provided if you are unable to connect with an in-network provider in a timely manner. This includes visits for behavioral health and substance misuse. Cost shares will be waived for in-network providers only, which means you can have a phone visit with an in-network provider at no cost to you during this time. If your provide has questions about this coverage or billing, they should call Anthem’s Provider Services team.
Note: This benefit does not include chiropractic services, physical, occupational and speech therapies. These services require face-to-face interaction and therefore are not appropriate for telephone-only consultations.
The costs below represent what you’ll pay for treatment if you test positive for COVID-19.
- Network provider: 20% after deductible. Note: The COVID-19 test and associated services will be covered at no cost to you even if you have not met your deductible.
- Out-of-network (non-preferred provider): 40% after deductible
By Telephone and Video Chat
Use telehealth and virtual care to connect with a doctor or nurse 24/7. Consider LiveHealth Online for an online visit with a board-certified doctor. Effective March 27, 2020 and through June 30, 2021, UC will waive member cost shares for telehealth visits, including visits for mental health or substance misuse. This means you can receive these services at no cost to you. Cost sharing will be waived for members using Anthem’s authorized telehealth service, LiveHealth Online, as well as care received from other providers delivering telehealth through internet video and audio services. If you attempt to use LiveHealth Online and have to pay out-of-pocket before obtaining a visit, you should call Anthem customer service so they can assist you. If your provider has questions about this coverage or billing, they should call Anthem’s Provider Services team. Note: This telehealth coverage does not include the use of facsimile or email.
You can also call Anthem 24/7 NurseLineSM at (800) 977-0027 to speak with a nurse about your symptoms and get recommendations for care. There is no cost to you for this service.
Rest easy with more flexible pharmacy benefits. You can refill most prescriptions early. Anthem is relaxing prescription refill limits where permitted for members who wish to receive a 30-day supply of most maintenance medications early. You can get a single refill once for each of your medications before the normal fill date. Consider getting a 90-day supply by having your prescriptions mailed or delivered. Ask about your pharmacy’s mail or delivery options. Many large chains are currently offering this service at no cost. Or transfer prescriptions to the Anthem mail order service.
If you need someone to talk to. During this stressful time, we could all use some extra support. LiveHealth Online Psychology therapists are available for telephone and video consultations. Currently, there is no cost to you for this service.
COVID-19 Mental health resource hub. We have joined with Psych Hub, a free digital hub to help our 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. We’re 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.
Faculty and Staff Assistance Programs. Assistance programs offer free, confidential resources for emotional health, with several on-campus options.
MyStrength for depression, anxiety and substance use disorder. MyStrength delivers evidence based, personalized programs to help you with everyday struggles and improve and maintain your overall well-being.
Find additional guidance and information about COVID-19:
- CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- California Department of Public Health
- World Health Organization (WHO)
Health Savings Account (HSA) updates. Two important changes to HSA 2019 contributions and eligible expenses.
- Health Savings Plan members can make HSA contributions for the 2019 tax year up to the new extended IRS tax filing deadline of July 15, 2020. If you have any questions, call HealthEquity customer service 24/7 using the number of the back of your HSA card. In case you haven’t yet heard, the IRS extended this year’s tax filing deadline to July 15, 2020 (from the standard April 15 filing date).
- The CARES act that was enacted into law on March 27 allows you to use your HSA 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 you are able to use your HSA to purchase any eligible OTC items throughout 2020 and beyond. This new benefit is permanent.
Visit HealthEquity for more information about your HSA during the COVID-19 outbreak.