CTU representatives on our healthcare Labor Management Cooperation Committee met in late March and April. We discussed several health care issues brought to our attention by members, as well as new benefits our members can expect.

Employee Assistance Program

We were briefed on the new EAP service known as ComPsych. More than 13 percent of our members are now using the service. We showed district representatives that the ComPsych web portal appears to severely limit access to therapists within the Blue Cross Blue Shield network.

This is because providers have to opt in to show up on that site or they are not listed there. To access the full scope of providers in the network, we recommend calling the EAP number on the back of your insurance card; that number is 1-800-424-4776. 

CPS is reviewing the limited access with the vendor and is working on a communication to ensure members can access the entire network of mental health professionals as needed, whether it’s directly through ComPsych or through BCBS.

New bereavement benefits coming 

Due to the passage of the Family Bereavement Leave Act at the state level, the Board of Education has a proposed amendment to their bereavement policy on its April 26 meeting agenda that would allow CTU members to take up to 10 days of leave—eligible for sick day use, but otherwise unpaid—for the following circumstances:

  • a miscarriage;
  • an unsuccessful round of intrauterine insemination or an assisted reproductive technology procedure (e.g., artificial insemination or embryo transfer);
  • failed adoption match or an adoption that is not finalized because it is contested by another party;
  • failed surrogacy agreement;
  • a diagnosis that negatively impacts pregnancy or fertility; or
  • a stillbirth.

The CTU has asked for the new categories listed above to be added to the bereavement provision of our contract, which provides that the first five days of bereavement leave are paid outright by the employer.

“End” of the Public Health Emergency

The Board also informed us that, at the end of the national public health order on May 11, it intends to discontinue recognizing Covid sick days (“PHE Days”) and eliminate the vendor-provided care room assistants. The CTU is asserting our right to negotiate the impact of those decisions and other implications of this shift from our Covid MOUs in order to center our immunocompromised members and vulnerable student populations. 

We were informed that vaccines will be covered as “preventive” care, and therefore those covered under the plans should not be charged co-pays when scheduling doctor visits for vaccination.

Efforts by CTU to expand care and services

Diabetes and hypertension support program

CPS thinks they have a Livongo program replacement for members with diabetes. They will look at it the next couple weeks to target diabetes and hypertension. If approved, it could be implemented by July 1, 2023.

Dental benefit changes

CPS will be preparing a RFP for our Dental benefit, currently provided by Delta Dental, and is looking into potential plan enhancements that we have recommended to include free annual cleanings and elective surgeries. The CTU will be participating in the RFP process. Please email Kathy Murray at kathymurray@ctulocal1.org with any suggestions.

Glucose monitor coverage

We have heard of providers being confused about coverage for the Freestyle Libre glucose monitor. Freestyle Libre is currently covered by both HMO and PPO through CVS. Prior Authorization is required.

Mental health medication

We asked about prescribing ketamine for appropriate mental health conditions. CPS will provide us with the discrete situations where a doctor can prescribe the drug.

Flu shots

Per our CVS/Caremark plan flu and shingle shots are not covered under pharmacy for HMO or the PPO. You can get them cost free with your annual primary care physician check up.