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United Behavioral Health/Optum offer a free emotional support help line. The help line is available 24/7 and open to the public for as long as necessary, providing access to specially trained mental health specialists to help people manage stress and anxiety so they can continue to address everyday needs.
Callers may also receive referrals to community resources to help them with specific concerns, including financial and legal matters.
Call the United Behavioral Health/Optum help line: 1-866-342-6892
Online resources and information are also available by registering with Optum: Coronavirus info: you’ll find information for preparing and recovering from crisis, as well as links to the CDC, Red Cross, and other national organizations. Coping Center: Type the keyword “coping” into the search bar, select Coping. Here you’ll find articles, guides, self-help tools and videos on coping with stress.

Optum has announced that they are taking steps to offer assistance to people impacted by the shooting in Las Vegas. Behavioral care advocates are available 24/7 to address any concerns members may have.
Optum is offering a free emotional support helpline for the people impacted. The toll-free number is 866-342-6892 and will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as is necessary. This helpline provides those affected access to specially trained United Behavioral Health (UBH) mental health specialists. This service is free of charge and open to anyone in need.
Along with the helpline, emotional-support resources and information are available online at
Click here for a flyer on the resources available to you.

The national railroad plans (“plan”) allow you to see any doctor in your plan administrator’s network, including specialists, without a referral. This means that you have the freedom to choose a physician or specialist without first seeing a primary care physician.

There are two levels of coverage under the plan. Your level of coverage is determined each time you receive care and whether you use an in-network provider or an out-of-network provider. Your out-of-pocket costs under both levels of coverage may include office visit copayments, deductibles, and coinsurance whether you are using services under the Managed Medical Care Program (MMCP), the Comprehensive Health Care Benefit (CHCB) or the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Care Benefit (MHSA).

MMCP and MHSA benefits 

 In-network: This level of benefit will apply when you use a physician, specialist, laboratory or other provider who is a member of your plan administrator’s network. When you use in-network providers, your out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles, and coinsurance will be lower than if you use out-of-network providers.  Remember, there is no penalty for seeking treatment from a specialist without a referral, providing you with quicker, easier access to health care. 

Out-of-network:  This level of benefit will apply when you use a physician, specialist, laboratory or other provider who is not a member of your plan administrator’s network.  The plan provides coverage if you use an out-of-network provider, but your out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles, and coinsurance will be higher than if you use an in-network provider. In addition, you will be responsible for any amounts in excess of the covered charges. Covered charges are those charges determined to be usual, customary and reasonable for a particular service in a particular ZIP code area. Additionally, out-of-network providers may require you to pay for services at the time of service which means you will have to file your claim with the plan in order to be reimbursed.

CHCB benefit 

Under CHCB, the plan pays a percentage of eligible expenses for covered health services. You will pay lower deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses if you use preferred providers, who are health care providers the plan has special arrangements with who agree to discount their charges. By using a provider where a special discount arrangement exists, the amount of the eligible expense that is your responsibility will generally be less than if non-preferred provider is used because the eligible expense will not be subject to a usual, customary and reasonable charge determination for a particular service in a particular ZIP code area.  The covered charge will be based on the discounted charge, after your calendar year deductible is satisfied, leaving you with a lower out-of-pocket expense. Your medical ID card shows if you are entitled to these discounts.  If you are, you must make sure the provider sees your ID card and knows that you are covered under one of these discount programs.

How to locate in-network providers

Locating in-network providers online for your medical health care needs is easy.  Simply follow the instructions outlined below for the plan administrator of your health benefits.

MMCP and CHCB benefits 

Plan administrator:  Aetna 

Customer service: (800) 842-4044  (Railroad Employees National Health & Welfare Plan); (888) 332-8742  (National Railway Carriers / United Transportation Union Health & Welfare Plan)

► Go to

► Click on “Find a Doctor”

► Under “Search by Location”, fill in required items

► Click on “Search”

► You may also search by entering the Provider or Facility name


Plan Administrator:  Highmark BCBS

Customer service: (866) 267-3320

► Go to

► Under “Find Providers” click on “Find a Doctor, Hospital or Other Medical Provider”

► Under “I Want to Find A” complete all of the required fields

► To select a plan: if MMCP benefits, select “BCBS PPO”; if CHCB benefits, select “BCBS Traditional”

► Click on “Submit”  


Plan Administrator:  UnitedHealthcare 

Customer service: (800) 842-9905  (Railroad Employees National Health & Welfare Plan); (888) 445-4379  (National Railway Carriers / United Transportation Union Health & Welfare Plan)

► Go to

► Click on “Find Physician, Laboratory, or Facility”

► If prompted to select plan, select “UnitedHealthcare Choice Plus”

► Under “Physician Specialties,” “Facilities” or “Conditions,” select the choices that apply

► You also may enter the “Name, Facility, Specialty or Condition” and/or ZIP code 


MHSA benefit 

Plan Administrator:  United Behavioral Health 

Customer service: (866) 850-6212

► Go to and login or register under the heading “Members: Login or Register”  

► If you prefer to login anonymously, under the heading “Members: Access Anonymously” enter the access

    code “railroad”

► Under the heading “Member Services” (top right-hand side of site), click on “Search for clinician”

► In step 1, under heading “Search for mental health clinicians near you,” click on “Click here to use our free

     behavioral health clinician search tool”  

► Follow the instructions of the Clinician Search tool to search for a facility or clinician   

 Note:  Provider information, while updated regularly, changes frequently. Always verify directly with your providers, prior to scheduling your appointment or receiving services, that they are still a participating member of your plan administrator’s network.

Discuss in-network services with your doctor 

It’s important that your in-network doctor always refers you to in-network providers should you be in need of other medical services, like laboratory work or a referral to a specialist.  

► At each visit, ask your doctor to use in-network providers for any medical services you might require from  other providers.

► For example, you have the right to ask your doctor to send your laboratory work to an in-network laboratory, thereby allowing you to take a more active role in containing your health care costs.

► If your doctor refers you to another provider, call the number on the back of your member ID card to confirm the provider’s participation in your plan administrator’s network.  

If you have any questions or need assistance in locating an in-network provider, or you do not have online capability, please call the phone number located on the back of your member ID card for assistance.                                                                                                    

We know all too well that alcohol consumption and drug use can imperil our jobs.

But how about off the job; and how about family members?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports more than 600,000 emergency room visits annually due to alcohol or drug problems; and that count represents but one-third of all misuse of alcohol or drugs.

In the long term, alcohol abuse can lead to:

  • Liver, heart and brain damage; and severe over indulgence of alcohol can induce dementia or other mental illness.
  • Bad judgment, poor coordination, blackouts, loss of memory, nausea, hangovers, headaches, coma and suicide.
  • Birth defects, including learning disabilities. That is why pregnant women are warned not to consume alcohol during pregnancies.

Be aware that 40 percent of alcoholism is related to genetics and is inherited.

Note the warning signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse:

  • Craving alcohol
  • Drinking alone
  • Inability to reduce or stop drinking
  • Hiding alcohol in secret places
  • Violent episodes or becoming angry when confronted about drinking habits
  • Sleeping for long periods of time
  • Feeling anxious in social situations and experiencing feelings of guilt
  • Poor eating habits

You and/or your family members can get help in treating alcohol and drug abuse.

United Behavioral Health offers 24-hour confidential telephone counseling at (866) 850-6212, and the website can provide you with more information on alcohol and drug abuse.

And keep in mind that those in safety sensitive transportation jobs face a good likelihood of being randomly tested for alcohol and drug use:

The U.S. Department of Transportation set the following test rates for 2011:

  • For bus drivers, the random drug testing rate is 50 percent; and the random alcohol testing rate is 10 percent.
  • For airline workers, the random drug testing rate is 25 percent; and the random alcohol testing rate is 10 percent.
  • For rail workers, the random drug testing rate is 25 percent; and the random alcohol testing rate is 10 percent.
  • For transit workers, the random drug testing rate is 25 percent; and the random alcohol testing rate is 10 percent.

Beginning in April and continuing through June, a new “point of entry” program will be available for participants covered under the Railroad Employees National Health and Welfare Plan or the National Railway Carriers/United Transportation Union Plan sponsored by the national freight railroads.

The program is designed to provide an enhanced level of service for eligible railroad members and/or their eligible dependents who call UBH to access mental health services.

The objective of the program is to provide services immediately upon calling, when they are likely to be needed most. This support may help eligible members and/or eligible dependents better manage their situation in the long run, and provide a foundation for faster, more complete resolution of issues.

When calling UBH, members will be given the option to have immediate telephonic coaching/counseling, which will not count against available outpatient visits. In addition, there is no co-pay for these immediate telephonic services. If an individual requires face-to-face services after having the telephonic session, the counselor can authorize the services.

The pilot project is for members contacting the dedicated UBH railroad team in Atlanta. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact UBH at (866) 850-6212.