Benefits Spotlight

Consultations with Fidelity and TIAA Via Phone:  Fidelity and TIAA remain committed to supporting you during these challenging times and will continue to be there to help address your concerns. Both carriers have suspended all in-person consultations, but are still available to assist virtually or via phone! If you have a previously scheduled one-on-one appointment with a Retirement Planner, they will contact you with instructions for meeting by telephone. 

To request or reschedule an appointment with Fidelity, please visit

To request or reschedule an appointment with TIAA, please call 1-800-732-8353.  

Learn more.

OptumRx Prior Authorization (PA) Extension: To meet your needs and ease the burden on medical providers during the COVID-19 outbreak, OptumRx is extending existing prescription medication prior authorizations that are set to expire on or before May 1, 2020, for an additional 90 days. OptumRx will automatically extend existing PA approvals for most chronic medications.

Some limitations apply:

  • Drugs with significant abuse potential (i.e., opioids) or those that are generally dosed for finite durations or intermittently (i.e., hepatitis agents, fertility agents) as identified by OptumRx will follow normal process for renewals. 
  • Prior authorization requirements for medications that are newly prescribed will remain in place.

OptumRx Specialty Medications Extended Supply Distribution: During the COVID-19 outbreak, when a patient calls to refill their specialty medication, Optum Specialty Pharmacy will offer patients a one-time, 90-day supply of key chronic specialty medications. This policy is effective March 23, 2020. 

Drugs within the following categories will remain limited to 30 days supply only:

  • Acute medications
  • Controlled substances
  • Drugs subject to REMS programming requiring 30 day dispensing and monitoring
  • Drugs with limited expiration dating
  • Drugs where storage/handling issues would increase risk of waste
  • Office-administered injectable/infusible therapies
  • Drugs experiencing supply shortages
  • Drugs dosed less frequently than once monthly
  • Drugs whose monthly ingredient cost exceeds $10,000

Please note: This policy will not auto-dispense medications in supplies >30 days without direct consent of the patient. This policy will also not apply to patients who are newly initiated on a specialty therapy.

COVID-19 Testing and Prescription Refill Updates

The Brown University Benefits team has been working with health care administrators, UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, as well as OptumRx, to actively monitor the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and what it means for Brown employees and their families. 

To facilitate the ability to receive necessary testing for suspected COVID-19 exposure, and until further notice, cost sharing will be waived (meaning there will be no deductible, copays, or coinsurance) for COVID-19 diagnostic testing provided at approved locations in accordance with CDC guidelines. In addition, there will be no prior authorization and referral requirements, where applicable, so members can get timely medically necessary testing. 

OptumRx members with active eligibility may obtain an early refill* of their traditional and specialty prescription medications, if they have refills remaining on file at a participating retail or mail-order pharmacy. This "Refill-Too-Soon" waiver will be continuously evaluated to determine the appropriate duration based on CDC guidance, Federal and State declarations. ​

Key Resources:

*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). 

Remember, telemedicine enables you to be “seen” by a physician without ever stepping foot in a crowded waiting room. Telemedicine offers eligible employees and dependents  24/7 access to board-certified physicians through phone and/or video consultations. Employees must be covered under one of Brown's health insurance plans. Learn more.

When talk of a virus outbreak hits close to home, it’s normal to feel stress. No matter how you're feeling, your free benefit, the Faculty/Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) can help. Counseling, a Health Resource Library, and a variety of Work/Life and convenience service referrals can help you manage your day-to-day routine when disruptions occur. Learn more.

Did You Know? Back-Up Care: Brown University offers eligible employees low-cost access to back-up care for children, adults, or themselves when there is a temporary breakdown in normal care arrangements. Learn more.