Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
On March 27, 2020, the U.S. Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. To help answer common questions about the CARES Act and how it applies to the USG 403(b) and 457(b) retirement plans, see the CARES ACT Frequently Asked Questions
Well-being can happen anywhere, and we are here to help! Each week, we will begin sharing weekly themed activities and tips for your mental, physical, social, and financial well-being. For the week of April 6, we are focusing on Reducing Stress. Visit USG Well-being for daily activities and tips.
As the situation related to COVID-19 evolves, below is important information on benefits and resources available to you through the USG Benefits programs.
What You Need to Know:
Coping with Market Volatility
Keep Calm and Carry On
USG Healthcare Plan
For COVID-19 related in-network provider visits and testing, out of pocket costs such as deductibles, copayments and coinsurance, will be waived ($0.00) if you are enrolled in one of the USG healthcare plans through Anthem BCBSGA or Kaiser Permanente (including employees enrolled in the Consumer Choice HSA).
All telehealth visits, including those unrelated to COVID-19, will be covered at 100% with no out of pocket costs for all USG healthcare plans through June 30, 2020.
If you have concerns or are showing symptoms of COVID-19, we encourage you to take the following steps:
- Call your provider’s office for guidance and next steps.
- If you do not have a provider, please call the 24/7 nurseline and/or member services number for help locating a provider.
- Emergency room and urgent care options are available for emergency situations.
|Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield (Anthem)||Kaiser Permanente|
While we continue to work with Anthem and Kaiser Permanente to ensure benefits are processed correctly, if you have questions about benefits coverage, please call the member services number listed above.
Please Note: Kaiser Permanente has closed several smaller facilities to reallocate resources to larger facilities and is moving some previously scheduled office visits to telehealth. If you have questions, please call Kaiser at 1-800-611-1811.
Both Anthem and Kaiser Permanente offer telehealth options. If you have nonemergency healthcare concerns, telehealth can be a good option. While COVID-19 cannot be confirmed through virtual or remote care, provider teams can help with screening symptoms, assign risk, answer questions and recommend the next steps. All telehealth visits will be covered at 100% with no out of pocket costs for all USG healthcare plans including those unrelated to COVID-19.
Kaiser HMO members
Call 404-365-0966 or access kp.org
In addition to the Telehealth options, all USG employees and retirees now have access to a free online COVID-19 virtual screening tool offered by Augusta University. Healthcare providers are trained to prescreen for COVID-19 symptoms and can help direct employees who may qualify for COVID-19 testing. At the start of each online session, employees and/or retirees who use the online COVID-19 screening tool must agree to Augusta Medical Center’s Notice of Privacy Practices.
Visit https://www.augustahealth.org/expresscare/covid-19-virtual-screening to download the App or access the COVID-19 Virtual screening tool on your desktop. To learn more, click here!
To ensure access to prescription medications, early refill limits will be waived for 30-day maintenance prescriptions at in-network pharmacies. Additionally, CVS pharmacies are waiving charges for home delivery of all prescription medications. If you do not use a CVS pharmacy, please check with your local pharmacy for information about waived home delivery charges.
If you take a maintenance medication, we encourage you to use the 90 day supply option. This will reduce the number of trips to the pharmacy and will lower your out of pocket cost. As part of the prescription drug program, you also have the option of home delivery from CVS Caremark Mail Service pharmacy with no delivery cost.
Anthem members - Pharmacy Plan information through CVS/Caremark
To ensure Kaiser Permanente members have continuous access to maintenance medications, Kaiser continues to closely monitor their prescription limits and requirements. Similar to CVS, Kaiser members can utilize Kaiser Permanente’s prescription mail order service to have prescriptions shipped home with zero shipping charges.
KEPRO Employee Assistance Plan – EAP
Tips for coping with any feelings or emotions you may be experiencing related to the COVID-19 outbreak is available through the KEPRO Employee Assistance Plan via phone at 1-844-243-4440 or on-line at EAPHelplink.com (company code is USGCares).
USG partners with the KEPRO Employee Assistance Program to provide support and resources on personal matters to improve your overall life and well-being. The EAP is available for all employees who work 20 or more hours. In addition to phone counseling and in-person counseling referrals (first 4 visits are at no cost), the EAP includes additional products and services at no cost such as:
- Legal and Financial Services
- Childcare and eldercare referrals and advice
- Grief and loss support
- Taxpayer information
The KEPRO EAP is available 24/7/365 to offer telephonic support to you and your family members at 1-844-243-4440.
We continue to monitor IRS guidelines as it pertains to the Healthcare Flexible Spending Accounts, Dependent Care Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts. At this time, there is no new or altered IRS guidance related to allowable changes within the FSA regulations as a result of COVID-19.
However, based on current regulations and IRS guidelines, we have outlined your available options below.
- Healthcare FSA: There have been no changes to current regulations. Therefore, you may not suspend or reduce your healthcare FSA contributions.
Dependent Care FSA: Based on current regulations, you may suspend, decrease, or start dependent care FSA contributions, if you experience a significant change to dependent care costs.
- Suspend contributions: If your daycare has closed and is not billing for services, you may suspend contributions. Once daycare services resume, you may restart your contributions.
- Modify contributions: You may increase or decrease contributions if your daycare has adjusted the fee schedule or if you switch to “free care” or no daycare option.
Start contributions: If you have to start paying babysitter while you are working from home, this results in new expenses. You may start contributing to a dependent FSA.
To make a contribution change, you must call the OneUSG Connect – Benefits call center at 1-844-587-4236.
Health Savings Account: Employees can always adjust their HSA contributions. However, in line with the IRS extending the 2019 tax filing deadline, employees may continue to make contributions on an after-tax basis towards their 2019 balance until July 15, 2020.
NonUSG Healthcare Plan Covered employees
For employees not enrolled in the USG Healthcare plan, a telehealth option is available through LiveHealth On-line at $59 per visit. For acute, non serious medical concerns, you may consider a retail health clinic or a quick care center.
New – COVID-19 Hotline Information from Department of Community Health
The State of Georgia has a new COVID-19 hotline. If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, please contact your primary care doctor, an urgent care clinic, or your local federally qualified healthcare center. Please do not show up unannounced at an emergency room or health care facility.
Hotline: 1-(844) 442-2681
The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security)
On March 27, 2020, the U.S. Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act allows employers to make changes to their defined contribution plans to allow greater access to retirement funds through the following options:
- Distributions up to $100,000 for coronavirus-related qualifying reasons,
- Increase in loan amounts and suspension of loan payments for coronavirus-related reasons,
- Waiver of Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) in 2020 (certain exceptions apply).
The University System of Georgia has added these provisions to the USG 403(b) and 457(b) voluntary savings plans. Self-certification of the Coronavirus qualifying reason is required to receive a distribution or loan. If you have questions, please reach out to your retirement vendor directly using the number below. More information is available through the CARES Act and the USG 403(b) and 457(b) plan FAQs.
Financial/Market Volatility Concerns
USG has partnered with CAPTRUST to provide Retirement and Financial Advisory Services to USG employees. CAPTRUST offers a no-cost advice line for all benefited employees and representatives are available to answer employees’ questions and concerns about the market.
To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-967-9948 or on-line at www.captrustadvice.com. Representatives are available Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5:30pm and Friday, 8:30am - 4 pm (EST).
|Virtual Appointments||Fidelity Appointment Scheduling||TIAA Appointment Scheduling||AIG Appointment Scheduling||CAPTRUST Appointment Scheduling|
|COVID-19 Resources||Fidelity Dedicated Resources||TIAA Dedicated Resources||AIG Dedicated Resources||CAPTRUST Dedicated Resources|
|Vendor Websites||Fidelity website||TIAA website||Valic website||Captrust website|
More information and updates are available on the USG Benefits home page at https://www.usg.edu/hr/benefits. General information about COVID-19 is available at the CDC website at cdc.gov/coronavirus or on the Department of Community Health website at: https://dph.georgia.gov/.