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COVID 19 Information

HOW THE CORONAVIRUS MAY IMPACT YOUR BENEFITS The City of Albuquerque Insurance & Benefits Office is closely monitoring activity around the COVID-19 virus. We are committed to assisting those who might be affected, and helping our members stay informed about benefits related to COVID-19.

You must contact NMDOH Coronavirus Hotline at 1-855-600-3453 or 827-0006 to be assessed for testing or monitoring.


May 22, 2020: New IRS rules impacting Healthcare and Flexible Spending Account enrollment due to COVID-19

April 22, 2020: Presbyterian Announcement and virtual visit choices

April 20, 2020: Flexible Daycare Changes for current participants

March 27, 2020: Express Scripts limited delays

March 27, 2020: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

March 27, 2020: Deferred Compensation (generally, qualified plans, 403(b) plans, and eligible governmental 457(b) plans) and IRAs (excludes 403(b) PERA


PRESBYTERIAN

With the situation still evolving around COVID-19, the City of Albuquerque Insurance & Benefits has continued to look for additional ways to assist our members during this period of uncertainty. We are happy to share this news about access to care for our members during this time.

The Presbyterian Mobile Health Center will continues to be re-deployed to assist with Covid-19 testing throughout NM communities by request of the New Mexico Department of Health.  The  Mobile Health staff will continue to provide phone visits for you and your covered family members for the appropriate level of medical care, so please feel free to call them at 220-6562, Monday – Friday between 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.  If you have symptoms of fever, dry cough, or difficulty breathing, we encourage you to immediately contact the State Coronavirus Hotline at 1-855-600-3453 or 505-827-0006.

As a Presbyterian health plan member, there will be no cost to you for anything related to COVID-19 screening, testing or medical treatment. You won’t pay copays, deductibles or coinsurance for visits related to COVID-19, whether at a clinic, hospital or using remote care.

PRESBYTERIAN MEMBERS MAY ALSO ACCESS CARE OR INFORMATION VIA:

  • Video Visits
  • Online Visits (available to patients at least 4 years old who have been seen in person within the Presbyterian Healthcare Services delivery system within the past 36 months)
  • PresRN to speak to a nurse 24/7 by calling 505-923-5677
  • You can also call your healthcare provider.
  • Member Resource Guide

EXPRESS SCRIPTS

The Express Scripts Pharmacy is seeing an increase in prescriptions for albuterol inhalers due to increases in patients refilling prescriptions for 90-day supplies, and also for people being treated for COVID-19. Express Scripts Pharmacies are in regular contact with manufacturers who are increasing production, but Express Scripts Pharmacies may experience temporary shortages of specific formulations.

Effective April 10, 2020, there will be a temporary pause on shipping automatic refills for albuterol inhalers in response to an increase in demand associated with the public health need for albuterol inhalers in hospitals due to COVID-19. Patients are encouraged to evaluate the supplies they have on hand for this drug, and only order when they are down to approximately a two-week supply. Beginning the week of April 6, letters will be mailed to impacted patients about this change and letting them know they will need to manually request a refill if needed.


THE CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF, AND ECONOMIC SECURITY (CARES) ACT

THE CARES ACT, A RESPONSE TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS AND ASSOCIATED ECONOMIC FALLOUT IN THE WAKE OF COVID-19, WAS SIGNED INTO LAW ON MARCH 27, 2020.

The $2 trillion stimulus bill addresses a range of economic and health-related issues resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and includes the following retirement-related provisions:

  • Required Minimum Distribution Waiver
  • Coronavirus-Related Distributions
  • Loan Relief

DEFERRED COMPENSATION

The City of Albuquerque Insurance & Benefits Office has incorporated some of the features of the CARES Act into the City of Albuquerque 457 Deferred Compensation Plans with ICMA & AIG to help our members get through the COVID-19 crisis.

ICMA-RC

AIG


MEDICAL & DEPENDENT CARE FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNTS

THE CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF, AND ECONOMIC SECURITY ACT (CARES ACT) CONTAINS AN IMPORTANT PROVISION THAT WILL AFFECT FSAS

  • FSAs can now reimburse or pay for over-the-counter drugs and medicines without a note of medical necessity or prescription from a physician.
  • Menstrual care products are now considered a qualified medical expense, and are eligible for reimbursement or payment through an FSA.  Any expense incurred after 12/31/2019 will qualify.
  • If you need to make a change to your Dependent Care Account because your dependent care provider has closed, or because you are home with your child and no longer need dependent care, email the Insurance & Benefits division at [email protected] or call us at 505-768-3758 for assistance.  Please note this is not a qualified event for the Medical Care Account.

New IRS rules impacting Healthcare and Flexible Spending Account enrollment due to COVID-19

Healthcare

Medical, Dental and Vision.  Employees may make mid-plan year enrollment changes without having a qualified life event.  Employees may:

  • Enroll in benefits if not previously enrolled
  • Enroll dependents if not previously enrolled
    • Documentation required to establish relationship
  • dis-enroll themselves or their dependents
    • Documentation showing other coverage is required for example through another employer or Medicare.

The effective date for any of these changes will be May 9, 2020.

Important Note!  If an employee makes any changes as stated above for May 9, 2020.  These changes will continue for the plan year beginning July 1, 2020, unless the employee is making different changes during Open Enrollment, which ends on May 22, 2020.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

Medical and Dependent Care Spending Accounts.  Employees may make mid-plan year changes without having a qualified life event.  Employees may enroll, dis-enroll, increase contributions or decrease contributions.

Important Note!  Employees currently participating in the Flexible Medical Spending Account (FSA) dis-enrollment is limited to the greater of either the amount they have contributed or the amount they have used.  The amount an employee elects during enrollment for the FSA is available to employees on the first day of the year.  Therefore, an employee having enrolled in the FSA for $2,000 for the plan year and having used all of their election prior to COVID-19 may not dis-enroll.  An employee having used less than the amount they have contributed may dis-enroll without having to continue to contribute any additional funds.  The effective date of change will be May 9, 2020.  This is separate from Open Enrollment which ends on May 22, 2020.  If you want your Flexible Medical and/or Dependent Care Spending Account elections to continue July 1, 2020, you MUST make your elections during Open Enrollment.

If an employee does not dis-enroll From FSA and has funds in their account on July 1, 2020, the IRS will continue to allow employee to roll over up to $500 into the next plan year.  If an employee has funds in either of the FSA programs on July 1, 2020, the IRS will extend the access to the funds until December 31, 2020.  This extension is in addition to the $500 roll over.

Please see the job aide to assist you with processing the changes in employee self-service (ESS).  If you have any question please contact our office at 505-768-3760 or [email protected] for assistance.