USG Benefits COVID-19

USG Healthcare Plan

To understand how USG's Healthcare plans support you and your family during COVID-19, review the benefits and resources below for more information.

The federal government has announced that the COVID-19 public health emergency is ending on May 11, 2023. This will affect how COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and treatment are provided and covered for members. Starting May 12, 2023, in most instances, these services will return to being covered like any other condition.  See each section below for updates.

  • COVID-19 Testing

    Coverage on or after May 12, 2023: 

    COVID-19 PCR testing will be covered under the outpatient diagnostic lab benefit at applicable plan cost-sharing.

    Coverage prior to May 12, 2023:

    COVID-19 screening and diagnostic testing is covered at 100% for employees enrolled in any USG healthcare plan. Testing must be completed by a licensed facility and/or provider. Testing and screening include FDA-approved COVID-19 diagnosis tests (Rapid and PCR), as well as anti-body testing.   

    COVID-19 testing is widely available.  Visit the Georgia Department of Health website to locate a testing site near you. Otherwise, you may reach out to your healthcare plan provider.   

    • If you are enrolled in an Anthem plan, contact your Accolade Health Assistant at 866-204-9818 (Monday – Friday 8 AM to 11 PM ET) or visit, for help finding a testing location.
    • If you are enrolled in Kaiser, contact Kaiser Permanente at 1-855-550-0951 for more information or visit the Kaiser coronavirus webpage.

     Note: If you are not covered under a USG healthcare plan, testing information is available through the Georgia Department of Public Health

  • COVID-19 Over-the-Counter Tests

    Coverage on or after May 12, 2023: 

    COVID-19 over-the-counter (OTC) antigen tests will not be covered.

    • Reimbursement for the purchase of COVID 19 OTC antigen tests by CVS Caremark will end.

    Coverage prior to May 12, 2023:

    Free On-line Tests through the Federal Government –

    The federal government launched a COVID-19 OTC Tests website for U.S. households to obtain online tests.  This site allows each household to order up to 4 free COVID-19 tests. 

    USG Healthcare Plan

    Provides direct coverage or $12 reimbursement for up to 8 tests per member per 30-day period. 

    Anthem members 

    For employees enrolled in the Consumer Choice HSA, Comprehension Care or BlueChoice HMO plans, tests are available through in-network pharmacies at no cost, if they are purchased through one of the two convenient options: 

    1. Order online through CVS’s Member Website or through the CVS Mobile App. Covered tests will be available within the hour, at the location with available test kits.
    2. At an in-network pharmacy location. Covered tests must be purchased at the pharmacy counter. If you pay out-of-pocket for an OTC COVID test, you may request reimbursement online through the CVS website. Members who choose this option will be reimbursed up to $12 per test, up to the 8 test per 30-day limit.


    To request at-home test kits, visit the CVS Caremark COVID-19 Education website. 

    1. Select Request at-home tests
    2. Answer a few simple questions and select the store for pick-up
    3. Sign-in to your CVS Pharmacy Account
    4. Once you get to the Enter RX Screen, enter:
      1. Prescription Insurance Provider: CVS Caremark
      2. Member ID: Enter without first 3 letters
      3. RxBin: Enter exactly as written on your ID card
      4. RxGRP: Enter exactly as written on your ID card
      5. RxPCN: Enter exactly as written on your ID card


    Login to your CVS account to find a network pharmacy, purchase an approved kit, or submit for reimbursement using the online submission process through the CVS website.  If you have questions or need help submitting for reimbursement, please reach out to Accolade at 866-204-9818 or CVS at 1-877-362-3922. 

    Kaiser members

    For Kaiser plan members, please see the Kaiser website for information on where to obtain the tests and how to submit them for reimbursement. 

  • COVID-19 Treatment

    Coverage on or after May 12, 2023: 

    Anthem/CVS Comprehensive Care and Consumer Choice HSA: Out-of-Network Services for COVID-19 will be covered with applicable out-of-network plan cost sharing; members can now be subject to balance billing.

    BlueChoice HMO and Kaiser HMO Members: Out-of-Network Services for COVID-19 (e.g., OTC antigen tests, treatment, and vaccines) will only be covered for urgent care and emergency services or when legally required.

    Coverage prior to May 12, 2023:

    Anthem BCBSGA 

    Covered employees diagnosed with COVID-19 are responsible for the applicable copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles related to their medical care and treatment of COVID-19, including hospitalizations. Contact Accolade at 866-204-9818 (Monday – Friday 8 AM to 11 PM ET) or visit to send a secure message, for more information.   

    Kaiser Permanente

    Covered employees diagnosed with COVID-19 are responsible for the applicable costshare related to their medical care and treatment of COVID-19, including hospitalizations.  Contact Kaiser Permanente at 1-855-550-0951 for more information or visit the Kaiser coronavirus webpage

  • COVID – 19 Vaccinations

    Coverage on or after May 12, 2023: 

    COVID-19 vaccines will be covered under preventive benefits at $0 cost share.

    Coverage prior to May 12, 2023:

    COVID-19 vaccine supply and distribution information is available on the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) website. The COVID-19 vaccine and booster continue to be covered at 100% through the USG Healthcare plan.

    Additional information about vaccine eligibility and location is available through the following resources:   

    Department of Public Health (DPH)

    Locate a vaccination site near you on the DPH website and search by your county name.   

    Anthem Members

    If you have questions about your benefits coverage, COVID-19 testing and/or the DPH vaccine locator, speak with your dedicated Accolade Health Assistant who can help! Call 866-204-9818 (Monday – Friday 8 AM to 11 PM ET) or visit to send a secure message.   

    Kaiser Permanente Members

    Log into your Kaiser Permanente account to determine if you are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Non-Kaiser members are also eligible for COVID-19 vaccine. To check availability or schedule an appointment call 1-855-550-0951. 

  • Telehealth Options

    Both Anthem and Kaiser Permanente offer telehealth visits. When you have nonemergency healthcare concerns, telehealth can be a good option. 

    As of January 1, 2022, you will be responsible for the normal cost-share for telehealth visits. 

    Anthem Members 

    LiveHealth On-line

    Employee Costs

    • BlueChoice HMO and Comprehensive Care - First three visits free; $ 15 copay thereafter
    • Consumer Choice HSA - Responsible for full cost of the visit, prior to meeting the deductible. Flat rate $59 - $175 depending on the type of service. Visit Live Health Online for the fee schedule.

    Kaiser HMO Members

    Call 404-365-0966 or access 

    Employee Costs: Unlimited visits covered at 100%. 

  • National Emergency End

    On May 4, 2020, the U.S. Departments of Labor and the Treasury issued guidance that temporarily extends the deadlines in place for certain benefit changes and processes associated with election, notification, payment and claims/appeals. To protect individuals from losing benefits, the agencies adjusted deadlines that may be missed during the Outbreak Period associated with COVID-19, which began March 1, 2020, and ends July 10, 2023. Your extended deadline will be the earlier of one year after your original deadline or the extended deadline following the end of the Outbreak Period (7/11/2023), as noted in the table in the document. 

    National Emergency End Guidance 

Help Coping during the COVID-19 Pandemic

During this time, it is important to take care of yourself. If you are feeling sad, stressed or overwhelmed, we have support resources to help you and your covered family members.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to all employees who work 20 or more hours. For tips and resources to help you cope with any feelings or financial challenges you may be experiencing, call 844-243-4440 or visit Acentra is available 24/7/365 to offer telephonic support. You and your family are eligible to receive up to 4 counseling sessions per issue per calendar year. 

Anthem members have access to Virtual Care Video Visit for Psychology and  Psychiatry where you can have a video call with a therapist from any location that is convenient for you. 

  • Download or Visit: Download the free Sydney Health mobile app from the App Store or Google Play to create an account or visit the web based version at to complete your visit.
  • Phone: 1-844-784-8409 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET to schedule an appointment.

Kaiser members have many tools and resources to help. Visit healthy.kaiserpermanente for a list of free resources and tools like MyStrength and Calm.  

Life Insurance/Disability

Generally, COVID-19 does not impact your Life or Disability coverage. To understand how USG's Life Insurance and Disability coverages will work, review the information below:  

  • Life Insurance and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D)

    For our group Basic, Supplemental, Spouse, and Child life coverage(s), there are no policy limitations that would reduce or limit a claim payment resulting from COVID-19, provided the individual met all other certificate requirements.  AD&D policies do not cover diseases. Therefore, death due to COVID-19 or any other disease is excluded from payment under the AD&D policies.

  • Disability Insurance

    There are no policy limitations that would apply due to COVID-19. MetLife will use the same claim processes to evaluate a claim as it does for any other disability or Family Medical Leave claim for all other sickness or injury. Each claim will be reviewed consistent with policy terms and applicable law.   

    Keep in mind, disability benefits are based on the employee’s inability to perform their work due to symptoms stemming from illness or injury. Therefore, if you are absent due to physician-directed quarantine or waiting on test results, but you are still able to complete work remotely, these reasons are unlikely to be eligible for disability benefits unless you also have a qualifying medical condition. 

FSA Spending Accounts

Beginning January 1, 2022, normal IRS rules related to spending accounts will apply. See below for more information. 

USG Retirement Plans

On March 27, 2020, the U.S. Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act allows employers to make changes to their defined contribution plans to allow greater access to retirement funds through the following options

  • Distributions up to $100,000 for coronavirus-related qualifying reasons,
  • Increase in loan amounts and suspension of loan payments for coronavirus-related reasons,
  • Waiver of Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) in 2020 (certain exceptions apply).

 The University System of Georgia has added these provisions to the USG 403(b) and 457(b) voluntary savings plans. Self-certification of the Coronavirus qualifying reason is required to receive a distribution or loan.  If you have questions, please reach out to your retirement vendor directly using the number below.  

Financial/Market Volatility Concerns

USG has partnered with CAPTRUST to provide Retirement and Financial Advisory Services to USG employees. CAPTRUST offers a no-cost advice line for all benefited employees and representatives are available to answer employees' questions and concerns about the market. 

To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-967-9948 or on-line at Representatives are available Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5:30pm and Friday, 8:30am - 4 pm (EST).