November 10, 2014
Subject: Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) Carrier Guidance on Ebola Virus
Federal employees from numerous agencies have been assigned to duties that could expose them to individuals infected with Ebola virus. All appropriate precautions are being taken to protect their health and safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Defense and others have issued guidance about training, monitoring for potential exposure, risk evaluation, travel/restricted movement, and medical clearance. The World Health Organization has declared Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) to be a “public health emergency of international concern” and the growing number of Ebola cases in West Africa has captured the attention of world leaders. The first cases diagnosed in the United States (US) highlight the importance of effective strategies to identify those at risk and limit further exposure.
The Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Veterans Affairs and other Federal agency personnel are involved in the global or domestic response to EVD. The CDC has taken the US clinical lead and posts pertinent information at www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola. Hospitals and medical professionals are simultaneously refreshing their understanding of this disease and its management. We expect that carriers are also undertaking a comprehensive review to update and align policies.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing guidance on Carrier responsibilities for handling enrollees and family members exposed to Ebola virus.
Carriers will notify their contract specialist in the event that their plan becomes involved in arranging the care of an FEHB enrollee or family member exposed to or infected with Ebola virus disease. After hours or on weekends, Carriers may alert OPM via email directed to FEHBevd@opm.gov.