Up-to-date questions and answers for your COVID-19 resources involving:
How do I access services from the City’s LAwell Program healthcare providers, Kaiser and Anthem?
Kaiser members should call 1-833-574-2273 if they have COVID-19 symptoms or believe they may have been exposed to the virus; they can go to kp.org/coronavirus for information and updates.
Anthem members should call their physician if they have COVID-19 symptoms or believe they have been exposed to the virus; members can visit https://www.anthem.com/ca/cityofla/ for information, updates, and guidance regarding accessing services from their network of providers.
Do Kaiser and Anthem offer telehealth services and how are they using these services to support COVID-19 support?
Kaiser provides phone and video appointments at no cost to the member. In order to increase the number of patients they can treat, they’re offering more video and phone visits. Kaiser members can also complete an e-visit from the comfort of your home if you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed. It will allow you to get quick guidance and online care from a Kaiser Permanente provider, including some prescriptions and 24/7 self-care advice — without a trip to your doctor’s office. Click here for more convenient ways to get care, or visit kp.org/getcare
Anthem offers LiveHealth Online providing online video visits with a doctor 24/7 through a smartphone, tablet, or computer with a webcam; no appointment is needed. Anthem also offers a Coronavirus Assessment on the Sydney Care mobile app (App Store or Google Play), which members can download at no cost. The Coronavirus Assessment is based on CDC and NIH guidelines and designed to help individuals quickly evaluate their symptoms and assess their risk of having COVID-19. Based on the results, Anthem members will be able to connect directly to a board-certified doctor via text or secure two-way video via the Sydney Care app who can then recommend care options. Anthem is also waiving costs for all telehealth visits for 90 days. Lastly, Anthem PPO members can also access same-day vide doctor visits using the Heal mobile app. Heal is only for Anthem PPO members and is not currently available to HMO members.
What services will the City’s health plans cover related to COVID-19 testing and care?
Both Kaiser and Anthem cover the care individuals get if they’re diagnosed as having COVID-19. They’ll also cover testing for COVID-19. Members are not charged any out-of-pocket member expenses for testing.
Will disability insurance benefits cover an employee who is off work due to COVID-19?
An employee is eligible to file a disability insurance claim for an illness related to COVID-19. All LAwell program members are eligible for the City’s base disability insurance benefits or, if elected when hired or during Open Enrollment, supplemental disability coverage which pays a higher benefit. Click here to learn more about your disability insurance benefits. To start a disability claim, call 844-505-6025.
What if I’m quarantined but have not been diagnosed with illness?
Those who are quarantined without a diagnosis would not be eligible for short-term disability benefits.
What happens to my health and other benefits if I’m off of work due to illness?
The LAwell Program provides subsidies for your health, dental, vision, basic disability, and basic life insurance benefits. An employee must have minimum of compensated hours (40 hours for full-time employees and 20 hours for half-time employees) per pay period for the LAwell Program to continue to pay subsidies. Compensated hours include hours worked, banked sick or vacation time, and other qualifying hours. Employees may pay additional amounts for health, dental, disability, and life insurance if they have elected benefit coverages above the LAwell Program’s subsidies.
In most instances during periods of short-term absence, so long as an employee has compensated hours, coverage will continue. However, if an employee is off due to illness, has filed a disability claim and had that claim approved by the City’s disability insurance provider, The Standard Insurance Company, City subsidies will continue through the LAwell Program’s Benefit Protection Plan. The Benefits Protection Plan continues subsidies for any LAwell medical, dental, vision and basic life insurance coverage an employees had as an active employee for up to two years of disability. Employees are required to pay the coverage cost they paid as an active employee, if any, plus any costs for dependent coverage. The Benefit Protection Plan is not for work-related injuries or for individuals who have terminated or retired from City service for any reason.
Additionally, employees who have a department-approved Family Medical Leave, under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), will continue to have City subsidies applied to their benefits during the duration of their approved FMLA status, regardless of their amount of compensated hours. Employees must apply for FMLA with their department’s Human Resource section.
What happens to my health and other benefits if I’m off of work without either (a) sufficient compensated time; (b) approved disability claim/Benefits Protection Plan coverage; or (c) Family Medical Leave coverage?
If an employee is not eligible for City subsidies via any City program or benefit, LAwell Program benefits can continue if the employee pays the full premium cost for coverage. These employees will receive a bill for these costs with instructions on making payments. Timely payment of benefit premium is necessary in order to avoid termination of coverage.
As a new employee how quickly can I enroll in benefits?
Generally,most employees are able to elect their benefits in the week of their first payday for which they (a) have worked the minimum number of compensated hours (40 hours for full-time employees and 20 hours for half-time employees), (b) are contributing LACERS members, and (c) are employed in a job classification authorized to receive LAwell benefits. If you have questions regarding your benefit eligibility as a new hire, please visit our Employee Benefits Contacts page at keepinglawell.com/contacts.
What is the Support-Plus Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP)
The Support-Plus EFAP offers a broad array of resources and services for LAwell Program members, including:
How does Support-Plus EFAP work?
LAwell Program members are eligible for up to five face-to-face and/or web-video consultations per person, per incident. Same day counseling services are available for emergencies.
How do I access Support-Plus EFAP?
You can access Support-Plus EFAP representatives 24/7 at 800-213-5813 (access code: CityofLA). You can also visit their website at www.LiveAndWorkWell.com/CityofLA to access a variety of educational resources. The website provides a special resources page focused on COVID-19 support.
Strategies for avoiding coming in contact with COVID-19 are important and something each one of us should observe. Equally important is supporting your overall wellness because that in turn supports your immune system – your primary defense against illness. There has never been a more important moment than this one to get serious about optimizing your personal health through common-sense wellness approaches. Following are just a few of the most important and practical tips to help support your immune system:
Turn on your relaxation response – The human body doesn’t function well when it’s chronically stressed, and certainly these are stressful times. Stress hormones tell the body to focus on “fight or flight” rather than normal processes, like repair and defending the body against infection. If you’re feeling stress, try being intentional about turning on your relaxation response – signaling your body that it’s okay to relax. There are many ways you can do this – taking a walk, enjoying a relaxing bath, meditation, or listening to calming music are just a few of the ways to turn off the stress switch. Review this brief discussion from the American Psychological Association regarding how stress impacts our health.
Eat nutritious foods and boost your intake of vegetables – The human body, including the immune system, is impacted by the foods we eat. If you’re confused by dietary advice from media sources, keep it simple – focus on foods that are dense in nutrients, as close to “whole” (meaning unprocessed) as possible, and loaded with vegetables. Kaiser has a convenient resource open to all LAwell Program members, kp.org/foodforhealth, providing valuable nutrition guidance as well as many nutritious and delicious recipes.
Conduct a daily exercise routine – Exercising the body is great for many reasons, but one of the most valuable benefits cardiovascular exercise provides is reducing stress levels so that healing and immune-supporting functions can operate as they’re supposed to. Check out this overview from LAwell Program provider Anthem discussing how exercise can be medicine.
Get a full night’s sleep every night - Consistently getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most powerful ways to support your immune system. The body uses sleeping time to heal, restore, and strengthen its defenses. While the necessary amount of sleep varies from person to person, most adults need seven to eight hours a day. Check out this information from the Cleveland Clinic with helpful guidance regarding getting enough sleep.
For more health-supporting tips and resources, and to develop your own personalized wellness program, please enroll with LIVEwell.la. This unique resource was created to provide you with a fun, web-based tool for creating your own wellness strategy. After completing a brief WellCheck questionnaire, LIVEwell.la generates a personalized set of recommended health activities, and you can choose others that other interest you as well. A community feed allows you to share information with other City employees. Stay connected and stay strong!
How do I find a Doctor?
Find a doctor, or confirm that a doctor is in your network, through member service phone numbers or online search tools provided by your health plan. You can also talk one-on-one with a healthcare member advocate by phone or email.
Visit the Medical and Healthcare Member Advocate sections of the contact page for more information.