Important Update on Health Care Benefits

Important Update on Health Care Benefits

CTU representatives on our Health Sector Labour-Management Cooperation Committee met in late March and April. We discussed several health issues brought to our attention by members, as well as new benefits our members can expect.

Employee Assistance Program

We have been informed about the new EAP service known as ComPsych. Over 13 percent of our members now use the service. We showed the district representatives that the ComPsych Web Portal appears to significantly limit access to Blue Cross Blue Shield network therapists.

Indeed, suppliers must register to appear on this site or they are not listed there. To access all of the service providers in the network, we recommend that you call the EAP number on the back of your insurance card; that number is 1-800-424-4776.

CPS is reviewing limited access with the provider and is working on communication to ensure members can access the full network of mental health professionals as needed, either directly through ComPsych or through BCBS.

New bereavement benefits coming soon

Due to the passage of the Family Bereavement Leave Act at the state level, the Board of Education has proposed an amendment to its bereavement policy on the agenda for its April 26 meeting that would allow CTU members to take up to 10 days off – eligible for sick day use, but otherwise unpaid—for the following circumstances:

  • a miscarriage;
  • an unsuccessful cycle of intrauterine insemination or an assisted reproductive technology procedure (eg, artificial insemination or embryo transfer);
  • a failed adoption match or an adoption that is not finalized because it is disputed by another party;
  • failed surrogacy agreement;
  • a diagnosis that negatively impacts pregnancy or fertility; Or
  • a stillborn.

CTU requested that the new categories listed above be added to the bereavement clause in our contractwhich provides that the first five days of bereavement leave are paid in full by the employer.

“End” of the public health emergency

The Board has also informed us that when the National Public Health Order ends on May 11, it intends to stop recognizing Covid Sick Days (“PHE Days”) and phase out assistants from treatment room provided by the supplier. CTU affirms our right to negotiate the impact of these decisions and other implications of this change to our Covid MoUs in order to center our immunocompromised members and vulnerable student populations.

We have been advised that vaccines will be covered as “preventative” care and therefore those covered by the plans should not be charged co-pays when scheduling doctor visits for vaccinations.

CTU efforts to expand care and services

Diabetes and Hypertension Support Program

CPS believe they have a replacement for the Livongo program for members with diabetes. They will review it over the next two weeks to target diabetes and hypertension. If approved, it could be implemented by July 1, 2023.

Changes to dental benefits

CPS will be preparing an RFP for our dental benefit, currently provided by Delta Dental, and is investigating potential enhancements to the plan we have recommended to include free annual cleanings and elective surgeries. CTU will participate in the bidding process. Please email Kathy Murray at [email protected] with any suggestions.

Glucose Monitor Coverage

We’ve heard of vendors confused about coverage for the Freestyle Libre Blood Glucose Monitor. Freestyle Libre is currently covered by HMO and PPO via CVS. Prior authorization is required.

Mental health drugs

We asked about prescribing ketamine for appropriate mental health conditions. CPS will provide us with the discrete situations where a doctor can prescribe the drug.

Vaccine against influenza

Under our CVS/Caremark plan, flu and shingles shots are not covered by the pharmacy for HMO or PPO. You can get them free of charge with your annual medical examination by your primary care doctor.

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