Health Care and Support Services

Frequently asked questions

Health care and insurance

Medications

Self-quarantine

Office of Victim Advocacy


What about my health care and insurance?

As your service will be completed (COS), you will no longer receive health care directly from the Peace Corps. For service-related conditions, you should contact Office of Post Service at 1-855-855-1961, extension 1540 (toll free) or +1-202-692-1540.

Usually the Peace Corps purchases one month of limited health insurance for you to cover non-service-related conditions. Due to the exceptional nature of this evacuation, the Peace Corps has made the decision to pay for two months of coverage. You can add an additional month to that coverage at your expense as long as you do so before the second month paid for by PC has ended. To extend coverage, you may utilize your Readjustment Allowance (which may take 3-4 weeks) or utilize a credit card.

You have 60 days from the date of your qualifying life event (COS) to apply for ACA-compliant health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

For questions about post-service medical and dental care, please see Finding Health Care After Peace Corps Service on Learning Space at https://learning.peacecorps.gov/login/index.php.


I am applying for ACA-compliant health insurance and need to provide documentation that details my coverage with Peace Corps. Where can I find this information?

Please email [email protected] to request a Certification of Peace Corps Health Coverage, which you will provide to your new health insurance company detailing your Peace Corps health benefits coverage.

As part of the COS process, Peace Corps also provides the information to a federal data hub, which provides the data electronically to Healthcare.gov and all State Marketplaces.

Health coverage provided to Volunteers during service is considered creditable coverage, including prescription drug coverage for purposes of the group health market provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). In addition, this coverage meets the minimum essential coverage requirement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Remember, you have 60 days from the date of your qualifying life event (COS) to apply for ACA-compliant health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.


How can I receive my insurance authorization forms and other forms needed for COS medical exams?

Please contact the Post Service Unit at 1-202-692-1540 or [email protected].


How do I access medical forms after completing the email waiver?

Please contact the Post Service Unit at 1-202-692-1540 or [email protected].


What is a PC-127C or PC-209B form?

The PC-127C authorization and PC-209B are issued in order to obtain a diagnosis and a treatment plan from a medical provider regarding illnesses, injuries, or conditions related to a returned Volunteer’s Peace Corps service. This is essential in order for the RPCV to file a Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) claim with the Department of Labor. Please note, the PC-127C/PC-209B authorizations are separate from the Short Term Health Insurance for Travel and Transition (SHIFTT).


When is the expiration date of my PC-209B?

For all RPCVs with a COS date of February 6th, 2020 or later, the PC-209B expiration date has been extended from 90 days to 180 days after your COS date. Your PC-127Cs also expire 180 days after your COS date. Please be aware that Peace Corps will be unable to further extend these authorizations.


How do I use my health care authorizations (127C or 209B)?

You may have received a PC-209B authorization form for your Close of Service (COS) physical exam. This authorizes primary care evaluation, physical exam and routine labs typically performed during a COS physical. The expiration date is now 180 days from the date of your COS. However, we encourage you to obtain your COS physical as soon as possible. Please schedule an appointment for a physical exam with a Primary Care Provider, bring your PC-209B AND PC-1790 form (exam documentation) to your appointment. Once your exam has been completed, please fax the documentation to the Post Service Unit at 1-202-692-1541.

You also likely received a PC-127C authorization form. These authorization forms are typically used for routine follow up, evaluation and readjustment counseling, and/or dental prophylaxis (if indicated). All PC-127C forms expire 6 months from the date of COS. Please schedule an appointment for the indicated service and bring your PC-127C form to that appointment. It’s important to note that during a period of physical distancing and/or quarantine, routine medical care may be deferred by your provider. Note, the PC-127C forms provided at COS authorize evaluation only. Any treatment will require additional authorization through the Post-Service Unit.


How do I find a provider?

  1. To find a provider in your area that works within the First Health Network, please follow the link here: https://providerlocator.firsthealth.com/LocateProvider/SelectNetworkType
  2. Select “First Health network” and press “Start Now”
  3. Select your provider type – most conditions fall under “Physician”
  4. Enter ZIP code
  5. If you need to select a specialist, click “Show More Options.” You will have the option to narrow the search by “Specialty” or “Condition.” Select “Specialty type,” and select the specialist if necessary. If you intend to use the Readjustment Counseling sessions, make sure to use a psychologist or a psychiatrist.
  6. Press “Search now”
  7. Call available providers, confirm they are in the First Health Network and see if they are willing to accept an authorization for evaluation (such as the PC-127C or 209B forms). If providers have questions about payment or coverage, direct them to call IMG at 1-855-731-9442. Your Volunteer ID number is your insurance member ID, which is located on your PC-127C/PC-209B.

How do my providers bill for services?

Billing instructions can be found on the PC-127C and PC-209B. Please direct your provider to make a copy of the authorization form, then send the itemized bill and authorization copy directly to IMG. Use the address listed on the authorization form or follow the electronic submission instructions. If your provider has questions regarding bill processing, please direct them to call IMG at 1-855-731-9442.


My 209-B still says it expires in May/June. How can I work with the provider to ensure they get paid and I do not get billed?

Please have your provider call IMG directly at 855.731.9442. They will be able to work out billing issues.


What do I need to apply for or reinstate my Medicare Part B or Part D coverage?

Medicare Part B

An individual can apply for Medicare Part B in their Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) which lasts for 7 months. The IEP begins 3 months before their 65th birthday and ends 3 months after they reach 65. If a person is within their IEP, they need to go to https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare/ and apply for Medicare Part B. They need to complete this form: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/CMS-Forms/CMS-Forms/Downloads/CMS40B-E.pdf

If an individual does not sign up for Medicare Part B during their IEP or needs to reinstate their Medicare Part B coverage, because they had coverage through an employer (e.g., Peace Corps), they can sign-up during the 8 month special enrollment period. In these circumstances, individuals will need to complete the required forms here: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/CMS-Forms/CMS-Forms/Downloads/CMS-L564E.PDF

The form for the special enrollment period must be signed by Peace Corps. Please email [email protected] to request signature on the form.

Medicare Part D

For Medicare Part D, please review the following: https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11219-Understanding-Medicare-Part-C-D.pdf

If there outstanding questions regarding Medicare, please contact Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).


How do I receive my prescription medications?

Please review Prescription Medication FAQ [PDF].


How do I obtain Primaquine and Praziquantel?

If you worked in a country or region where malaria and/or schistosomiasis were present, AND have not yet secured your Primaquine and/or Praziquantel prescription(s), please call the Post Services Unit at 1-202-692-1540 and select Option 2 to address your prescription needs.

Please review Prescription Medication FAQ [PDF] for additional details.


What is the correct Primaquine dosing?

Primaquine is often available in two forms. The first is Primaquine base 15mg tablets. The second is Primaquine Phosphate 26.3 mg tablets or capsules. Both formulations contain the desired dose of Primaquine (15mg base) and are acceptable. Regardless of the preparation, please take two tablets or capsules by mouth daily for 14 days (28 doses total).


I was given a prescription for malaria Presumptive Antirelapse Therapy (PART) for 14 days of Primaquine. My pharmacist is telling me they will substitute Primaquine with a different malaria medication. Is this OK?

No, this is not acceptable. Per the CDC, there are no replacement medications for Primaquine. Please ask your pharmacist to continue to find a source for this medication. It is OK to wait until they have the correct medication in stock to begin taking the Primaquine.


Can I take Chloroquine to prevent COVID-19?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are no antiviral drugs recommended or licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for COVID-19. Chloroquine has not been approved by the FDA for use in the treatment of COVID-19.

Furthermore, experts at Stanford University and University of Alabama Birmingham have cautioned that “inappropriate/overuse of Chloroquine could rapidly lead to viral mutation and resistance.”

Preventive measures include frequent hand-sanitation (washing or use of sanitizer), social distancing to protect yourself and others, wearing a mask if sick and disinfecting surfaces commonly touched.


Will I have to be quarantined when I return to the U.S.?

To protect others, and according to guidance by the CDC and World Health Organization, Peace Corps recommends that you self-quarantine for 14 days upon return to the U.S. In particular, please consider the risks your travel might pose to high risks groups, including elderly family and friends.

More detailed guidance on self-quarantine is posted on Learning Space, at https://learning.peacecorps.gov/login/index.php.


What if I cannot return to my HOR or do not have a place to self-quarantine?

If you do not have a place to self-quarantine, please see these documents for detailed guidance:


Can I self-quarantine at an alternative location (such as hotel or Airbnb) with other PCVs, who are not my spouse?

Peace Corps does not encourage this type of arrangement. This would make social distancing more difficult to observe and is not considered the most effective self-quarantine method. If one Volunteer is infected in this type of arrangement, it will amplify the disease, because all of the Volunteers are together in close quarters for 2 weeks.


I have completed self-quarantine and I do not have any symptoms. Do I need COVID-19 testing or follow up before I end self-quarantine?

If you have completed 14 days of quarantine and currently have no symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath, your movement restrictions can be lifted and you may return to your home if quarantining elsewhere. Note that your local public health rules will now dictate limitations on your activity such as ability to be in public places (i.e. Stay at Home Orders).

Can I leave quarantine if I have been in self-quarantine for 14 days but during quarantine had a cough, fever and/or shortness of breath?

If you developed symptoms that may be indicative of COVID-19 during quarantine, but are now feeling better, you can leave quarantine if you meet ALL THREE of these criteria from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  1. You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (or 3 full days) without taking medications that reduce fevers (such as Ibuprofen (Motrin) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol)) AND
  2. Other symptoms have improved. For example, your previous cough or shortness of breath have improved AND
  3. At least seven (7) days have passed since your symptoms first began.

Note: These criteria may change. Please check the CDC’s website for the most up-to-date information.


What if I have completed 14 days of quarantine and I do not meet the criteria above OR I have active symptoms (cough, fever, and/or shortness of breath)?

You must see a clinical provider to assess your risk and/or make recommendations on further evaluation. Please call the Peace Corps Post Service Unit at 1-202-692-1540 and select option #3 to request a 127-C authorization prior to seeking evaluation. Peace Corps will not reimburse for continued self-quarantine unless it is recommended by your clinical provider based on their assessment of risk to others of COVID 19 transmission.


What if I test positive for COVID-19?

Contact your local Public Health Authorities.

You may need to file a FECA claim with the Department of Labor to support your testing or treatment. Please see this link to find out more information about coverage due to exposure while working abroad: https://www.dol.gov/owcp/dfec/InfoFECACoverageCoronavirus.htm


Do I have access to the Office of Victim Advocacy?

Currently serving and returned Volunteers who were victims of crime during their service are able to report to OVA at any time, regardless of how much time has passed since the crime occurred. Victim Advocates are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via telephone, text or e-mail.


What services does the Office of Victim Advocacy provide?

The Office of Victim Advocacy is a resource to all currently serving and returned Volunteers who have been victims of crime during their service. OVA works to ensure Volunteers have access to the full range of support services provided by the Peace Corps.

OVA provides a range of comprehensive advocacy services, including:

  • Information on available mental health, medical, and legal options
  • Resources for support services, both within the Peace Corps as well as from outside organizations
  • Accompaniment overseas to participate in investigative and legal proceedings when required
  • Assistance with safety planning
  • Updates throughout the investigative process, legal proceedings, and internal investigations.