PHBP COVID-19 Resource Center

Below is Covid-19 specific specific information regarding PHBP Relief Measures, Anthem Blue Cross testing, treatment, revised policies and procedures, and small business owner links to information of the CARES Act.

Additionally, PHBP has established a curated community bulletin board of information you may find useful, on subjects such as Staying Connected, Staying Healthy, Staying In Tune, Staying Informed and other subjects relevant to the current environment. While public posts are not permitted, we encourage you to share links and other information that my help commercial freelance and staff employees affected by Covid-19. Please email suggested content to johns@phbp.org

Click here for the Blog

First things first:

Anthem has launched a new symptom checker app called Sydney Care, on the App Store and Google Play. This app allows you to:

  • Assess your risk for free based on CDC guidance
  • Get personalized guidance about what to do next
  • Connect with doctors via text chat or video
  • Read curated information from authoritative sources
  • Fast and Free—takes as little as 4 minutes to answer questions on your symptoms

Alternatively:

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 or you are a resident in a community where there is ongoing spread of COVID-19 and develop symptoms of COVID-19, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms and your exposure.

Your doctor will decide whether you need to be tested, but keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill may be able to isolate and care for themselves at home. IF you meet ALL the criteria the doctor will direct to you where to go to be tested. Members cannot self-direct themselves to be tested.
People at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider early, even if their illness is mild.

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

If you are very sick - get medical attention immediately

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

PHBP Coronavirus Relief Package

For the full announcement, please read the PHBP Coronavirus Relief Announcement from March 24, 2020. As some policies were set to expire at the end of May 2020, an Extended PHBP Coronavirus Relief Announcement from May 8, 2020 was issued to reflect PHBP’s work to address the dynamic nature of this pandemic. A summary of policy adjustments:

  • Freelance Eligibility: All Qualification Periods Ending March 31, 2020 through February 28, 2021 will be extended for 4 months. What this means: You will not lose your insurance because you failed to re-qualify for coverage due to lost work in March, April, May, or June. This effectively extends coverage for four months for all currently covered Freelancers to prevent a lapse in coverage during the extended Qualifying Period. For those not currently covered but working to attain eligibility, a 13th, 14th, 15th , or 16th month of ‘look back’ will be added to the reviewed Qualifying Period to accommodate missed work opportunities in March, April, May, and June, thus providing an equal opportunity to qualify for the coming year. The Board will continue to assess the situation and determine if further action is warranted.

Examples:

A) John’s current Qualification Period ends May 31st. His current Coverage Period ends July 31st. Due to the current crisis and resulting lack of work, the Plan is extending John’s Qualifying Period and current Coverage Period by 4 months. Therefore, the end of his current Qualification Period will push from May 31st to September 30th. The end of his current Coverage Period will push from July 31st to November 30th. If John requalifies for coverage by September 30th, his next 12 month coverage period will start December 1st.

B) Jane’s current Qualification Period ends November 31st. Her current Coverage Period ends January 31st, 2021. Due to the current crisis and resulting lack of work, the Plan is extending Jane’s Qualifying Period and current Coverage Period by 4 months. Therefore, the end of her current Qualification Period will push from November 31st to March 31st, 2021. The end of her current Coverage Period will push from January 31st to May 31st. If Jane requalifies for coverage by March 31st, her next 12 month coverage period will start June 1st, 2021.

  • Freelance Fees: The Plan will waive the following recurring monthly fees for all covered freelancers for fees due for April, May, and June coverage: Dependent Fees, Bridge Payments and Buy-up Fees.
  • Furloughed or Laid Off Staff Employees: The Plan will allow any furloughed or laid off covered staff employee to remain on their employer’s staff coverage through June 30, 2020. Coverage must be offered on a uniform, non-discriminatory basis across the board to all furloughed or laid off employees and the employee’s share of premium contributions must be the same or less than those contributed prior to the layoff. Additionally, any new Employees hired prior to May 31, 2020 will not be subject to a waiting period.
  • Reduced Hours of Full-Time Staff Employees: The Plan will allow any currently covered full-time employee whose hours are reduced to part-time status with the same employer to remain on their employer’s staff coverage for April, May, and June, as long as the monthly premium payment is received; this temporarily waives the Plan rule that only full-time employees working at least 30 hours per week are eligible employees for staff coverage. Coverage must be offered on a uniform, non-discriminatory basis across the board to all employees and the employee’s share of premium contributions must be the same or less than those contributed prior to the reduction in hours.
  • COBRA Continuation Coverage: The Plan will apply a 20% discount on the medical only portion of COBRA costs. This discount applies to the cost of COBRA coverage in April, May and June 2020 and includes all eligible staff employees who may be laid off and eligible for COBRA benefits as well as those staff and freelance employees currently on COBRA coverage.
  • Online Banking: Effective immediately, all PHBP invoices, for employers and freelancers alike, may be paid online, including credit card payments. Check your invoice for payment details.
  • Note: All employers are responsible for adding or removing employees from their staff coverage using the Employee Navigator portal. Please go to the Employer section of phbp.org for detailed instructions.

The Producers’ Health Benefits Plan recognizes the financial challenges confronting our commercial production community and extends these relief mechanisms to ease the resulting financial burdens and concerns of continued health coverage. Although we cannot foresee how long this crisis will last or what impact it will ultimately have, we will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our course of action as required for prudent governance and the wellbeing of our membership.

Benefits with PHBP

Anthem Blue Cross is temporarily waiving all out of pocket costs, including deductibles, to use their Live Health Online service. Anthem is also expanding its care options to give members better access to dental care during the COVID-19 crisis. The TeleDentists® and Ortho@Home providers joined the plan networks on May 1, 2020.

The TeleDentists
The TeleDentists is a service that offers emergency dental care 24/7 on computers, tablets and smartphones. Anthem plans will cover teledentistry exams at 100 percent with no deductibles, copays, paperwork, or claims to file through June 30, 2020. We cover teledentistry the same way as we do equivalent care in a dentist’s office.

The TeleDentists flyer provides more information for you and your employees.

Ortho@Home
Members can also choose virtual services for teeth straightening through Ortho@Home, Anthem’s new at-home orthodontia program. Members with orthodontic benefits will have access to at-home clear aligner therapy. They will also receive retainers and teeth whitening when treatment is finished. This flyer explains the details.

For the most updated information, PHBP participants should check the CDC’s Dedicated Coronavirus (COVID-19) Page.

Anthem’s Coronavirus Information Section contains detailed information on commonly asked questions, including Prevention & Treatment and how Anthem benefits will work. A few key take away points:

  • Medically necessary COVID-19 testing and the associated office visit is covered at no out of pocket costs, including in vitro diagnostic testing.
  • Covered PHBP Participants can use Anthem’s LiveHealth Online at no cost until June 14, 2020. This includes visits with a mental health professional. This tool is a great way to minimize the risk of spread from a physical clinic setting.
  • Where permitted, Anthem is relaxing prescription refill limits to refill a 30 day supply of most maintenance medications early. Anthem’s home delivery prescription service can deliver a 90 day supply as well; talk to your doctor for more information.
  • Anthem’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is offering COVID-19 specific resources including updated articles and online seminars to manage participants’ rising stress and anxiety. The resource flyer is available in both English and Spanish.

As a reminder, Mobile Health Consumer, on the App Store and Google Play, allows you to access information on all of your PHBP benefits, including the closest in-network urgent care facilities and digital versions of your ID cards. You can also Log In to your Anthem Account for complete details on your medical plan.

MetLife Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The EAP can provide you and your family with guidance, focus, and support for a wide range of issues, such as personal, substance abuse, emotional stress, dependent care and work-related concerns. You can reach a specially trained counselor 24 hours a day for on the spot assistance. You can also access tools and resources directly from your phone. Get the free mobile app – just search for “LifeWorks”. All services are confidential.

Covid-19 Workplace Guidelines and Considerations

The AICP has a dedicated page to Covid-19 Workplace Guidelines and Considerations that is updated regularly. The sections are dedicated to General Practices for All Worksites (On Set, Stage, Studio, Facility, Office), Production-Specific Departmental Guidance, and Post-Production Specific Considerations, as well as a Reverse Chronology of All Revisions to track changes.