Employee Health Benefits COVID-19 Updates

Last Updated July 15, 2020
Manatee YourChoice is maintaining regular business hours, 8am - 5pm Mon-Fri. As of Monday, June 15th, our building is open for our members. However, our staff is returning in phases and some services will continue to be offered telephonically. Please review the information below for more details.  
Flexible Spending Accounts
The new CARES Act allows over the counter (OTC) meds and feminine-care products to be purchased with Health Care FSA funds. Learn more here.
Health Benefits Support Team
  • Qualifying Events: ALL Qualifying Events for Plan Year 2021 have been waived, including tobacco and diabetes requirement. Plan levels from 2020 will roll over to 2021. Click here to learn more.
  • Payments for retiree or COBRA benefits via credit card, please call Aida at 941-748-4501 ext 6419. In order to limit exposure, our preference would be payments by personal check or set up through your bank.
  • Onsite Locked drop box available to drop off forms and payments at our office building.
  • Retiree Benefits, please contact Katherine Pettitt Katherine.pettitt@mymanatee.org or at 941-748-4501 ext 6404
  • New Hire Enrollments and Life Event (marriage, divorce and births), please contact your insurance coordinator or one of the benefit specialists: Diane Glasser diane.glasser@mymanatee.org or at 941-748-4501 ext 6403 OR Katherine Pettitt Katherine.pettitt@mymanatee.org or at 941-748-4501 ext 6404. Most of these items can be handled online with Benefits Express.
  • Quest Patient Service Centers are requiring all patients to wear a face covering and have their temperature taken before entering the building. Quest is unable to provide face masks. Anyone without a face covering and/or with a temperature over 100.3 will be asked to reschedule.
  • Quest recently sent an email to members regarding an upcoming deadline for lab work. This was an error. Lab work is only required to participate in Health Bucks programs this year, such as Health First or Diabetes Mission control, or for upgrading your Plan Level. The deadline for labs in order to participate in these programs or to upgrade is August 31, 2020
  • The Manatee YourChoice Health Plan covers the cost of COVID-19 testing at 100% regardless of plan level.
  • For Clinical Questions, please contact the Nurse Advocates at 941-748-4501, option #3. Follow CDC guidelines regarding prevention, including proper hygiene and social distancing.
  • We are allowing early refills.
  • OptumRx is our mail order pharmacy provider. Order a 90-day supply and have it delivered straight to your door. Log in to Optum.
  • Pharmacy questions can be directed to Vanessa at vrene@manateeyourchoice.com or 941-748-4501 x6418. 
LAMP Behavioral Health
LAMP will be providing the following benefits telephonically during normal business hours, 8am - 5pm, Monday through Friday:
  • In-house LAMP Therapists are providing Manatee YourChoice members telehealth counseling sessions and waiving co-pays through December. NOTE: If you choose to use an Aetna in-network provider (Aetna Choice POSII (Open Access) Network), you will be responsible for copays.
  • Employees not on the YourChoice Health Plan can also utilize in-house LAMP services and receive 5 visits each year at no cost.
  • We will continue to have the Psychiatric Clinic on Thursdays through telemedicine at no cost.
  • A LAMP staff member is answering the LAMP Line (941-741-2995) to respond to questions about accessing: Individual counseling, Family Counseling, Psychiatric Services, and referrals to specialists.
If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call:
  • If an emergency, call 911
  • LAMP Line: (941) 741-2995
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)
  • Diabetes QE requirements are waived for this year unless you wish to upgrade your plan level.
  • People with diabetes are not more likely to contract the COVID-19 virus compared to anyone else. However, people with diabetes tend to have more serious complications if they do get the virus. Keep extra supplies on hand of medications, test strips, glucose tablets or source of sugar for hypoglycemia/low blood sugar, ketone test sticks, and pump or sensor equipment
  • If you do become sick, blood sugar is likely to be high. Therefore, it is recommended to keep carbohydrate intake low (not zero), drink plenty of water (dehydration can be serious for people with diabetes during illness), and test blood sugar more often than usual.
  • More advice for sick day care: https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/treatment-care/planning-sick-days For Diabetes-related questions, or to request test strips, please contact Florey Miler, Diabetes Advocate at fmiller@manateeyourchoice.com or call 941-748-4501 x6410.
  • The downtown fitneess center is OPEN on a limited basis and requires registration to limit building occupancy and maintain social distancing. Reserve your workout time at https://manatee.timetap.com
  • Indoor and Outdoor Group Fitness Classes are being offered on a limited basis and require registration. Learn more.
  • You can access at-home workouts from our instructors and trainers on our YouTube page.
  • Attend live sessions with our instructors on your personal device with Zoom. Click here for options and access.
  • Personal training and health coaching are being offered through video and telephone.
  • The Utilities Fitness Center is open with social distancing restrictions in place. No registration required.

 What are the differences between Telemedicine/Telehealth and Teladoc?
Telemedicine and Telehealth and Teladoc are words that are often times used interchangeably to describe a means in which a physician communicates, however there are noticeable differences between these three words.
Telemedicine involves the use of electronic communications and software to provide clinical services to patients without an in-person visit. Telemedicine technology is frequently used for follow-up visits, management of chronic conditions, medication management, specialist consultation and a host of other clinical services that can be provided remotely via secure video and audio connections. 
Telehealth oftentimes uses more modalities than Telemedicine and is used for physician training opportunities, educational experiences, and administrative meetings.
Teladoc is an organization that provides Telemedicine Services. Insurance providers and health plans typically contract with Teladoc to provide quick access to physicians through use of these telemedicine services. Teladoc has their own network of physicians that answer calls when they are made by the members. Teladoc physicians are licensed physicians in the states in which they provide services. Teladoc is typically used to triage acute illnesses that would typically send a member to their physicians offices, urgent care facilities or emergency rooms. Currently our health plan does not offer services with Teladoc and will not pay if someone tries to contact Teladoc.
As we continue to establish a new normal, please keep in mind that your physician may offer to you a telemedicine appointment for your wellness exam.  Please know that a telemedicine wellness exam will not be as inclusive as an in-office face to face exam.  We would encourage all members to have their wellness exams done in office once life starts to return to normal. 
If you want to try and upgrade your coverage for 2021 please reach out to either Diane Glasser or Katherine Pettitt at EHB to discuss this further. 

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Our team will be glad to help you anytime with general
or technical questions, suggestions or comments.