At the beginning of the COVID-19 school closures, you were issued new guidelines for healthcare leaves based on new and temporary rules due to the COVID-19 virus. From March 17 through April 10, the school closings are being viewed as an Act of God. During this time, you are paid through the Public Health Emergency (PHE) fund.
For paid FMLA and STD, no benefits will be exhausted from March 17-April 10. You will receive regular pay if on an approved, paid Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Short Term Disability (STD) leave. Anyone on unpaid leave will remain unpaid.
Teachers have been using this week to work with their principal on a remote learning strategy and will be paid through PHE. Members will also be paid their earned vacation pay for Spring Break, April 6-10. Upon returning from vacation, members will begin teleworking. This will be treated as a regular work day. At this time, you will be considered active status and no longer paid through PHE. The original terms for all leaves per our contract will once again be put in place.
The only change that will remain in place is the suspension of going on Cobra after five months of an FMLA child-rearing leave. This suspension will go through June 2020. The five-month rule will resume as of September 2020.
If you are presently on a STD Leave or FMLA leave, it will resume. If you are on a FMLA leave, you will only get paid if you have sick days in reserve, and the days will once again be deducted from your sick bank. When you are on a leave, you are not responsible for any school work requirements.
Return to Work
If you are on a leave and wish to return to work, you will need to complete an online Return to Work form by going to HR4U self-service to indicate your return to work date. If you cannot log into HR4U, you can email the CPS Leave of Absence department at email@example.com.
If you are on a child-rearing leave, you are not required to submit a reinstatement form from your healthcare provider. For all other leaves, you must submit a physician’s release form to return to work.
You should contact your principal once your leave is cancelled. The temporary assigned teacher in your position will be put in cadre status.
If you are not planing on returning to work after Spring Break, you must secure an approved leave through STD or FMLA. As stated above, you must once again follow existing procedure and terms per the contract.
STD is not a leave—it is a paid benefit. Employees will need to seek an FMLA leave and may also apply for the STD benefit if you meet medical eligibility for the leave.
Telehealth and Nurse Provider Hotlines
Blue Cross Blue Shield has expanded access to telehealth and nurse/provider hotlines. Given the nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, seeking non-emergency, in-person medical care is best done after an initial phone call to limit the potential further spreading of the virus. In response, BCBS is encouraging the use of virtual care, and can also facilitate member access and use of nurse/provider hotlines.
BCBS PPO Telehealth MDLive
These medical services are now available 24/7/365, and behavioral health services will be available 24/7/365 effective April 1, 2020. For assistance with dealing with anxiety-causing mental and emotional stress due to the COVID- 19 pandemic, employees can register by calling 1-888-676-4204. Your BCBS member ID can be found on the back of your medical card.
BCBS HMO TelehealthMDLive
If an HMO member sees a provider within their medical group that offers telehealth services, those telehealth services will now be covered as a regular office visit (which costs $30 per visit). This is effective now through April 30, 2020. BCBSIL will evaluate whether to extend the time frame for waiving member cost-share.
NOTE: For PPO and HMO there is presently a waiver. There will be not be a cost for telehealth services through April 30. After April 30, the charges listed above may resume. We will keep you informed.
COVID-19 TESTING: Members can be screened over the phone to see if they are a candidate for COVID-19 testing. A waiver is in place until April 30 that allows this to be free of charge.
Magellan Healthcare (EAP)
Magellan Healthcare will provide telehealth behavioral services via video sessions for all routine EAP services, offering Zoom, Skype, FaceTime and other platforms to conduct telehealth video sessions. You can reach the EAP 24/7 at 1-800-424-4776, or visit http://www.magellanascend.com.
If you do not have a primary care provider and need help locating one, please contact BCBSIL at http://www.bcbsil.com/members or 1-800-331-8032.