Information and updates
988, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The new 988 hotline provides access to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Veterans Crisis Line. Expert responders help those who are experiencing a mental health crisis or are at risk of suicide.
For the Veterans Crisis Line, which provides specialized help for veterans and their families, call 988 (then press 1), chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or text 838255.
August 22, 2022. In May 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a waiver of copayments for telehealth services. The waiver was part of efforts by federal, state, and local governments to encourage people to stay home, avoiding exposure and reducing the transmission of the virus.
Since that time, vaccines have fortunately become widely available, and the government will soon end the waiver. Although telehealth services remain a covered US Family Health Plan benefit, starting September 6, 2022, Plan members who make copayments for covered health care services (including mental health services) will also make copayments for telehealth services. Telehealth services include services provided by our network providers as well as services provided through the Teladoc® program.
- Retirees and family members without Medicare Part B (as well as non-active-duty dependents under age 65) will continue to make copayments for health care services (including mental health services) covered by the Plan. As of September 6, they will also make copayments for telehealth services.
- Active-duty family members and/or members with Medicare Part B do not make copayments for covered health care services and are not affected by the repeal of the waiver.
If you have any questions about this change please call Member Services at 1.800.818.8589. (Please note that the phone number in the letter mailed to members August 17, 2022 was incorrect. We apologize for the mistake.)
Monkeypox Vaccine Information
August 16, 2022. Learn about the JYNNEOS vaccine for monkeypox and its availability in Massachusetts at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/monkeypox-vaccination. Learn about the vaccine’s availability in Rhode Island at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/monkeypox-vaccination.
COVID-19 Vaccinations and Treatment
April 20, 2023. The federal government (CDC and FDA) has updated its recommendations for COVID vaccinations. People at least 65 years old or immunocompromised may received an additional (bivalent) booster shot. The revised recommendations include guidelines related to young children. Go to https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2023/s0419-covid-vaccines.html to learn more. Call your health care provider if you have questions about your own health and the vaccinations.
December 16, 2022. Starting today, the federal government is resuming its free at-home COVID-19 test program. Every U.S. household is eligible to order four tests, which will be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. Go to covidtests.gov and click on "Order free at-home tests" to order your tests.
July 7, 2022. Have you tested positive for COVID-19? The Massachusetts Department of Public Health can help. Use their free telehealth service as soon as you can to see if Paxlovid is right for you. If it is, the DPH will have it ready at a local pharmacy or deliver it to your home. Learn more at https://t.co/CUIk2n7wfI.
March 31, 2022. The CDC has launched COVID.gov, a one-stop toolkit to help users find vaccines, treatments, and testing and to provide community-level data.
The Massachusetts website that provides COVID-19 information now includes information on obtaining a digital vaccine card, selecting and using a safe mask, and obtaining vaccines and boosters. Go to mass.gov/CovidVaccine.
January 11, 2022. US Family Health Plan covers the cost of COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots for Plan members in eligible age groups, whether they obtain their vaccination at a pharmacy, health center, or other location. If you have an order from your doctor and a COVID test is deemed medically necessary, the cost will be covered by US Family Health Plan. "At home" tests are not covered by the Plan. Learn more at https://www.tricare.mil/covid19testing.
December 2021. COVID-19 vaccination is now recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or who might become pregnant.
If You Have COVID-19 Symptoms
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, have been in close contact with a person sick with COVID-19, or traveled to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19, do not make an appointment or walk into your provider's office. Instead, stay at home and call your provider's office so they can assess your symptoms. Members may also call the 24-Hour Nurse Advice Line at 1.866.767.4546.
These government resources are updated often:
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
State of Rhode Island Department of Health