University expands health benefits for COVID-19 care


The University of Michigan has revised its health benefits in a continuing effort to ensure its communities have the comprehensive care needed during the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

more information
  • Michigan Medicine 24/7 COVID-19 Hotline for patients and employees of Michigan Medicine: 734-763-6336
  • 24/7 nurse lines for U-M health plan members
    — BCBSM PPO and CMM plans: 800-775-2583
    — U-M Premier Care and Grad Care plans: 855-624-5214
  • U-M COVID-19 website
  • Human Resources COVID-19 updates

The university has added and expanded its benefits to cover the medical and mental-health out-of-pocket costs of telehealth services through June 30 for all U-M health plans.

Employees who are members of U-M’s health plans will have their cost-share, copay and coinsurance waived for:

  • Virtual or telemedicine medical appointments.
  • Virtual or telemedicine mental-health appointments for individual psychiatric and psychotherapy visits. However, copays will apply to group psychotherapy services and autism services that can be appropriately delivered through telemedicine.

In addition, member cost-sharing for inpatient and outpatient testing and treatment related to COVID-19 is waived through June 30.

COVID-19 has proven to be highly contagious, with nearly 19,000 Michiganders officially diagnosed as of April 8. State health experts say the next few weeks could see more than 1,000 new cases each day as the disease peaks.

To decrease the chance of spreading the virus or being infected, members are reminded to use telemedicine visits whenever possible. Michigan Medicine providers are available for virtual visits. Other physician groups may offer telemedicine services. Patients should go to their group’s website or call their offices to check.

Because COVID-19, the flu and other illnesses are easily passed through person-to-person contact, all employees should call their doctor before seeking care to minimize the chance of spreading germs to others.  

Advance drug refills continue

Last month, U-M’s Benefit Office implemented a refill override on prescription maintenance medications to ensure members can receive their supplies with less travel and human contact. This override continues until further notice.

Members may get up to a 90-day supply of maintenance medication in advance of the usual refill schedule, provided their prescription has refills available. Typically, 75 percent of a current fill must have been used before a refill request is honored.



  1. JoAnn Ford
    on April 9, 2020 at 9:47 am

    Does this coverage include eye care telehealth visits as well?
    I’ve needed to pay extra for one this past week since cannot be seen at eye care facility and to get contacts renewal/order had no other choice.

    • Kim Goodin
      on April 9, 2020 at 5:00 pm

      Hi, Joann.

      Your question has been forwarded to the HR Benefits Office. Someone will be in touch with you soon.

  2. Karin Teske
    on April 9, 2020 at 10:17 am

    The title of this post sounds like only treatments related to COVID-19 are expanded but I think the intention of the communication is to say that telehealth benefits have been expanded for other treatments as well

    • Kim Goodin
      on April 9, 2020 at 2:33 pm

      Hi, Karen.

      To clarify your comment: Yes, the coverage of cost-share for tele-health is for any medical or behavioral health video visit through June 30, and the coverage of any out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing and treatment is also through June 30.

  3. Michael Loviska
    on April 9, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    Does this change include retired UM staff with UM health plans?

    • Kim Goodin
      on April 9, 2020 at 2:36 pm

      Hi, Michael.

      Yes, retirees with U-M health plans are included.

  4. JoAnn Peraino
    on April 13, 2020 at 4:13 am

    What should one do if they have been charged a co-pay for one of these services?

  5. Suzanne Burr
    on April 13, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    Greetings: Of note, the article does not state when this policy went into effect. It appears from speaking with the Benefits office that the effective date was March 24, when the first stay-at-home order was issued from Governor Whitmer. It would be helpful to have the effective date noted as well as the end date, if future articles are issued. Thanks for inviting comments on this important topic.

  6. William Calvo-Quiros
    on April 20, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    Would you mind explain the process to implement this new benefit? Do I pay the copay and get reimbursed? Or the therapist submits the bill to the university? I called and got tra different

    734 6152000

  7. William Calvo-Quiros
    on April 20, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    Would you mind explain the process to implement this new benefit? Do I pay the copay and get reimbursed? Or the therapist submits the bill to the university? I called and got transferred five times from Michigan Medicine 24/7 COVID-19 to HR and to Staff Services…. to billing and no-one knew about this or knew what to do. 🙁

    • Kim Goodin
      on April 20, 2020 at 3:50 pm

      Hi, William.

      I’ve forwarded your question to the Benefits Office. You should hear from someone soon.

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