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Human Resources

Vassar College

COVID-19 and HR: Information


Important Benefits Updates

Aetna Meritain and MVP members: No-cost coronavirus testing

If you are on the Aetna Meritain PPO or EPO plans or an MVP plan, your co-pay will be waived. If you are on the Aetna Meritain High Deductible Plan, the test and associated office visit will be zero charge to you even if you have not met your deductible.

Note that any treatment (not testing) you receive for the virus will be covered at the normal level depending on your plan, meaning you may pay copays or, on the HDHP, owe charges if you have not met your deductible.

Optum RX

Aetna Meritain members: Optum RX allows early refills, encourages home delivery, extends certain physician prior approval periods and specialty RX amounts.

If you are on a maintenance drug, you normally have to wait until you have used 75% of your supply before refilling. Optum is temporarily waiving this restriction so that you can refill early if you are concerned about any upcoming quarantine. (Dispensing limits on certain medications still apply.)

You can also switch most RXs to home delivery on Optum RX’s site.

If your RX needed Prior Authorization (PA) from your doctor and that PA is set to expire before May 1, Optum is extending that PA for 90 more days. Optum will reevaluate after that. Opioids or drugs with dose restrictions will follow the normal process for renewals.

If you take a specialty medication through Optum Specialty Pharmacy, you can get a 90-day supply if you call to renew. (Some medications are not included in this provision.)

Use your telemedicine benefit!

If you are a benefits-eligible employee, you have access to physicians by smartphone app or phone and can avoid the wait (and contagion) at your medical center.

1199/SEIU members: use TelaDoc via your medical plan. All others: use HealthiestYou by downloading the app or calling (866) 703-1259.

TelaDoc/HealthiestYou is adding more doctors available by phone to deal with Covid-19 questions. If you are unsure about your symptoms and whether to get tested, you are encouraged to use telemedicine.

Here is a recent status update from HealthiestYou/TelaDoc:

In these unprecedented times, our doctors are taking care to assure that members’ questions are answered and needs are resolved. All general medical consults are now being screened for COVID‐19 risk factors according to CDC guidelines. We report suspected cases to the appropriate public health departments and our doctor s guide patients through the next steps for home care, in‐person care and/or testing. We continue to monitor incoming visit requests by geography and activate doctors to serve rising demand, and the Teladoc Health Medical Group is actively onboarding additional physicians to join our growing network.

Fidelity and TIAA: Campus reps move to phone consults, offer advice for turbulent market.

You can still book appointments with Ted at Fidelity or Eugene at TIAA by clicking the “meet” link at the bottom of our retirement plan website. You’ll have a phone appointment rather than face to face.

Note: both Fidelity and TIAA encourage you to “stay the course” and not react to the market slowdown by getting out of equity investments. Both advisors do recommend your using this time to evaluate your investment mix for your time frame.

Each vendor’s take on the current market: