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Medical Plan Updates & Mental Health Resources

Medical Plan Updates

The Local 25 Medical Plan Board of Trustees has been meeting frequently in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus) in our communities. On March 16, 2020, the Local 25 Medical Plan Trustees agreed to cover all costs for COVID-19 testing. Since then, the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act has been signed into law and expanded these coverages.

In accordance with the Act, the IUOE Local 25 Medical Plan will cover both in and out-of-network co-payments, deductibles, testing for the detection of COVID-19, office visits (in-person and telehealth visits), urgent care visits and emergency room visits related to COVID-19 for the duration of the National Emergency we are currently under. These provisions ensure that the Local 25 Medical Plan is in accordance with the law, but more importantly, allows our members and their families to obtain the necessary care associated with diagnosing COVID-19 without worrying about provider network status or pre-authorizations.

In an emergency meeting yesterday, the Local 25 Medical Plan Trustees also approved, during this National Emergency period, telehealth visits for in-network and out-of-network providers FOR ANY REASON (not limited to just COVID-19) in the same manner as the Plan would cover any office visit. We understand that many doctor’s offices are instructing patients to not come into their offices during this crisis and are offering telehealth visits instead. Whether you are taking advantage of this service offered by your current healthcare provider or choose to use one of the many telehealth services available to the public to protect yourself from an unnecessary office visit, the Local 25 Medical Plan will cover the cost in the same manner as an in-person visit.

If you have any questions about the expanded coverage being offered by the IUOE Local 25 Medical Plan, contact the Benefits Plans Office at ?(800) 548-6662 or at any of the following email addresses:

pchiu@local25plans.com

wbuchanan@local25plans.com

mbrodowski@local25plans.com

 

Mental Health Resources

This is an uncertain time for all of us, no matter our personal circumstances.  The closures of many businesses, the disruption of recovery meetings in many areas and the fear that is a part of daily life right now may have you feeling on edge or alone.  There are some basic steps we can take to stay as mentally healthy as possible during this time:

  • At the end of your shift (if working), use video calling instead of texting to reach out to family and friends.  While texting might be the way you check in with family at home regularly, actually being able to see and hear your loved ones may give you more comfort (as well as do the same for your loved ones on the other end of the phone).  
  • Making future plans with family and friends is a good way to remind yourself and your family that "this too shall pass".  We all need something to look forward to.  Whether you actually make concrete plans at this point or simply discuss what you want to do with your loved ones when this is over, thinking about the future, when things are "back to normal" is healthy. 
  • While it is easy to self-medicate with caffeine and sugar in these uncertain times, be careful how much of these substances you are ingesting.  Caffeine and sugar can not only have physical effects on you (such as raising blood pressure and heart rate), it can also increase anxiety, depression and restlessness.

Also, don't hesitate to reach out to our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Allied Trades, for any help you need.  Counseling, drug rehabilitation, marriage counseling, etc. are available to all eligible members and their dependents.  Call 24/7 at (800) 258-6376. 

 

For many people, the isolation this crisis is creating can exacerbate mental health conditions and addiction issues. Virtual meetings and other resources are available to anyone needing the support to maintain their mental health and/or sobriety in these trying times.

 AA virtual meetings, support groups and other resources:
http://aa-intergroup.org/directory.php

Depression and biploar online support:
https://www.dbsalliance.org/

Online support for anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and other mental health issues:
https://turn2me.org/group-supports

Resources for those having suicidal thoughts and grief support for families/friends touched by suicide:
https://afsp.org/find-support/

Food disorder online support:
https://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/re…/support-groups/online

Narcotics Anonymous virtual meetings:

https://www.na.org/meetingsearch/text-results.php…

"Labor never quits. We never give up the fight. No matter how tough the odds, no matter how long it takes." ~ George Meany

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