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Emergency support from UC’s benefit plans

As California enters another destructive fire season, Systemwide Human Resources is working with UC’s benefits partners to ensure their commitment to meeting the needs of those affected by the wildfires throughout California.

If you need extra assistance, please contact your plan (see below for contact information). Customer service representatives will do their best to offer the help you need as quickly as possible.

Accessing your retirement savings for emergency expenses

If you or a family member live or work in one of the areas devastated by California wildfires, you may be able to use some of your UC 403(b) or 457(b) Plan funds to help you with expenses and rebuilding. Please contact Fidelity Retirement Services at 866-682-7787 regarding relaxed rules for loans and hardship withdrawals for employer-sponsored retirement savings plans like UC’s.

Please refer to the Summary Plan Descriptions, or contact Fidelity, to learn more about standard loan and hardship distributions available under the 403(b) Plan and unforeseeable emergency withdrawals under the 457(b) Plan.

Replacing lost prescriptions

If you have lost an essential prescription medication in the fire, you or your pharmacy may call your pharmacy benefits administrator and request an emergency supply. You may also request a change of address for your home delivery, or a transfer to pick up your prescription at a network pharmacy.

Seeking medical, dental or vision care

If your medical facility is closed due to the fires, or if you have left the area and are unable to see your usual medical or dental provider, please call your plan’s customer service representative for help finding a provider near you.

Any active VSP member in need of eye care and/or replacement glasses due to the wildfires can call VSP Member Services at 800-877-7195 and have their VSP benefits reinstated regardless of eligibility.

Emotional health support

There are a number of options available to those who need emotional support coping with stress and loss caused by the wildfires. Please contact your Faculty and Staff Assistance Program or your behavioral health plan for a referral.

Optum Behavioral Health is offering a free emotional-support help line for those affected, regardless of plan membership. The toll-free number (866-342-6892) will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. Callers may also receive referrals to community resources to help them with specific concerns, including financial and legal matters.

Claims for loss of life or property, disability

UC faculty or staff who have an auto, homeowner or renter’s policy with California Casualty and have been forced to evacuate their home, suffered smoke damage, or suffered other fire related damage, please call 800-800-9410. Press 4 when prompted or remain on the line to be transferred to a claims specialist who will quickly assist you.

If you are a UC employee impacted by the fires and you have a current disability claim, Lincoln Financial (formerly Liberty Mutual) will support you by:

  • Exercising leniency with regard to providing notice of loss, proof of loss, medical record due dates, and appeal deadlines
  • Accepting a verbal change-of-address (with appropriate information to establish identity)
  • Offering option to activate direct deposit for short-term disability
  • Waiving the 10-day waiting period for stop payment procedures and reissuance of benefits

Lincoln Financial will send a special email message to claimants (who have provided an email address) covering the above information and providing alternate contact information.

Prudential stands ready to assist with any life or AD&D claim issues that might need special handling of any kind.

Contact information for UC plans

PPO plans

  • Medical and pharmacy (Anthem): 844-437-0486
  • Behavioral health (Anthem): 844-792-5141

HMO plans

Medical and pharmacy

  • Health Net Blue & Gold: 800-539-4072
  • Health Net Seniority Plus: 800-539-4072
  • Kaiser Permanente: 800-464-4000
  • Kaiser Senior Advantage: 800-443-0815
  • Western Health Advantage (WHA): 888-563-2252

Behavioral health

  • Optum Behavioral Health (Health Net Blue & Gold, Kaiser Permanente, WHA): 888-440-8225
  • Kaiser: Call your local clinic

Other plans

  • Delta Dental: 800-777-5854 (PPO); 800-422-4234 (HMO)
  • Vision Service Plan (VSP): 866-240-8344
  • California Casualty: 800-800-9410
  • Lincoln Financial (formerly Liberty Mutual): 800-838-4461
  • Prudential: 800-524-0542
  • Fidelity Retirement Services: 866-682-7787

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  1. Gerry August 7, 2018 Reply

    Wow! This is great information.

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