EAP and Medical Plan services you can access at home

March 27, 2020

This article was updated August 3, 2020, with information about costs when using Teladoc.

During this time of high-stress and uncertainty, you can get the support and care you need — without leaving home — with the Employee Assistance Program and telehealth services through the Medical Plan.

Free 24-hour support line

Cigna is offering a separate 24-hour toll-free help line, to support resiliency during this time of high stress and anxiety. If you’re a retired member or an employee who is not eligible for the EAP, you can call 866-912-1687 to connect with qualified clinicians, including licensed social workers, professional counselors, and psychologists, who can provide support and guidance.

As the COVID-19 public health emergency unfolds across our communities, you can get the care and support you need, while protecting yourself and those around you from exposure to the virus, by taking advantage of telehealth services provided by the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)* and the Medical Plan.

For emotional support

A healthy way to deal with the fear and anxiety you may be feeling is to talk about them. The EAP offered through the Board of Pensions is available 24/7 to support eligible employees, their family members, and anyone who lives in their home. The EAP is completely confidential and there is no cost to you. Services include the following:

  • Unlimited telephone consultations with a licensed clinician. To schedule a phone consultation, call the EAP at 866-640-2772 or log on to the Cigna website, click on Coverage, select Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and click Schedule a call with an EAP consultant.
  • Up to six free private counseling sessions per issue, with a Cigna Behavioral Health provider. Sessions may be face-to-face, video-based, or by phone. Sessions are in addition to telephone consultations. Providers can be found on the Cigna website. To search for providers who offer video-based sessions, choose Virtual counseling.
  • To access your free sessions, call the EAP or log on to the Cigna website to obtain an EAP code. If you contact Cigna for an EAP code by September 30, 2020, you can get an additional four free sessions, for a total of 10 free sessions.

If you need support beyond the free sessions, you and your covered family members can transition to using your medical coverage through the Board for behavioral health visits. If continuing with a Cigna counselor who does not also participate in the Medical Plan's network, additional visits will be treated as out-of-network.

Telehealth benefits

When using your medical coverage, many Highmark providers are offering virtual visits for both behavioral health and primary medical care, to limit potential exposure to the coronavirus:

  • Contact your provider’s office to see if he or she can accommodate virtual visits.
  • You pay the same copays, deductibles, and/or copayments for virtual visits that you would for in-person doctor’s office visits.

If you need medical care and virtual visits are not available through your primary care doctor, consider using Teladoc.* All copays, deductibles, and copayments when using Teladoc will be waived, regardless of the diagnosis. The Board will re-evaluate this decision every 30 days.

If you are a retired member who is enrolled in Medicare, you should be aware that traditional Medicare (Parts A and B) and Medicare Advantage plans will cover costs related to diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19, including virtual visits. Learn more.

*The EAP and Teladoc are not available to members enrolled in Triple-S, GeoBlue, or the Medicare Supplement Plan.