Managing Your Healthcare Plan in the COVID-19 Era
These last several months have tested us all – ourselves, our families, and our communities. Throughout it all, the Joint Health Management Board (JHMB) has continued to work diligently to maintain a cost-effective healthcare program for our employees, retirees, and their families – in spite of all that COVID-19 has thrown our way.
As we move into undoubtedly the most unique school year of our lifetimes, we want to inform you of the work the JHMB has undertaken to ensure you and your family have the resources and support needed to manage your healthcare and self-care in the months ahead.
Staying Ahead of Rx Shortages & Disruptions
From the outset, the JHMB recognized the need to assess and address potential prescription drug disruptions for our members and their families. Early into the crisis, the JHMB’s subcommittees began monitoring key drug shortages and supply chain disruptions due to the strains of COVID-19 on the healthcare system – especially the pharmacy sector.
We worked with our partners at Elixir (formerly EnvisionRx) to relax refill thresholds to ensure that our members have uninterrupted supplies of their medications during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, we requested more frequent customer service reports from Elixir to help us identify issues and trends resulting from COVID-19 and its related effects. Each of these efforts has been driven by the JHMB’s core objectives of improving access, providing better customer service, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Plan – even in the midst of an historic crisis.
Providing Resources To Manage Self-Care and Family Care
Immediately after Governor Gavin Newsom extended the “shelter-in-place” order to the entire State of California back in March to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the JHMB issued the first of many COVID-19-related email alerts. Shortly thereafter, the JHMB issued a benefit alert to announce the waiver of the $5 copayment for all PlushCare telehealth visits (whether related to COVID-19 or not).
In the months that have followed, we have provided additional special email alerts to our 6,500+ email subscribers, along with updates to the COVID-19 resources section online at www.JHMBHealthConnect.com/resources-tips. Most recently, we have shared information and resources regarding:
- COVID-19 Testing Sites and Resources in Fresno County
- Fresno County Pre-Diabetes & Diabetes Resources During COVID-19
- Caregiver Resources As Kids Return to School
In addition, the COVID-19 Resources section houses information from our key health and wellness partners to help you navigate both your healthcare and self-care during this challenging period. These services are here for you in your time of need, so be sure to check out the information available and contact the appropriate vendor when the need arises.
- PlushCare Telehealth: Contact a physician (by phone or video) without leaving your home – now with $0 copay during the COVID-19 national emergency period.
- Claremont EAP: Access online resources and support, and/or call and speak with representatives for free and confidential counseling, legal and financial consultations, and work/life referrals.
- Anthem EAP: Offers helpful resources related to COVID-19, including – online seminars with emotional support and practical information, regularly updated links to news outlets and health organization websites, and links to articles and resources to help you stay informed.
- Kaiser Permanente®: Adult members can download 2 popular self-care apps – Calm and myStrength.
- Halcyon Behavioral Health: Inpatient and outpatient mental health and substance abuse services.
Stay Safe and Stay Informed
We appreciate your understanding as we continue grapple with this historic pandemic and protect the health of the District and our community. We will continue to do our best to keep you informed, ensure the sustainability of the Plan, and minimize potential disruptions caused as a result of COVID-19.