HCPS 411 Update

March 12, 2020

Coronavirus: Information and Updates

Announcement from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield:

In light of the quickly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in the U.S., we want to provide you with some important information, resources, and benefit updates from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield.

Effective March 6, 2020, CareFirst has made the following benefit updates to make sure its members can get the care they need during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • CareFirst insurance will cover medically necessary diagnostic tests that are consistent with CDC guidance related to COVID-19 without member cost-share. Your CareFirst insurance will cover, with no cost share to you, the appropriate medically necessary diagnostic testing for COVID19, where it is not covered as part of the Public Health Service response. CareFirst will also work to ensure patient testing and any subsequently needed care that is done in close coordination with federal, state, and public health authorities.

  • CareFirst has eliminated prior authorization requirements for diagnostic tests and covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance for members diagnosed with COVID-19. Additionally, members can call the customer service phone number on the back of their member ID card for help with questions related to medical services.

  • CareFirst is waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day maintenance medications (consistent with a member's benefit plan) and encouraging members to use their 90-day mail order benefit. Member cost-sharing will apply as usual. Members will not be liable for additional charges that stem from obtaining a non-preferred medication related to the treatment/care of COVID-19 if the preferred medication is not available due to shortage or access issues.

Reminder about 24/7 care options:

Anyone with symptoms should first call their PCP to discuss their symptoms and treatment options. CareFirst members also have two options to receive care outside a provider's office – the 24-Hour Nurse Advice Line and CareFirst Video Visit.

  • 24-Hour Nurse Advice Line – Members can call 800-535-9700 anytime to speak with a registered nurse to discuss their symptoms and get recommendations for the most appropriate care.

  • CareFirst Video Visit – Members can also register for CareFirst Video Visit to connect with a doctor securely, day or night, through their smartphone, tablet, or computer. No appointment is necessary.

For more information:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website is the best resource for information on preventing and treating the coronavirus. CareFirst will also be updating their website as new information is made available.

Payroll Notice - Availability of Funds

Reminder to all employees that HCPS pay dates are Fridays, unless there is a banking holiday that would cause the pay date to be earlier. The payroll schedule is published prior to the beginning of each fiscal year. We recognize that some banking institutions and credit unions have practices to provide funds to their customers a day before the pay date. Please note that there are many factors that can cause delays to our normal payroll processing time. HCPS is obligated to meet our payroll dates. We strongly encourage employees to not schedule any automated debits before Friday of pay weeks as we cannot guarantee those funds will be available earlier than our official pay date.

Email Delivery Of Pay Stubs

As a reminder, you have the ability to sign up for email delivery of your pay stub (it will still be available under My Pay Stubs in Employee Self Service [ESS]). Email delivery allows you to receive a copy of your pay stub from any computer by logging into the email(s) you choose.

Here are the steps to enable this option:

  • Sign into ESS. (See the link below if you need instructions for signing into ESS.)
  • Select Bookmarks
  • Select Employee Self Service
  • Select Electronic Documents
  • Select Pay Stubs under My Delivery Settings
  • Check Yes for Web Delivery
  • Enter a personal email address, if desired, and enter a password. This password does not expire so do not use your network password.
  • Click on Submit

To access ESS, you must be logged onto an HCPS computer. If you need information on logging into ESS, click on the following link DSS and ESS Instructions.

For questions regarding this information, please contact Mary Folus at Mary.Folus@hcps.org or x5241.

Navigating Market Volatility

Be patient and control what you can. Click here to check out a few resources that will help you understand the current market volatility.

Save the Date - Emmorton Elementary School's 25th Anniversary!

Join Emmorton Elementary in celebrating its 25th Anniversary at an Open House & Social planned for Thursday, April 30, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Past and present students, staff, and community members are welcome to take part in the evening of fun and memories. Additional information on the flier.

Freedom Federal Credit Union Golden Apple Award 2020

Freedom Federal Credit Union is now accepting entries for this year’s Golden Apple Educator Award! Entrants must be a Freedom member and an employee at a Harford County school.

1. First Place – $2,000 Award
2. Second Place – $1,000 Award
3. First Runner-Up – $500 Award
4. Second Runner-Up $500 Award

To enter, submit an entry form and essay. The essay must describe how you would use the funds and why you should be the one to win! Scoring favors proposals demonstrating the greatest impact on local schools, classes, students, and/or the community at large.

Freedom Federal Credit Union is excited to add an additional $1,000 award to this year’s program! For the first time, Freedom will offer four Annual Educator Awards of $2,000, $1,000, $500 and $500 to Harford County Education Employees who may be a deserving teacher, school administrator or school support employee.

To enter, complete the entry form and submit an essay addressing any or all of the following questions:

  1. What is your plan to benefit your students, your class, or your school? How will this money help you implement your plan?
  2. Will you take a continuing education class or classes to improve your own education and expertise? (Please be specific.) How will your education improve your students’ learning?
  3. Will you purchase supplies for your school or classroom? How will the supplies help improve student learning? (Please provide as many quantitative details as possible.)
  4. Will your plan, training, or purchases affect the Harford County Community? If yes, how so?

Please submit your Golden Apple – Educator Award Entry Form 2020 and essay to marketing@freedomfcu.org by May 30, 2020.

All entries will be reviewed by a panel of Freedom employees, volunteers, and community partners.

WMAR-2 News Everyday Heroes Award

WMAR-2 News is looking for nominations for their Chick-fil-A Everyday Heroes award. This year, they are looking for families who like to do things together to make their community a better place!

If you know a family that would be perfect for the award, you can submit a nomination! Each winner will receive a lunch for 10 people from Chick-fil-A.

To nominate someone, go to www.wmar2news.com/everydayheroes.

Interested in a Part-time or Seasonal Job with the Aberdeen IronBirds?

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Welcome to HCPS!

Please help us welcome the following new employees to our HCPS family:

  • Francis Boylan, Bus Routing Associate, Transportation Department
  • Danny Ninh, Computer Support Technician, Technology Department
  • Lori Erdman, Food and Nutrition Services Worker, Edgewood Middle School
  • Kimerbly Christ, Inclusion Helper, John Archer School
  • Michele Poet, Inclusion Helper, Jarrettsvile Elementary School
  • Megan Smith, Inclusion Helper, John Archer School
  • Carole Durfee, School Bus Attendant, Transportation Department

Office of Communications and Family Outreach

Editor: Lindsay Bilodeau, communications specialist

To submit an HCPS Shout Out or recognize a colleague in the Spotlight on Customer Service, please email the information and photo (if available) to HCPS.411@hcps.org.