Human Resources - Benefits

Administration Division

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Latest Updates:

  • USG is continuing to cover all telehealth visits, including those unrelated to COVID-19, at 100% with no out of pocket costs for all USG healthcare plans. We will provide an update should anything change.

Benefits Updates

As the situation related to COVID-19 evolves, below is important information on benefits and resources available to you through the USG Benefits programs.

What You Need to Know:

Coping with Market Volatility
On Demand

Keep Calm and Carry On
On Demand

USG Healthcare Plan

For COVID-19 related in-network provider visits and testing, out of pocket costs such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance, will be waived ($0.00) if you are enrolled in one of the USG healthcare plans through Anthem BCBSGA or Kaiser Permanente (including employees enrolled in the Consumer Choice HSA).

In instances where no in-network providers are available, the USG health plan will also waive out-of-pocket costs associated with the screening and diagnosis of COVID-19. If you are tested at an out of network provider, you may have to pay for the COVID-19 test upfront, but you can file a claim for reimbursement.

If you have concerns or are showing symptoms of COVID-19, we encourage you to take the following steps:

  • Call your provider’s office for guidance and next steps.
  • If you do not have a provider, please call the 24/7 nurseline and/or member services number for help locating a provider.
  • Emergency room and urgent care options are available for emergency situations.
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield (Anthem) Kaiser Permanente
24/7 Nurseline 1-888-724-2583 404-365-0966
Member Services 1-800-424-8950 404-261-2590

While we continue to work with Anthem and Kaiser Permanente to ensure benefits are processed correctly, if you have questions about benefits coverage, please call the member services number listed above.

COVID-19 Treatment

  • Anthem BCBSGA.Employees are responsible for the applicable copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. The USG Anthem plans do not waive member cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment.

  • Kaiser Permanente. For in-network treatment, Kaiser Permanente will waive all employee out-of-pocket costs for the treatment of COVID-19 related inpatient and outpatient services (except outpatient pharmacy costs), through December 31, 2020. This means that employees who are diagnosed with COVID-19 will not have to pay copays or other cost-share related to their care and treatment of COVID-19 during this time period, even if they have to stay in the hospital.

Note: For COVID-19 treatment received from out-of-network providers, Kaiser Permanente will cover treatment at $0 member cost-share if treatment is urgent, emergent, and/or referred by a Kaiser Permanente provider. If a member seeks services on their own, the treatment would be covered the same as any other illness at the non-participating provider benefit level.

Telehealth Options

Both Anthem and Kaiser Permanente offer telehealth options. If you have nonemergency healthcare concerns, telehealth can be a good option. While COVID-19 cannot be confirmed through virtual or remote care, provider teams can help with screening symptoms, assign risk, answer questions and recommend the next steps.

USG is continuing to cover all telehealth visits, including those unrelated to COVID-19, at 100% with no out of pocket costs for all USG healthcare plans. We will provide an update should anything change.

Anthem members
LiveHealth On-line

Kaiser HMO members
Call 404-365-0966 or access

Pharmacy/Prescription Medications

CVS pharmacies are continuing to waive charges for home delivery of all prescription medications, through August 31, 2020. If you do not use a CVS pharmacy, please check with your local pharmacy for information about waived home delivery charges.

If you take a maintenance medication, we encourage you to use the 90-day supply option. This will reduce the number of trips to the pharmacy and will lower your out-of-pocket cost. As part of the prescription drug program, you also have the option of home delivery from CVS Caremark Mail Service pharmacy with no delivery cost

Anthem members - Pharmacy Plan information through CVS/Caremark

To ensure Kaiser Permanente members have continuous access to maintenance medications, Kaiser continues to closely monitor their prescription limits and requirements. Similar to CVS, Kaiser members can utilize Kaiser Permanente’s prescription mail order service to have prescriptions shipped home with zero shipping charges.

Life Insurance/Disability

Generally, COVID-19 does not impact your Life or Disability coverage. To understand how USG’s Life Insurance and Disability coverages will work, review the information below:

  • Life Insurance: For our group Basic, Supplemental, Spouse, and Child life coverage(s), there are no policy limitations that would reduce or limit a claim payment resulting from COVID-19, provided the individual met all other certificate requirements.

  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D): AD&D policies do not cover diseases. Therefore, death due to COVID-19 or any other disease is excluded from payment under the AD&D policies.

  • Disability Insurance: There are no policy limitations that would apply due to COVID-19. MetLife will use the same claim processes to evaluate a claim as it does for any other disability or Family Medical Leave claim for all other sickness or injury. Each claim will be reviewed consistent with policy terms and applicable law.

Keep in mind, disability benefits are based on the employee’s inability to perform their work due to symptoms stemming from illness or injury. Therefore, if you are absent due to physician-directed quarantine or waiting on test results, but you are still able to complete work remotely, these reasons are unlikely to be eligible for disability benefits unless you also have a qualifying medical condition.

KEPRO Employee Assistance Plan – EAP

Tips for coping with any feelings or emotions you may be experiencing related to the COVID-19 outbreak is available through the KEPRO Employee Assistance Plan via phone at 1-844-243-4440 or on-line at (company code is USGCares).

USG partners with the KEPRO Employee Assistance Program to provide support and resources on personal matters to improve your overall life and well-being. The EAP is available for all employees who work 20 or more hours. In addition to phone counseling and in-person counseling referrals (first 4 visits are at no cost), the EAP includes additional products and services at no cost such as:

  • Legal and Financial Services
  • Childcare and eldercare referrals and advice
  • Grief and loss support
  • Taxpayer information

The KEPRO EAP is available 24/7/365 to offer telephonic support to you and your family members at 1-844-243-4440.

Spending Accounts

We continue to monitor IRS guidelines as it pertains to the Healthcare Flexible Spending Accounts, Dependent Care Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts. As a result of the CARES Act, which was passed on March 27, 2020, there are several changes to spending account rules.

Based on newly released guidelines, we have outlined your available options below.

Healthcare FSA:

  • Certain Over the Counter (OTC) drugs such as aspirin, Tylenol and other pain medications; allergy medications; and menstrual products are eligible for reimbursement without a doctor’s prescription.
  • You may be reimbursed for OTC expenses incurred retroactive to January 1, 2020.

    Dependent Care FSA:

Based on current regulations, you may suspend, decrease, or start dependent care FSA contributions, if you experience a significant change in dependent care costs.

Suspend contributions: If your daycare has closed and is not billing for services, you may suspend contributions. Once daycare services resume, you may restart your contributions.

Modify contributions: You may increase or decrease contributions if your daycare has adjusted the fee schedule or if you switch to “free care” or no daycare option.

Start contributions: If you have to start paying babysitter while you are working from home, this results in new expenses. You may start contributing to a dependent FSA.

To make a contribution change, you must call the OneUSG Connect – Benefits call center at 1-844-587-4236.

Note: You cannot drop or decrease your Healthcare contributions below the amount you have already been reimbursed for.

Health Savings Account:

Employees can always adjust their HSA contributions. However, in line with the IRS extending the 2019 tax filing deadline, employees may continue to make contributions on an after-tax basis towards their 2019 balance until July 15, 2020.

** For additional information about how the CARES Act has impacted your spending account options, visit Optum Bank, or call 1‑877‑470‑1771 to speak with an Optum representative.**

Flexible Spending Accounts Claim Filing Deadline Extension

Due to new COVID19 guidelines, USG will continue to allow employees to file for reimbursement for 2019 healthcare care expenses. Therefore, employees may continue to submit claims to be reimbursed for any eligible expenses incurred from January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2020.

If you had FSA contributions in 2019, but switched to the Health Savings Account for 2020, you must claim all 2019 funds before you will be eligible for the Health Saving Account contributions.

NonUSG Healthcare Plan Covered employees

For employees not enrolled in the USG Healthcare plan, a telehealth option is available through LiveHealth On-line at $59 per visit. For acute, non serious medical concerns, you may consider a retail health clinic or a quick care center.

New – COVID-19 Hotline Information from Department of Community Health

The State of Georgia has a new COVID-19 hotline. If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, please contact your primary care doctor, an urgent care clinic, or your local federally qualified healthcare center. Please do not show up unannounced at an emergency room or health care facility.
Hotline: 1-(844) 442-2681

The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security)

On March 27, 2020, the U.S. Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act allows employers to make changes to their defined contribution plans to allow greater access to retirement funds through the following options:

  • Distributions up to $100,000 for coronavirus-related qualifying reasons,
  • Increase in loan amounts and suspension of loan payments for coronavirus-related reasons,
  • Waiver of Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) in 2020 (certain exceptions apply).

The University System of Georgia has added these provisions to the USG 403(b) and 457(b) voluntary savings plans. Self-certification of the Coronavirus qualifying reason is required to receive a distribution or loan. If you have questions, please reach out to your retirement vendor directly using the number below. More information is available through the CARES Act and the USG 403(b) and 457(b) plan FAQs.

Financial/Market Volatility Concerns

USG has partnered with CAPTRUST to provide Retirement and Financial Advisory Services to USG employees. CAPTRUST offers a no-cost advice line for all benefited employees and representatives are available to answer employees’ questions and concerns about the market.

To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-967-9948 or on-line at Representatives are available Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5:30pm and Friday, 8:30am - 4 pm (EST).

Fidelity TIAA Valic CAPTRUST
Member Services 1-800-642-7131 1-800-732-8353 1-800-448-2542 1-800-967-9948
Virtual Appointments Fidelity Appointment Scheduling TIAA Appointment Scheduling AIG Appointment Scheduling CAPTRUST Appointment Scheduling
COVID-19 Resources Fidelity Dedicated Resources TIAA Dedicated Resources AIG Dedicated Resources CAPTRUST Dedicated Resources
Vendor Websites Fidelity website TIAA website Valic website Captrust website

More information and updates are available on the USG Benefits home page at General information about COVID-19 is available at the CDC website at or on the Department of Community Health website at: