Free & Confidential Services for Employees, Physicians, Professional Staff & IHP Students
COVID-19 Information & Resources
This Spring, the Pandemic moved into a new phase, in which the emergency measures were ended by the government and Mass General Brigham.
The MGB workforce did an amazing job responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic. There were many examples (on the front lines and remotely) of quality care, innovation, adaptability, and dedication.
Going forward, we will use this page to provide any relevant COVID policy updates and information. You can still access supports on areas we focused on during the Pandemic, such as:
MGB PPE & Administrative Changes
You can find full details here. Below are some key updates.
Universal masking is no longer in place, but masking is required in the following circumstances:
- Patients/visitors presenting with symptoms should put on a facility-issued mask available at the hand hygiene/masking stations at our facilities
- Employees will use masks per Standard Precautions (e.g., when engaging in care activities that may generate splashes or sprays) and Transmission-based precautions
Occ. Health Call Center Closing
Following the end of the Public Health Emergency earlier this month, a of June 9, Occupational Health Services closed its Call Center. For questions about COVID-19 Return to Work, visit Ask My HR or WorkWell (previously called COVID Pass).
Employees are no longer required to attest to asymptomatic status for onsite work. WorkWell will remain in the digital portal for employee health. Employees should use this for the following cases:
- Symptom reporting
– Employees who develop new viral respiratory symptoms, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, must use WorkWell to report any of these symptom(s) and adhere to Return to Work requirements.
– Reporting a new positive test for COVID-19
– WorkWell will enable employees to submit positive test results through the application with a streamlined, easy upload feature
Health Insurance Changes
- Medicaid (Mass Health) members will need to once again prove eligibility
– No change to private insurance coverage
- End to insurance coverage for at-home tests
- Vaccines will need to be covered by insurance
- Insurance coverage for virtual mental health and addiction treatment has been extended until at least the end of the year
– After that, patients will be required to see their provider in person at least once per year
– Medicare will continue to pay for video and audio-based virtual treatment
Eviction Protections in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
COVID eviction protections ended in March 2023
- Essentially, this means landlords can start eviction proceedings without going through extra measures added during COVID
- The best strategy is to try to work with your landlord to set up a plan that helps all parties
- For assistance with landlord/tenant issues please visit our section on Supports for Eviction and Foreclosure
Student Loan Updates
Updates on Federal Student Loans
The Supreme Court struck down the initial loan forgiveness plan in June. There are already some programs in place, and more being introduced/implemented to address student loan repayment. Here are some highlights:
- Student loan interest will resume starting on Sept. 1, 2023, and payments will be due starting in October.
- There is a 12-month “on-ramp” period for borrowers unable to make monthly payments. Missed payments won’t lead to default or bad credit but interest will still accrue during this time.
The latest on Public Service Loans Forgiveness (PSLF)
- The 3+ year pause period counts towards the 10 years of payments required for forgiveness
- The Education Department is temporarily bending the rules on which payments count toward forgiveness under PSLF during the one-time IDR account adjustment
- Information on applying for PSLF
The New Student Loan Income-Driven Repayment Account Adjustment
The new IDR waiver was introduced because millions of borrowers were improperly steered by their loan servicers into forbearance, which pauses payments but allows interest to rack up. Many others made payments that weren’t counted for technical reasons.
- IDR plans offer reduced payments over 20 or 25 years, then forgiveness of the remaining balance. Payments are based on the borrowers’ income, not the balance owed.
- This account adjustment bends the rules on which payments count toward the forgiveness finish line, so every month you’ve ever spent in student loan repayment or on pause since leaving school will count toward forgiveness after the adjustment is applied — even if you’ve never enrolled in an IDR plan before.
- The Education Department said it will continue to identify and notify borrowers who reach the applicable forgiveness thresholds — 20 or 25 years — every two months until 2024, at which point all borrowers who are not yet eligible for forgiveness will have their payment counts updated. So, expect the next debt discharge announcement in mid-September.
The New Income-Driven Repayment (SAVE) Plan: How It Works
- Sign up ASAP to access a better plan.
- Borrowers earning less than about $32,800 individually, or less than $67,500 for a family of four, would see $0 monthly bills.
- Most other borrowers would see their payments cut by at least half, with the most benefit going to those with undergraduate loans only.
- Students who borrow less than $12,000 would see their remaining balances wiped away after 10 years of payments, instead of 20 to 25 years.
- If you make your monthly payments, interest won’t build up on your student loan balance.
Fresh Start’: What Student Loan Borrowers in Default Need to Know
- Sign up by September 2024.
– Federal student loans including direct loans, government-held Perkins loans, government-held FFELP loans, and privately held FFELP loans.
– Borrowers must have also defaulted on the loans before forbearance began on March 13, 2020.
- Loans returned to “current” status on borrowers’ credit reports.
- Removal of negative default marks on credit reports.
- Access to federal student aid and other government loans, like mortgages.
- Access to flexible repayment plans, like income-driven repayment.
- Access to short-term relief, like deferment or forbearance.
- Suspension of collection efforts, even after the student loan payment pause ends.
For more information on student loans and some loan forgiveness alternatives please visit our financial section.
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