Change Text Size
A- | Reset | A+

News

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Trusted Information

7/30/2020

Most likely you are seeing news reports on the coronavirus (COVID-19). COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, so you should take the same steps that health care providers recommend to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses, including washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and covering coughs and sneezes.

Here is what the PEBTF is doing to keep you and your family healthy. Check back to this website for updates: 


Eligible Over-the-Counter COVID-19 At Home Tests Now Covered by Your Prescription Drug Plan

For Home Tests Purchased After January 15, 2022 for Active and Non-Medicare Retiree Members

Your Prescription Drug Plan administered by CVS Caremark is covering over-the-counter at-home COVID tests, without a prescription and with no up-front, out-of-pocket costs to you.

You may obtain the free over-the-counter at-home COVID tests at any of CVS’s full national network of 67,000 pharmacies. Also, many pharmacies in the national network offer delivery or shipping direct to members’ house, offices or other locations.

To purchase an at-home COVID test: Present your CVS Caremark Prescription Drug ID card at the pharmacy counter.

You are able to get eight free over-the-counter at-home tests per covered member per month. Please note that these at-home tests have expiration dates.

Reimbursement for at-home tests if you did not use your Prescription Drug Id card: If you did not purchase the test at the pharmacy counter or purchased a test at a non-participating CVS pharmacy, you will need to submit a claim for reimbursement online at Caremark.com/covid19-otc. You must have a Caremark.com account to request reimbursement, but if you do not, select Register Now on the right side of the page to create one. Follow the instructions to submit for reimbursement. You will need a copy of your receipt.

Medicare Retirees: Currently, your SilverScript Prescription Drug Plan is covering over-the-counter at-home COVID tests, without a prescription and with no up-front, out-of-pocket costs to you. Just present your Prescription Drug ID card at the pharmacy counter when you purchase your COVID test. This is subject to change and we will update this section with any future changes. For more information, visit rehp.silverscript.com

For More Information:

More At-Home COVID Test Information


Watch for COVID-19 Vaccine Scams - Information for All Members

As the country begins to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, there's no doubt scammers are already scheming.

Medicare covers the COVID-19 vaccine so there will be no cost to you. If anyone asks you to share your Medicare Number or pay for access to the vaccine, you can bet it's a scam.

Here's what to know

  • You can't pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine.
  • You can't pay to get early access to a vaccine.
  • Don't share you personal or financial information if someone calls, texts, or emails you promising access to the vaccine for free

If you come across a COVID-19 vaccine scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission or call us at 1-800-MEDICARE And check out the CDC.gov for trustworthy information on the COVID-19 vaccine.


Medical Plan Addresses COVID-19 Issues

The coronavirus outbreak has changed all of our lives. The many adjustments that we have needed to make include changes in the health care services we seek. In particular, many of us have needed services relating to COVID-19, and many more of us are seeking services through telemedicine.

To address concerns raised by the coronavirus outbreak, the PEBTF has enacted a number of amendments to the Medical Plan. These amendments are temporary. The PEBTF will evaluate developments as they occur, and will make decisions about how long to extend changes and whether additional Plan amendments or other adjustments are needed as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve.

The amendments to the Medical Plan include:

  • The waiver of copays for laboratory fees for COVID-19 testing, related office visits, and certain other related expenses.
  • The waiver of copays for any telemedicine expenses.
  • The waiver of deductibles, coinsurance and copays for inpatient, emergency room and urgent care related to COVID-19.

To the extent applicable, these changes modify provisions in the SPD, REHP Benefits Handbook and the Summary of Benefits and Coverage for the Medical Plan. If you have any questions about these changes, please contact a PEBTF Benefit Services Representative at 1-800-522-7279.


Costs Waived for Diagnostic Testing, In-Network Inpatient, ER, and Urgent Care Through January 11, 2023

PEBTF/REHP medical plans will waive all deductibles, coinsurance and copays for diagnostic testing and in-network inpatient hospital care, ER or urgent care for COVID-19. The policy will cover the test kit for members who meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for testing in any approved laboratory location.

Zero copay for Teladoc and Telemedicine Visits With Your Doctor Through January 11, 2023

Choice PPO offered by Aetna, Basic PPO offered by Highmark, and the Custom HMO plans offered by Aetna and Geisinger will offer zero copay Teladoc visits for any reason. You may also have a telemedicine visit with your doctor at no copay. Bronze Plan members: The visit is not subject to your deductible.

Using telemedicine allows you to see providers via video conference or over the phone as a way to limit any potential exposure you might have sitting in the doctor's office.

This benefit is not limited to coronavirus/COVID-19 related cases. Members may use telemedicine for any routine medical need such as cold, flu, allergy, rash, sinus infection and much more. Members can get care through Teladoc in two convenient ways:

  • Online: Visit the Teladoc website to download the Teladoc smartphone app. Use the app to create an account, fill out a short medical history questionnaire and schedule an online doctor visit.
  • By phone: Call Teladoc to request a call from a doctor. Teladoc will provide an estimate of when a doctor will contact the member.

Geisinger Custom HMO members, learn more about this service here.


Optum Behavioral Health Virtual Visits Offered at $0 Cost Through

January 11, 2023

During this time of COVID-19, you may prefer to talk to a mental health provider online, in the privacy and comfort of your own home. Virtual visits are a convenient option for PEBTF members who have busy schedules, have difficulty getting to appointments or where it may be a distance to visit a provider.

Optum offers two $0 copay options: Virtual visit and Talkspace. Active members can visit here, and Non-Medicare members can vist here for more information.


Dental Plan – Important Information About Your Next Visit

During these uncertain times, you want to feel confident that you are receiving dental care in a safe environment. It’s reassuring to know that dentists will now use special personal protective equipment (PPE) for every dental visit. For more information from your dental plan, United Concordia, click here.


Medicare Members: Look out for COVID-19 Scams

Unfortunately, scammers are using the COVID-19 pandemic to try to steal your Medicare Number, personal information, and money. And they're using robocalls, social media posts, and emails to do it.

Remember, if anyone reaches out to get your Medicare Number or personal information in exchange for something, you can bet it's a scam.

Be on the lookout, so you can stop scams before they happen. Here are recent Coronavirus scams to watch for:

  • Robocalls offering you respiratory masks they'll never send
  • Social media posts fraudulently seeking donations for non-existent charities, or claiming to give you stimulus funds if you enter your bank account information
  • Fake testing kits, cures, "immunity" pills, and offers for protective equipment

Visit Medicare.gov/fraud for more information and tips on preventing Medicare scams and fraud.

Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services(CMS)


Updated 10/16/2022

Below are links to trusted resources for more information. 

More News