COVID-19 Benefit Resources

As the Scripps Research community faces various challenges during the disruption of campus activities due to COVID-19, the Benefits Administration team is working remotely but we are still available to assist you. We are just an email away!

In March 2020 the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act were signed into law. These laws affect group health and welfare plans, therefore on this site you will find the latest healthcare related resources available to Scripps Research's benefit participants, and a list of resources to help you stay informed.

If you have any questions, please email benefits@scripps.edu.

LAST UPDATED: saturDAY, June 20, 2020

Aetna Policies for Comprehensive PPO, High Deductible PPO, Graduate Student PPO, and Florida Select EPO Plans

    • COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing and Treatment: Member out-of-pocket costs or cost sharing for covered members to receive COVID-19 diagnostic testing have been waived. This applies to both in and out of network providers and means covered members will not have to pay copays, coinsurance, or deductibles for testing. Inpatient COVID-19 related treatment, such as hospitalizations, at in-network facilities will also waive cost sharing through September 30, 2020.   
    • Telehealth and Remote Provider visits: If you suspect you may have COVID-19, telemedicine services such as MinuteClinic Video Visits are an effective option for screening. MinuteClinic Video Visits enable patients to talk with a health care provider and have a basic screening to determine their risk for COVID-19, without having to come into a clinic. MinuteClinic Video Visits are available in California and Florida. All other telehealth services are covered before deductibles are met at either low copay/coinsurance or no cost sharing depending on the type of visit. 
    • Care Management: Through existing care management programs, Aetna will proactively reach out to members most at-risk for COVID-19. Care managers will walk members through what they can do to protect themselves, where to get information on the virus, and where to go to get tested.

Anthem Policy for California Select HMO Plan

    • Check symptoms and get doctor visits from home. Members can download the free Sydney Care mobile app for a quick and easy way to evaluate symptoms. They can connect with a doctor through a LiveHealth Online video session or a Virtual Care text session right from their smartphone. The doctor they connect with can evaluate their symptoms, help them understand whether they're at risk for COVID-19, and let them know whether they need to visit a local health care provider in person for COVID-19 testing. LiveHealth Online is available for members at no extra cost through December 31, 2020.

      Sydney Care is available to download now on Android or iOS. This app should accompany the Sydney Health app. Coronavirus Assessment functionality is in development and expected to be available within the next week. Members can also log in to their www.anthem.com/ca account and connect to LiveHealth Online.
    • COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing and Treatment: Scripps Research's California Anthem HMO health plan covers COVID-19 testing and the visit where they get the test with no out-of-pocket costs. If they're diagnosed as having COVID-19, the Anthem HMO health plan benefits apply to treatments with no out of pocket costs as well.


    • For all Scripps Research PPO Plans: OptumRx has lifted refill-too-soon restrictions, allowing covered members taking maintenance medications to obtain early refills of their prescription medications if they have refills remaining on-file at a participating retail or mail-order pharmacy.  OptumRx has issued a one-time 90-day extension for existing prior authorizations that are set to expire on or before May 1, 2020. Members who utilize Optum Specialty Pharmacy are able to receive a one-time 90-day supply of key chronic specialty medications versus the traditional 30-day supply. Additionally, many medications with expiring prior authorizations will be extended for an additional 90 days. Note: Certain medications may not be extended based on clinical and safety guidelines.
    • For the California Anthem Select HMO plan: Members can refill most prescriptions early. Anthem is relaxing early prescription refill limits, where permitted, for members who wish to receive a 30-day supply of most maintenance medications early.

      Additionally, if your plan includes a 90-day mail-order pharmacy benefit, members should talk to their doctor about whether changing from a 30-day supply to a 90-day supply is appropriate. They can get their 90-day supply through our home delivery pharmacy for most medications. They can call the Pharmacy Member Services number on their ID card to learn more.
    • For the Florida Aetna Select EPO plan: Aetna has waived charges for home delivery of all prescription medications from CVS Pharmacy. Aetna is also actively encouraging 90-day refills of eligible prescriptions and waiving early refill limits on 30-day prescriptions for maintenance medications to prevent the interruption of medication availability. Additionally, many medications with expiring prior authorizations will be extended for an additional 90 days. Note: Certain medications may not be extended based on clinical and safety guidelines.

Employee Assistance Plan (EAP)

    • Scripps Research's Counseling and Psychological Services department is continuing to hold appointments with clients by phone.
    • Aetna Resources for Living (RFL) is offering support and resources to individuals and organizations regarding the Coronavirus. Through this liberalization, those in need of support can access RFL services whether or not they have it as part of their benefits.
    • Liberalized services include:
      • In-the-moment phone support to help callers cope with the emotional impact of the event.
      • Informational brochures about dealing with a crisis.
      • Community resource referrals including local support services in the local area.
      • Resources available for COVID-19 on www.resourcesforliving.com.
      • Employees can contact Aetna Resources for Living at 833-327-2386.

Mental Health

    • Telehealth visits are available with most mental health providers. As a reminder, for Scripps Research's Aetna PPO plans, the mental health network moved from Optum Behavioral Health to Aetna Resources for Life as of 1/1/2020. Aetna Resources for Life customer service can be reached at (800) 424-4047.
    • For California HMO plan participants, Anthem Behavioral Health customer service can be reached at (800) 399-2421.

Healthcare FSA/HSA/HRA

    • Those who are eligible for the Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Savings Accounts (HSA), and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) may pass expenses of over the counter (OTC) medications and feminine hygiene products through their Health FSA/HSA/HRA. If you need to increase your Health FSA or HSA as a result of this change, please contact Benefits Administration at benefits@scripps.edu.

General information for COVID-19

Scripps Research's COVID-19 Policies and Resources: http://intranet.scripps.edu/covid-19/

Please visit the following Federal websites for additional information regarding COVID-19:

Tips for Staying Healthy

  • Wash your hands often with soap and hot water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • When you sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Aim for eight hours of sleep each night.
  • Practice social distancing of 6 feet or more.




Additional Resources

Aetna Coping With the Coronavirus

OptumRx COVID Specialty Medications

OptumRx COVID Member Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Work/Life Services Through Aetna During COVID19

Marsh's Staying Healthy While Staying at Home

VSP Medical Eye Resources for Florida Plan Participants

Everfi's Free Portal for Parents with Children Distance Learning