The health of our County employees and family
members is our highest priority. With the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continuing
to have an impact on our community each day, we would like to point
you toward the most reliable information and remind you of some of the
resources we have in place through your County benefits.
It is important to stay up to date on the latest public health and safety information,
as provided by the County of Santa Clara Department of Public Health.
Be sure to check the following resources for
· Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
· World Health Organization
· U.S. Food and Drug
It’s also important to know about the County benefits that are here to support you and your
family. In addition to comprehensive health care coverage, you have
additional resources to help you manage stress and support other aspects
of your daily life.
If you’re enrolled in a County medical or dental plan, you have access
to enhanced coverage during the COVID-19 national emergency.
First of all, if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or
have COVID-19 symptoms, call your
health care provider right away.
Use telemedicine. You can (and
should) connect with a doctor by video or phone and avoid going to the doctor’s
office. All three of the County medical plans offer 24/7 telemedicine services at no cost to you. In addition to
medical consultations, mental health support is available through the
· Kaiser HMO members:
Call the Appointment
and Advice Call Center at 866-454-8855.
Schedule either a telephone or video appointment by signing
in to kp.org or downloading the My Doctor Online mobile app.
Review all the
different ways you can get care.
· Valley Health Plan (VHP) HMO members:
Call VHP’s 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at
See a doctor from your home, via telephone or
video, using VHP’s telemedicine benefit, MDLIVE.
Visit MDLIVE or call 888-467-4614 to
activate your account or schedule an appointment (language assistance is
· Health Net POS members:
at 800-835-2632 or visit their website.
Get tested if necessary. If a doctor
determines you should be tested for COVID-19, the diagnostic test cost will be
covered in full by all three of the County medical plans. In addition, any necessary
follow-up care for a County medical plan member who has been diagnosed with
COVID-19 will be covered in full without any deductible, copay, or cost
Stay up to date. The three County medical plans continue to update their
websites with pages dedicated to all COVID-19-related guidance and
· Valley Health Plan (VHP)
· Health Net
Know that teledentistry is
an option. The American Dental Association has recommended postponing
all elective treatment to protect public health and reinforce social distancing
measures. This includes routine check-ups and all non-urgent dental or
orthodontic care. But, if you have a dental issue that requires consultation,
both of the County dental plans cover teledentistry services. You can stay
updated on our dental plans’ special COVID-19 resources webpages:
· Delta Dental
Get reimbursed for OTC medications
and supplies. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act
that was enacted into law on March 27, 2020 allows you to use your Health
Flexible Spending Account (HFSA) to pay for over-the-counter (OTC) medications
and supplies without a prescription. These items, along with menstrual care
products, are now considered qualified expenses by the IRS. This change is
retroactive to January 1, 2020.
mental health support. If you’re concerned about the coronavirus or feeling
stressed about anything else, you and your family members can speak with a
professional using the telemedicine services available through your County
medical plan. Providers who are available to talk by telephone or video
conference, 24/7 at no cost to you, include mental health professionals and
your options. The County’s Time Away from
Work benefits remain in force, including California State Disability Insurance
(SDI), Paid Family Leave (PFL), Long-Term Disability Insurance,
Vacation/Scheduled Time Off, Sick Leave, and more.
The Families First Coronavirus Response
Act (FFCRA) provides for two new types of paid leave: Emergency Paid Sick Leave
and Expanded Family and Medical Leave. Find details
on our County of Santa Clara COVID-19
Employee Guidance web
including procedures for leaves, timekeeping and recently updated County
Change your DCAP
contribution, if needed. If your dependent care needs have changed due to a
school or childcare center closure, this is considered a qualified status
change. You can make changes to your Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP)
contributions, based on the date of impact to your family (e.g., the date of
school/childcare service closure). To make changes, call Navia Benefit
Solutions at 800-669-3539 within 31 days of your status change.
Focus on the long term.
During times of market volatility, you may feel anxious about checking on your
Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP) investments and reconsidering your strategies
for reaching your financial goals. The DC plan is administered by Fidelity, who
also provides access to professionally managed investments and experienced
retirement services professionals. Fidelity maintains a special COVID-19
resources page that you can access from our plan’s home page.
Take a pause on your
student loans. The federal government announced that if you have a federal
student loan, you have the option to suspend your payments completely until
September 30, 2020, without accruing interest. Reach out to your loan provider
to check what options are available to you. Even if you have a private loan
(e.g., SoFi), there may be options to assist you during this time.
If necessary, consider a
DC Plan loan or withdrawal. The CARES Act provides expanded access to
retirement plan accounts for distributions. The County’s DC Plan has adopted the expanded withdrawal provisions
to ensure that those who qualify will have access to apply for a hardship
withdrawal from the Plan. While taking a
loan or withdrawing money from your retirement account early should be a last
resort, we understand that challenging times call for difficult actions. Before
making any decisions about moving money out of your retirement savings, please
discuss your options with a tax professional.