New Highmark Resources for Coronavirus and Flu Prevention

Created: March 13, 2020
Last Updated: March 13, 2020


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Dear Faculty and Staff,

As we continue to monitor information about the Coronavirus, we want to make you aware of new resources offered by Highmark.

Effective immediately, Highmark will be implementing a temporary COVID-19 Relief Program. Under the program, cost sharing associated with physician-ordered diagnostic testing for novel coronavirus will be waived for all your members, including members enrolled in a Qualified High-Deductible Health Plan (QHDHP). These tests are being treated as preventive, so they will not apply toward the deductible in a (QHDHP) or impact HSA eligibility.

Members should keep in mind that it is the testing that is covered with no cost sharing. For example, if I visit my doctor because I think that I have COVID-19 and my doctor orders the test, the lab charges (test) will be covered at 100%. The office visit to my doctor would still process under my benefit plan. Also, Highmark Telemedicine is a convenient way to visit a doctor virtually while receiving immediate and convenient care.

More information can be found at these links:

At this time, no one knows how severe this outbreak will be in our area. Given this uncertainty, and the fact that the seasonal influenza (flu) virus is also widespread, we are taking proactive steps to address health and safety concerns. First and foremost, we want to maintain a safe workplace and encourage and/or adopt practices protecting the health of our employees, students, visitors or others.

We ask all employees to cooperate in taking steps to reduce the transmission of communicable diseases in the workplace. Employees are reminded of the following:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitizers frequently.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth with tissues whenever you sneeze, and discard used tissues in the trash.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces.

It is critical that employees do not report to work while they are experiencing respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills or fatigue. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that employees remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C) or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. Many times, with the best of intentions, employees report to work even though they feel ill. We provide paid personal time to compensate employees who are unable to work due to illness. Employees who report to work ill may be sent home in accordance with these health guidelines.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Sharon Kolesar or Alexa Ferrari for further assistance.

Thank you,

Office of Human Resources

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