Benefits Spotlight

Notice from Retirement Clearinghouse: Many faculty members and other University employees have recently received notices from a company called Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) regarding monies from a class action settlement in Short v. Brown University that were put into an IRA for them. A significant number of those notices were sent in error, which created confusion for the recipients. The Settlement Administrator that erroneously sent the notices is working to correct the problem and has posted a notice of the problem on the settlement website: www.BrownUniversityERISAsettlement.com. Here is a brief description of what occurred and the steps being taken to rectify the error.

Under the Settlement Agreement in Short v. Brown University, qualifying class members are to receive a share of the settlement fund that Brown paid to the plaintiffs’ counsel and their Settlement Administrator. For class members who are current account holders in the Brown University Deferred Vesting Retirement Plan or the Brown University Legacy Retirement Plan, or both, the Settlement Administrator is required to identify and distribute their shares to TIAA and Fidelity, the Plans’ recordkeepers and investment providers, for deposit into the class members’ current account(s) in the Plan(s). For class members who are former account holders in one or both of the Plans, the Settlement Administrator is required to identify and distribute their shares to a third-party IRA provider, RCH, for deposit by RCH into a separate Safe Harbor IRA for each such class member. Under plaintiffs’ counsel’s settlement allocation formula, a former account holder is entitled to a settlement share only if the amount of the share otherwise calculated under the formula is $25 or more.

OptumRx members with active eligibility may obtain an early one-time refill* of their traditional and specialty prescription medications, if they have refills remaining on file at a participating retail or mail-order pharmacy. OptumRx is extending the Refill Too Soon edit policy beyond the original expiration date of June 30. This policy will be extended an additional 90 days until September 30. Please contact the OptumRx Pharmacy Help Desk should special circumstances dictate a need for a second early refill.    

*The refill obtained will stay consistent with the standard day supply previously filled by the member as allowed by the plan (e.g., 30- or 90-day supply).   

United Healthcare (UHC) and Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) have announced the dates of coverage and cost-sharing for the following benefits. The end dates for the cost-sharing waivers for certain benefits are listed below for both UHC and BCBS. As the public health emergency is fluid and ever-changing, these dates are subject to change. Please continue to look out for updates on the Benefits Spotlight page.  
 
UNITED HEALTHCARE PPO AND CDHP

  • COVID-19 Treatment (diagnostic testing and testing related visits, antibody testing, and treatment): No Cost Share
    • COVID in-network: July 24, 2020
    • COVID out-of-network: July 24, 2020
  • Virtual Visits (UHC’s version of Telehealth): No Cost Share
    • COVID-19 Related: September 30, 2020
    • Non-COVID-19 Related: September 30, 2020
    • The Virtual Visit is normally free of charge if you are a member of United Healthcare's comprehensive plan. For those in United Healthcare's high-deductible plan, the deductible will apply.
  • Telehealth: No Cost Share
    • Waiver of member cost share will apply in-network only from July 25 through September 30, 2020
    • COVID-19 Related: July 24
    • Non-COVID-19 Related: September 30, 2020
  • Telehealth Expanded Coverage (allows for certain providers to provide telehealth services, including audio and video visits): No Cost Share
  • Updated program expiration date: Expanded coverage through July 24

BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD PPO 

  • COVID-19 Treatment (diagnostic testing and testing related visits, antibody testing, and treatment): No Cost Share
    • COVID in-network: August 3, 2020
    • COVID out-of-network: August 3, 2020 
  • Teladoc (BCBS’s version of Telehealth): No Cost Share
    • Teladoc is normally free of charge if you are a Blue Cross Blue Shield member.
  • Telehealth Expanded Coverage (allows for certain providers to provide telehealth services, including audio and video visits): No Cost Share
    • August 3, 2020

Please be advised that the special retiree medical benefits currently offered to employees leaving Brown who are between 55 and 65 years of age and have completed 10 years of service to the University will no longer be offered by the University effective July 1, 2020.  All employees enrolled in the special retiree medical plan as of June 30, 2020 will be grandfathered into the plan. On July 1, 2020 retiree medical benefits will cease except for those grandfathered as of that date.

On March 27th, the President signed the Corona Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. Brown University is enacting some of the special provisions under the Act relating to retirement plan withdrawals and loans. More specific information can be found here.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act: The CARES Act was enacted on March 27, 2020, and is retroactively effective January 1, 2020.  As a result, the following benefits are now available:

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and medicines – these items are now eligible for FSA and HSA reimbursement.  Eligible items include allergy medicine, cold and flu medicine, pain relievers, and more. In addition, it expands the definition of qualified medical expenses to include menstrual care products. View eligible expenses.

If you purchased an eligible OTC item on or after January 1, 2020, you can be reimbursed for this expense.  You will need to log into your account at Sentinel Benefits (FSA) or Optum Bank (HSA) to request reimbursement.

In the future, you will be able to use your Sentinel Benny Card or your Optum Bank HSA card to pay for these expenses at the point of sale.