Your benefits are more important now than ever. Keep up to date on how your health benefits plans are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
CalPERS recognizes that the global pandemic resulting from the coronavirus is creating uncertainty and concern among members. They are reassuring that your benefits are safe, and they are fully operational. Despite the circumstances, CalPERS is here for you.
CalPERS has engaged their health plans to ensure members have access to the care they need during this time. They've had regular calls with the health plan leaders to ensure that our health plans are well prepared to provide excellent service to all members.
They've asked our health plans to provide information regarding COVID-19 testing and treatment on their websites. We encourage you to visit your plan's website for the latest information and protocols. All of our plans have complied with this request.
They have ensured that CalPERS members will not have to pay anything out of pocket for screening and testing of COVID-19. This applies to members in both the Health Maintenance Organization and Preferred Provider Organization plans.
They've been coordinating with their Pharmacy Benefit Manager, OptumRX, so members have access to medications they need. While they do not anticipate any interruptions to prescription medications, they're working closely with the pharmacy partners to ensure you receive your medications as soon as possible. It's a good idea to fill your prescriptions through your plan's mail-order service, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak. There's no additional cost for delivery and most orders arrive in 2 to 4 business days. For more information, contact your health plan.
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough or shortness of breath, and believe you may have been exposed, you should call your health care provider or local health department before seeking care. Contacting them in advance will help you get the care you need without putting yourself or others at risk. Members who are in need of non-urgent medical care should consider using a remote option like phone or video appointments.
Telehealth appointments can be an effective way to get the care they need while practicing social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. All CalPERS health plans offer various forms of either phone or video appointments.
CalPERS Addresses Coronavirus
CalPERS Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Coronavirus
Delta Dental has affirmed their commitment to provide access to care, patient eligibility, benefits information, as well as timely payment of claims and assistance of obtaining dental records if needed during this pandemic (plan limits still apply). Delta Dental will now be accepting claims for services delivered through Tele-dentistry for those dentists who are using this method for consultation. For additional information please contact Delta Dental Customer Service for assistance at (800) 765-6003. Information is also available on their website.
If you are a VSP member you will now have access to supplemental medical care for the detection, treatment, and management of ocular and visual conditions, including conjunctivitis, eye trauma, or sudden changes in vision through June 30, 2021 (date is subject to change). Our current plans do not offer this option however, VSP has now extended this benefit and employees can see their VSP network doctor in-person or remotely. Employees can also use their routine VSP coverage for lost or broken glasses or replacement contact lenses to meet immediate eyewear needs by contacting their VSP network doctor. Access to optometrists during this pandemic allows employees to maintain health and visual acuity while easing the burden on primary care physicians and emergency rooms. For more information, please visit
their website, or call the VSP Customer Service at (800) 400-4569.
Essential Medical Eye Care Services Flyer
COBRA Election Deadline Extension
Allows employees to have 60 days from the date the National Emergency ends to elect COBRA. (example: If an employee terminates April 20, 2020 and the National Emergency ends on July 14, 2020 then the employee would have until September 12, 2020 to elect COBRA)
COBRA Premium Deadline Extension
Allows an extension for payment if an employee was not able to make a payment within the 30 day grace period. They will have 60 days from the date the National Emergency is lifted/ended. (example: The qualified beneficiary fails to make a premium payment on March 31, 2020 for March's coverage. COBRA coverage will not be terminated due to non-payment during the National Emergency plus the following 60 days. The qualified beneficiary will have until August 13, 2020 (the full 30 day grace period following July 14, 2020), in which to pay the premium for March as well as for coverage for the months of April, May, June and July. The qualified beneficiary would need to pay the premium for August no later than August 31, 2020 (the normal 30 day grace period would apply since the National Emergency plus the additional 60 day period expired prior to August 1).
This extension extends the period of time for special enrollment events up to 60 days from the date the National Emergency is lifted/removed (example: If an employee was married on February 15, 2020 he/she is permitted to enrolled on or before July 14, 2020 if the National Emergency is removed on May 15, 2020). Enrollments cannot be retroactive unless the enrollment is a birth, adoption, or placement of adoption.
This extension allows employees to submit a claim up to 60 days from the date the National Emergency is lifted/removed. (example: If National Emergency ends on May 15, 2020 then the deadline to submit claims would be July 14, 2020)
This extension allows for appeals to be submitted 60 days from the date the National Emergency is lifted/removed.
Please check your campus for specific information.