All of the major health insurers have said they will cover COVID-19 testing without imposing co-payments or deductibles on the patients, and most say they are covering telehealth services. Here’s a look at some of the changes commercial health insurers are making, drawn from the company’s own announcements.
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Aetna will waive co-pays for all diagnostic testing related to COVID-19, according to CVS Health. That includes all member costs associated with diagnostic testing for Commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid lines of business. Self-insured plan sponsors will be able to opt-out of the program at their discretion. Aetna is also offering zero co-pay telemedicine visits for any reason, and it is extending its Medicare Advantage virtual evaluation and monitoring visit benefit to all fully insured members. People diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive a care package. CVS Health is also offering several programs to help people address associated anxiety and stress.
Aetna, a CVS Health company, will waive member cost-sharing for inpatient admissions at all in-network facilities for treatment of COVID-19 or health complications associated with COVID-19. This policy applies to all Aetna-insured commercial plan sponsors and is effective immediately for any such admission through June 1, 2020.
Aetna is also waiving member cost-sharing for inpatient admissions at all in-network and out-of-network facilities for treatment of COVID-19 or health complications associated with COVID-19. This policy applies to all Aetna Individual and Group Medicare Advantage members and is effective March 25, 2020 for any such admission through June 1, 2020.
Aetna is also offering its Resources For Living®, its employee assistance program, to individuals and organizations who have been impacted by COVID-19, whether or not they have RFL included as part of their benefits.
Aetna is working closely with partner hospitals to help transfer and discharge members with issues unrelated to COVID-19 from hospitals to safe and clinically appropriate care settings where they can continue to have their needs addressed. This will help hospitals and emergency rooms make room for more patients, especially those suffering from COVID-19.
Alignment Healthcare has launched two signature programs to address critical medical and social challenges Americans are now facing. The first is the AVA™ Personalized COVID-19 Risk Assessment tool, which provides personalized results and is now available to the general public at www.alignmenthealthcare.com. The other is a crisis meal delivery program, providing two weeks of meals to members who cannot otherwise access food.
AllWays Health Partners is removing cost-sharing (copayments, deductibles, or coinsurance) for testing and copayments for treatment at in-network facilities; ensuring access to out-of-network providers for the initial COVID-19 test or treatment when no in-network providers are available; and removing all cost-sharing for telemedicine services, including virtual visits with primary care providers and specialists, and through Partners HealthCare On Demand, to enable members to seek COVID-19-related care without the need to go to medical offices.
AlohaCare will fully cover medically-necessary diagnostic tests for COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
Prior authorization is not needed for diagnostic tests and covered services that are medically-necessary and follow COVID-19 CDC guidelines.
AmeriHealth New Jersey will waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing performed at a hospital or approved laboratory. This includes members in fully insured, employer-sponsored plans and the individual and family plans available through the Affordable Care Act. Self-funded plans will be able to opt-out of the program. The company is also waiving cost-sharing for telemedicine visits available through members’ plans for the next 90 days.
Anthem will cover the cost of coronavirus testing with no out-of-pocket cost. Anthem also confirms that prior authorization is not required for diagnostic services related to COVID-19 testing. The company recommends using telehealth when possible to help prevent the spread of a virus. It is also encouraging its members to talk to their doctor about whether it is appropriate for them to change from a 30-day supply of their regular medications to a 90-day supply.
On March 17, Anthem also announced new resources for its members. First, it is working to accelerate the availability of a Coronavirus Assessment tool on the Sydney Care mobile app, which members can download at no cost. Second, Anthem’s affiliated plans will continue to waive copays, coinsurance and deductibles for diagnostic tests for COVID-19, and extending this to include waiver of copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for visits associated with in-network COVID-19 testing, whether the care is received in a doctor’s office, urgent care center or emergency department. Third, Anthem is relaxing early prescription refill limits for members who wish to receive a 30-day supply of most maintenance medications, where permissible. Fourth, for 90 days, Anthem plans will waive any cost sharing for telehealth visits, including visits for mental health care, for fully insured employer plans, individual plans, Medicare plans, and Medicaid plans, where permissible. This includes visits using Anthem’s telemedicine service, as well as care received from other telehealth providers delivering virtual care. The Anthem Foundation continues to support the Red Cross, Direct Relief, Americares, and Feeding America, and is working to redirect up to $2 million to local Boys and Girls Clubs to help distribute meals to children and families in need. The company is matching employee donations to the Anthem Foundation’s program.
Anthem is increasing physician availability through its telemedicine service, LiveHealth Online (LHO), including encouraging in-network doctors to join the platform, given the surge in demand. LHO is a safe and helpful way to use Anthem benefits to see a doctor and receive health guidance related to COVID-19, without leaving home or work.
Anthem is contributing $1 million to the Rapid Response Loan Fund, which was established by the Indy Chamber. The loan fund is intended to help the roughly 43,000 small business in central Indiana.
Anthem has also launched the Anthem Medical Associate Volunteer Program, which is designed to allow associates with professional medical training volunteer and assist in their local community’s response to COVID-19.
In addition, Anthem suspended prior authorization requirements for patient transfers as well as for the use of medical equipment critical to COVID-19 treatment.
Anthem is waiving cost sharing payments for COVID-19 treatment. The expansion covers the waiver of cost share for COVID-19 treatment received through May 31, 2020.
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Health Advantage
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Health Advantage are covering any illness related to the coronavirus that results in a need for standard covered medical treatment. There will be no prior authorizations for COVID-19 diagnostic tests and for covered services that meet primary coverage criteria and are consistent with CDC guidance. They will cover COVID-19 diagnostic testing and testing services at no cost to members. They are waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications and encouraging members to use their 90-day mail-order benefit. Arkansas Blue Cross will also ensure formulary flexibility if there are shortages or access issues. Members are encouraged to use virtual health and nurse/provider hotlines.
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Health Advantage are waiving costs their fully insured members would normally have to pay for telehealth services related to physical and/or behavioral health when received from an in-network provider.
The waivers will be in place through at least May 15, 2020.
Aspire Health Plan is waiving all co-pays related to COVID-19 testing. Aspire is also making its telehealth benefit available for no copay.
Avera Health Plans is waiving member costs for all telehealth benefits through June 14.
Avera is also waiving early refill limits on maintenance drugs to allow access to an additional 30-day supply.
AvMed will cover diagnostic testing for COVID-19 at no cost-sharing if it is determined that test is needed. AvMed, in partnership with CVS Health, will also be waiving early refill limits on 30-day prescriptions for maintenance medications and providing home delivery of all prescription medications free of charge. It is also encouraging the use of telehealth services.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association announced that its network of 36 independent and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies will waive prior authorizations for diagnostic tests and covered services for COVID-19, cover those tests at no cost share to members, waive prescription refill limits on maintenance medications, and expand access to telehealth and nurse/provider hotlines. This applies to fully insured, individual, and Medicare Advantage plan members, and plans are working with state Medicaid and CHIP agencies to ensure people have access to needed testing and services.
All 36 independent and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are also waiving cost sharing for telehealth services for fully insured members for the next 90 days.
Independent and locally-operated Blue Cross Blue Shield companies across the country and the BCBS Federal Employee Program® (FEP®) have decided to waive cost-sharing for treatment of COVID-19 through May 31. This includes coverage for testing and treatment administered, including for inpatient hospital stays.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts will cover the costs of diagnostic testing for COVID-19 for fully insured members. Self-funded groups will have the ability to opt-in. The company will also cover the cost of a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available, and will waive co-payments for COVID-19 treatment at doctor’s offices, emergency rooms and urgent care centers. It is removing administrative barriers such as prior authorizations and referrals, waiving copays for its telehealth platform, and allowing early access to refills of prescription medications.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has also donated $100,000 to the Boston Resiliency Fund and an additional $150,000 to relief efforts across Massachusetts.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has removed prior authorization requirements and moved to a notification-only requirement for inpatient levels of care including Acute, Long Term Acute (LTAC), Acute and Subacute Rehabilitation (Rehab), and Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) admissions. Medical necessity reviews will not be performed for these inpatient levels of care through June 23, 2020. Notifications by facilities will allow Blue Cross nurses to assist members during their care transitions, including to the home.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will waive prior authorizations for diagnostic tests and covered services for COVID-19, cover those tests at no cost share to members, waive prescription refill limits on maintenance medications, and expand access to telehealth and nurse/provider hotlines. This applies to fully insured and Medicare Advantage plan members. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will also work to support self-insured customers who choose to take similar actions.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network of Michigan will further expand access to prescription drug refills for members in order to comply with an executive order issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to expand access to prescription drug refills during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Governor Whitmer’s executive order expands BCBSM and BCN efforts by requiring all insurance providers to waive any limits on early refills, so Michigan residents can obtain a 90-day supply of prescription drugs necessary to manage their medical conditions during the COVID-19 crisis.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are waiving all member copays, deductibles and coinsurance for COVID-19 testing and treatment. The coverage applies to commercial PPO, Medicare Advantage PPO and HMO plans.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Wyoming is waiving members’ coinsurance, copayments and deductibles for COVID-19 medical treatments through June 30, 2020. Cost sharing payments for COVID-19 testing and related services, including office visits, urgent care or emergency department, have also been waived.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming is also temporarily waiving member cost-share for services provided through telemedicine by phone, video or other means.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming has also waived the early refill limitation for prescription drugs and waived the prior authorization requirement for refill.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama is expanding telehealth coverage. This expansion allows physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and behavioral health practitioners to provide medically necessary services via telephone consultation.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama is also waiving prior authorizations for diagnostic tests and covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance for members diagnosed with COVID-19.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama is covering medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic tests at no cost to members with fully insured, individual, employer-based, Federal Employee Program, and Medicare Advantage plans.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is temporarily lifting cost sharing payments for medically necessary health services delivered through telehealth. This applies to all fully insured members whose benefit plan included telehealth benefits. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois has also added 18 additional telehealth procedure codes that health care providers may use when billing Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois for medically necessary health care services, including codes for behavioral health therapy.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois also launched a dedicated microsite with information for members, providers on COVID-19.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas will expand coverage for telehealth services, which includes waiving cost-sharing for all telehealth services for members.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City will waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and eliminate prior authorizations for COVID-19 services. The company is waiving refill limits for 30-day maintenance medications, as well as fees for urgent/sick virtual care visits. It is offering same- or next-day therapy appointments to help ease anxiety about coronavirus.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is waiving all member cost sharing and copayments for inpatient hospital admissions due to the diagnosis of COVID-19. This policy will remain in place through June 30, 2020 and applies to insured Blue KC plans.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is making medical or behavioral health online visits with BlueCare, the insurer’s signature telehealth platform, available for $0.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota will waive prior authorizations for diagnostic tests and covered services for COVID-19, cover those tests at no cost share to members, waive prescription refill limits on maintenance medications, and expand access to telehealth and nurse/provider hotlines. This applies to fully insured employer, individual and Medicare members. Self-insured employers will have the flexibility to apply the same no-cost structure.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota announced a new community-based initiative with Allina Health to enable skilled volunteers to assist with the shortage of personal protective equipment for health care workers. This initiative asks skilled volunteers throughout the state to sew CDC-approved reusable face masks that health workers can use as they treat patients.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi is covering medically necessary diagnostic tests consistent with CDC guidance related to COVID-19 at no cost share (deductible, copay, coinsurance) to members.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi is also waiving member cost sharing for medically necessary covered services for COVID-19 treatment through May 31, 2020.
Medically necessary covered telemedicine services are also being provided with no member cost sharing payments.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska will cover testing for COVID-19 with no cost-sharing and is waiving early refill limits on 30-day prescription medications. It will also cover the cost of all telehealth visits with no cost-sharing for all members.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico will waive co-pays and deductibles for COVID-19 testing and will not require prior authorization. It is working with self-insured plans on their decisions.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico also launched a dedicated microsite with information for members, providers on COVID-19.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma will waive co-pays and deductibles for COVID-19 testing and will not require prior authorization.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma has partnered with DispatchHealth, a mobile medical care unit, to deliver on-demand health care services at members’ homes. The service is intended to prevent overcrowding at emergency rooms and other health care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma will temporarily lift cost-sharing for medically necessary medical and behavioral health services delivered via telemedicine in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma also launched a dedicated microsite with information for members, providers on COVID-19.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas will not apply co-pays or deductibles for testing to diagnose COVID-19, and will not require preauthorization.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas as is temporarily lifting cost sharing for medically necessary medical and behavioral health services delivered through telemedicine. This applies to all fully insured members who receive covered in-network telemedicine services.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas also launched a dedicated microsite with information for members and providers on COVID-19.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ)
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) will waive prior authorizations for medically necessary covered services for members diagnosed with COVID-19. Members will pay no cost-share for medically necessary diagnostic tests related to COVID-19. It will waive the member cost share for telehealth sessions, and expand access to telehealth and nurse/provider hotlines. It will increase access to prescription medications by waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications (consistent with a member’s benefit plan) and/or encouraging members to use their 90-day mail order benefit. BCBSAZ will also work with members to find alternative covered medications if there are shortages or access issues. Patients will not be liable for additional cost share for a non-preferred medication if the preferred medication is not available due to shortage or access issues.
BCBSAZ will waive cost sharing for insured members who receive care for COVID-19 related treatment from in-network providers through May 2020. This impacts BCBSAZ fully insured groups, individual policies, and Medicare members.
BlueCross BlueShield of Montana
BlueCross BlueShield of Montana will waive co-pays and deductibles for COVID-19 testing and will not require prior authorization. This applies to all members except those in self-insured plans; those plans are making their own coverage decisions.Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana is temporarily expanding its telemedicine visit coverage to include phone calls and eliminating cost sharing for clinically appropriate, covered medical and behavioral health services delivered through telemedicine in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.The expansion is effective through April 30, 2020.
BlueCross and BlueShield of Montana also launched a dedicated microsite with information for members, providers on COVID-19.
BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina
BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina will cover members’ cost for COVID-19 testing and will not require prior approval for COVID-19 testing. The company is also expanding virtual access to doctors and will waive early medication refill limits. These changes apply to fully insured, Medicare Advantage and Federal Employee Program members. Self-funded employer groups will be given the option to apply these changes to their employees’ plans.
BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina also announced that it will cover virtual doctor visits, including those done by phone, the same as face-to-face visits according to a member’s health plan. This is an expansion of the telehealth benefits Blue Cross NC has previously offered.
BlueCross and BlueShield of North Carolina is waiving member cost-sharing – including deductibles, co-payments, and coinsurance – for treatments related to COVID-19 if a member is diagnosed with the virus.
Blue Cross NC will waive member cost-sharing for COVID-19 related treatments for both in-network and out-of-network providers.
BlueCross BlueShield of North Dakota
BlueCross BlueShield of North Dakota is allowing customers to have 62 days to pay their premiums (which is an extension from the current 31-day requirement) for all members with individual plans or small group coverage (businesses with under 50 employees).
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island waived all member cost sharing (copays and deductibles) for telehealth whether provided by an in-network provider or through the Doctors Online telehealth platform.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island has also waived member copays and cost sharing for diagnostic testing related to COVID-19 consistent with CDC guidelines, and has removed administrative barriers by waiving prior authorization and referral requirements for testing and medically appropriate treatment of COVID-19.
BlueCross and BlueShield of South Carolina
BlueCross and BlueShield of South Carolina is waiving all out-of-pocket costs related to in-network COVID-19 medical treatment for members, through June 1.
BlueCross BlueShield Of Tennessee
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is offering enhanced support for its members by:
- Waiving all member cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatments, including hospitalizations, from in-network providers through May 31, 2020
- Waiving member costs for any appropriate, FDA-aligned COVID-19 testing
- Allowing early prescription refills and 90-day prescriptions to avoid increased risk of exposure
- Expanding access to telehealth services by making PhysicianNow visits available at no cost and by covering virtual visits with other network providers for many services
- Sharing key public health information, such as promoting social distancing and warning of potential scam activity
In addition, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation donated a total of $3.25 million to six food banks across the state to help them meet increased community needs. BlueCross has also made donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) to some Tennessee health systems.
BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont
BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont opened an emergency COVID-19 special enrollment period starting on March 20, 2020 for the uninsured to enroll in health plan coverage. This special enrollment period is for all qualified health plans offered through the exchange and will be for 30 days until April 17, 2020.
BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont is also covering COVID-19 testing performed by the Centers for Disease Control, the Vermont covered COVID-19 testing performed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Vermont Department of Health (VDH), or a laboratory approved by CDC or VDH, with no co-payment, coinsurance, or deductible requirements.
This coverage includes telephone triage, office visits with your provider, or urgent care visits and emergency service visits to test for COVID-19.
Blue Cross of Idaho has waived all cost-sharing for doctor’s office and urgent care visits related to testing for COVID-19. This decision applies to individual and fully insured members on employer plans.Blue Cross of Idaho has also expanded access to MDLIVE, the company’s telehealth partner. The new telehealth benefits are being offered at no additional premium cost to those members.
Blue Shield of California will waive all cost-sharing and any prior approval for COVID-19 testing for fully insured commercial and Medi-Cal plans. This includes cost-sharing for hospital, urgent care, emergency room, and office visits where the visit is to screen or test for the virus. Blue Shield also will not require prior authorization for medically necessary emergency care. Blue Shield is working closely with self-funded plan sponsors to confirm coverage levels for their employees. Blue Shield is closely monitoring impact to prescription drug supply and will take immediate steps to ensure members have access to medications. It is encouraging use of telehealth services.
Blue Shield of California also announced it will waive out-of-pocket costs for most members to use Teladoc Health’s virtual care service. Costs will be waived until May 31 in Individual & Family and employer-sponsored plans that offer Teladoc. Members enrolled in Blue Shield’s Trio, Tandem and Medicare Advantage plans, plus Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan enrollees, already enjoy $0 out-of-pocket costs for Teladoc Health services.
Blue Shield of California will cover members’ coinsurance, copayments and deductibles for COVID-19 medical treatments through May 31, 2020.
Blue Shield of California is providing up to $200 million in direct support to health care providers and hospitals through financing guarantees, advance payments, and restructuring of contracts.
Blue Shield is working with two financial institutions to help providers with guaranteed loans and to make advanced payments to them on anticipated healthcare costs. The plan is to offer favorable repayment terms to help providers get through the next six months.
Bright Health will cover COVID-19 diagnostic test and associated office as a preventive care service, so it is available at no cost to members, regardless of network. The company is also authorizing early medication refills for members who might be impacted by the outbreak. Non-emergency transportation is being made available to all members, and ride limits are being waived for non-emergency visits to and from their doctor. All telehealth services (online and virtual care) obtained in connection with COVID-19 testing and diagnosis is now covered, at no cost to members.
Capital BlueCross will waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing, as well as prior authorization for COVID-19 testing and services. It is also waiving early refill limits on 30-day maintenance medications and encouraging members to use telehealth services.
Capital BlueCross is waiving member cost sharing for telehealth visits with in-network providers through April 15.
CareFirst is waiving cost sharing for in-network or out-of-network visits to a provider’s office, lab fees or treatments related to COVID-19. It is eliminating prior authorization requirements for medically necessary diagnostic tests and covered services related to COVID-19 diagnosis. It is also waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day maintenance medications, encouraging the use of its 24/7 nurse phone line, and encouraging the use of telemedicine and virtual sites of care. For telemedicine accessed through a CareFirst Video Visit, copays, coinsurance, and deductibles will be waived for the duration of this public health emergency—including behavioral health, lactation support, nutrition counseling and urgent care services. CareFirst has also rapidly expanded the scope of its contracted lab partners to support access to testing as it becomes available.
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield will waive prior authorizations for diagnostic tests and covered services for COVID-19, cover those tests at no cost share to members, waive early medication refill limits, and encourage alternative sites of care if a member’s primary care doctor is not available.
CareSource is partnering with The Foodbank, Inc., as part of its response to COVID-19. CareSource is committing up to $128,000 to allow The Foodbank to prepare 1,200 supplemental food boxes to distribute to seniors who live with an income below 200% of the poverty line. Each home will be provided with a 14-day supply of food, covering three meals per day for a total of 50,400 meals.
Centene will cover COVID-19 testing and screening services for Medicaid, Medicare and Marketplace members and is waiving all associated member cost share amounts for COVID-19 testing and screening. The company will not require prior authorization, prior certification, prior notification or step therapy protocols for these services.
Centene will cover the cost of COVID-19-related treatments for Medicare, Medicaid and Marketplace members. Centene is also eliminating the need for providers to collect co-pays and removing authorization requirements for COVID-19 related treatment.
Centene is creating a Medical Reserve Leave policy to support clinical staff who want to join a medical reserve force and serve their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new policy will provide paid leave and benefits for up to 3 months of volunteer service.
Cigna is covering the cost of coronavirus testing, waiving all co-pays or cost-shares for fully insured plans, including employer-provided coverage, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and individual market plans available through the Affordable Care Act. Organizations that offer Administrative Services Only (ASO) plans will also have the option to include coronavirus testing as a preventive benefit. Recognizing that health outbreaks can increase feelings of stress, anxiety and sleeplessness and sometimes loss. Cigna is also staffing a second phone line for customers.
Cigna also announced it will waive customers’ out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing-related visits with in-network providers, whether at a doctor’s office, urgent care clinic, emergency room or via telehealth, through May 31, 2020. This includes customers in the United States who are covered under Cigna employer/union sponsored group insurance plans, globally mobile plans, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and the Individual and Family plans. Employers and other entities that sponsor self-insured plans administered by Cigna will be given the opportunity to adopt a similar coverage policy. The company is making it easier for customers with immunosuppression, chronic conditions or who are experiencing transportation challenges to be treated virtually by in-network physicians with those capabilities, through May 31, 2020. Cigna’s Express Scripts Pharmacy offers free home delivery of up to 90-day supplies of prescription maintenance medications. Cigna has opened a 24-hour toll-free helpline (1-866-912-1687) to connect people directly with qualified clinicians who can provide support and guidance. Additionally, Cigna will offer a webinar to the general public raising awareness about tools and techniques for stress management and building resiliency, along with the ability to join telephonic mindfulness sessions.
Cigna will waive prior authorizations for the transfer of its non-COVID-19 customers from acute inpatient hospitals to in-network long term acute care hospitals to help manage the demands of increasingly high volumes of COVID-19 patients.
Cigna is waiving customer cost-sharing and co-payments for COVID-19 treatment through May 31. The policy applies to customers in the U.S. who are covered under Cigna’s employer/union sponsored insured group health plans, insured plans for U.S. based globally mobile individuals, Medicare Advantage, and Individual and Family Plans. Cigna will also administer the waiver to self-insured group health plans.
ConnectiCare is covering telehealth visits for covered medical and mental health services at no cost through May 31, 2020.
Dean Health Plan is waiving in-network cost-sharing, including copayments, coinsurance and deductibles, for COVID-19 diagnostic testing. Dean Health Plan will cover the test and doctor visit at no cost to members when the basis for the visit is related to testing for COVID-19.
Delta Dental of Iowa and the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation have committed $10.5 million in grants to COVID-19 relief programs to help Iowa dentists and nonprofits.
EmblemHealth is partnering with Medly Pharmacy to provide direct, at-home delivery of prescriptions to members, as part of its COVID-19 response.
Member out-of-pocket costs such as copayments, co-insurance and deductibles have been waived on all COVID-19 related testing and diagnosis where medically necessary and consistent with federal guidelines. This includes the cost share for the office visit, urgent care visit or emergency room visit.
The member out-of-pocket expense is also being waived for all telemedicine visits during the state of emergency for plans that have a telemedicine benefit. Telemedicine is alternative way to access care if a person can’t reach their physician.
Excellus has also waived preauthorization requirements for diagnostic tests and for covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance for members diagnosed with COVID-19.
Fallon Health is relaxing administrative procedures, such as prior authorizations and out-of-network requirements, for medically necessary care, waiving copayments for medically appropriate coronavirus treatment, and waiving early refill limits on non-scheduled control drug prescriptions for all Fallon members who fill their maintenance medications at any in-network pharmacy.
Florida Blue will waive all copays and deductibles for the medical testing for COVID-19 for members who are part of its commercial insurance plans, including the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Individual and Medicare Advantage plans. The company is waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescriptions, is encouraging the use of virtual care, and is offering mental health support for experiencing stress from COVID-19.
Florida Blue is adding a free-to-member virtual care partner, Teladoc, for seniors and others on its Medicare Advantage plans, and waiving the virtual care copay for many commercial and Affordable Care Act members to encourage use of Teladoc if it is offered as part of their plan. Additionally, during this pandemic, Florida Blue’s network of primary care doctors and specialists will be able to treat patients virtually at their normal office visit rates.
Florida Blue will implement an extended grace period through May 31, 2020 for customers unable to pay premiums as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis that would otherwise have been subject to termination of coverage.
Florida Blue will waive cost-sharing through June 1 for its members who must undergo treatment for COVID-19, including in-patient hospital admissions. The announcement impacts all Florida Blue members with Affordable Care Act, Medicare Advantage (excluding Part D drug plans) and other individual plans, as well as all fully insured employer group health plans.
First Choice Health is covering the cost of telehealth services for its self-funded employer customers via on-demand primary care service 98point6. First Choice Health will provide its employer customers complimentary access to 98point6 for 60 days.
Geisinger Health Plan will waive out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing, and is not requiring prior authorization for diagnostic services related to these tests. We are relaxing refill quantity and frequency restrictions to offer 90-day maintenance medication prescriptions for Commercial and Medicare members and allowing members to refill their prescriptions early. Its large TPA groups may opt out of these programs at their discretion.
Geisinger is also making telehealth services available for all members at no cost through June 15. Services are provided via Teladoc online or by phone, and may be used for any routine medical need.
Geisinger has partnered with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Harrisburg, and Weinberg Northeast Food Bank, Pittston, to distribute emergency food boxes to health plan members, patients and those in need in the community. These boxes are being delivered from Geisinger’s Fresh Food Farmacy locations and include shelf stable supplies, recipes, educational information and other resources. Geisinger is targeting food insecure health plan members, however, any patient or community member in need is eligible. To ensure the safety of the community and prevent potential exposure to COVID-19, staff will be doing curbside or front porch deliveries.
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care will cover the costs of diagnostic testing for COVID-19, waive cost sharing for all telemedicine visits and allow early refills for prescription medications. Self-insured groups will have the ability to opt-in at their discretion.
Harvard Pilgrim has also donated over $3 million to COVID-19 relief efforts by supporting community organizations in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. The money will help select restaurants throughout the region to provide and deliver take-out meals to families in need and help to put people back to work. Additionally, these resources will assist communities in facilitating access to COVID-19 testing.
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care is waiving member cost-sharing related to treatment for COVID-19. The waiver applies to medical costs associated with COVID-19 treatment at in-network facilities and out-of-network emergencies.
Hawaii Medical Service Association
Hawaii Medical Service Association will pay for any medically necessary care related to COVID-19 from a participating provider at no cost to members. HMSA will cover medically necessary COVID-19 testing and treatment from a participating doctor, urgent care facility, or emergency room. If a member is admitted to the hospital, HMSA will also cover the hospital stay.
HMSA will also cover medically necessary diagnostic tests for COVID-19 according to CDC guidelines with no copayment for members.
Health Alliance Plan (HAP) will waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing. This applies to Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, fully insured, and individual plan members. Self-insured plans have the opportunity to opt-in.
Health Care Service Corp. (HCSC)
Health Care Service Corp. (HCSC) will waive co-pays and deductibles for COVID-19 testing and will not require prior authorization for those tests. This applies to all members they insure; the company is working with self-insured plans on their decisions.
HCSC is waiving member cost-sharing, including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance related to treatment for COVID-19. The waiver applies to costs associated with COVID-19 treatment at in-network facilities and treatment for out-of-network emergencies.
HCSC will also offer a special enrollment period for its insured group customers. Employees of fully insured group customers who did not opt in for coverage during the regular enrollment period will have an opportunity to get coverage for their health care needs. The special open enrollment period begins April 1 and will end April 30, 2020.
Healthfirst, Inc. is waiving co-pays for all diagnostic testing and evaluations related to coronavirus. This means that if a primary care physician or in-network provider orders a coronavirus test, the person’s Healthfirst health plan will cover the cost for the test and the in-network provider visit related to the coronavirus evaluation. Members will not be subject to any cost sharing for the test or the in-network provider visit.
Health Net will waive co-pays for screenings and tests for COVID-19.
HealthPartners is providing coverage with no cost share for the administration of the COVID-19 laboratory test (regardless of where the test is performed). It is also providing coverage with no cost share related to an in-network office visit or urgent care visit associated with the test.
There is no cost to Health Plan of San Joaquin members for receiving medically-needed screening, testing, and treatment for COVID-19.
Highmark will cover coronavirus testing, when recommended by a medical professional, for members of its fully insured group customers, as well as members of its Medicare Advantage and ACA plans. Self-insured health plan sponsors will be able to opt-out of the program.
Highmark has also waived member cost sharing for all covered telehealth services for 90 days and expanded access to telehealth vendor platforms for Medicare Advantage and Medicaid members.
Highmark Health has expanded coverage for telehealth to all members, including self-funded customers who had previously opted out of telehealth coverage.
Highmark Health is also covering COVID-19 testing, both in-network and out-of-network, up to charges for out-of-network providers.
Highmark Health is ensuring access to teleaddiction services for members in PA, WV and DE who are in addiction treatment and need immediate help, but may not be able to access their regular provider during this time. These services are covered for both in- and out-of-network without cost sharing for members for 90 days.
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey will waive prior authorizations for diagnosis of COVID-19, cover the full cost of diagnostic testing for COVID-19, waive early medication refill limits for 30-day prescription medications, and provide access to telehealth services at no cost.
Humana will waive out-of-pocket costs associated with COVID-19 testing. This applies to Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and commercial employer-sponsored plans. Self-insured plan sponsors will be able to opt-out. The company is also waiving telemedicine costs for all urgent care for the next 90 days, and is allowing early refills on regular prescription medications.
Humana is waiving member cost share for all telehealth services delivered by participating/in-network providers, including telehealth services delivered through MDLive to Medicare Advantage members and to commercial members in Puerto Rico, as well as all telehealth services delivered through Doctor on Demand to commercial members.
Humana is waiving consumer costs for treatment related to COVID-19-covered services. Costs related to treatment for COVID-19, including inpatient hospital admissions, will be waived for enrollees of Medicare Advantage plans, fully insured commercial members, Medicare Supplement, and Medicaid.
The waiver applies to all medical costs related to COVID-19 treatment, as well any FDA-approved medications or vaccines.
There is no current end date for the waiver.
Humana is providing financial and administrative relief for the health care provider community facing unprecedented strain during the coronavirus pandemic.
Humana is also expanding its policy of suspending prior authorization and referral requirements, instead requesting notification within 24 hours of inpatient (acute and post-acute) and outpatient care.
Independence Blue Cross will cover and waive cost-sharing (such as co-pays and coinsurance) for the COVID-19 test when performed at a hospital or an approved laboratory. This includes members enrolled in fully insured plans, employer-sponsored plans, Medicare Advantage and the individual and family plans available through the Affordable Care Act. Self-funded plans will be able to opt-out of this program. Independence has lifted prescription refill restrictions, such as the “refill too soon” limit, for members in states that have declared a state of emergency because of the virus, and is encouraging the use of telemedicine. Independence Blue Cross is also supporting the new PHL COVID-19 Fund, which will provide grants to Greater Philadelphia nonprofit organizations that serve vulnerable populations.
Indiana University Health provides free screening for COVID-19 via its virtual visits app where Indiana residents of any age are able to review symptoms with a health care provider. The team will recommend and facilitate appropriate pathways for care and will provide direct access and communication with local hospitals as medically appropriate.
Inter Valley Health Plan is treating COVID-19 diagnostic tests as covered benefits, and is waiving all cost sharing for members for screening and testing of COVID-19. It has also provided more flexibility for Part D refill restrictions to allow members to receive their needed medications.
Kaiser Permanente is contributing $1 million to 10 leading public health organizations and collaborating with CDC Foundation to strengthen the United States’ public health infrastructure and response systems to stop the spread of COVID-19. Kaiser Permanente has more information about how its medical centers continue to prepare to contain and treat the disease. Kaiser Permanente is not requiring members to pay any costs related to COVID-19 screening or testing when referred by a Kaiser Permanente doctor.
L.A. Care is waiving all costs associated with screening, testing and medically necessary treatment for COVID-19.
Magellan Health is providing free access to one of its digital cognitive behavioral therapy, RESTORE®, for members who are experiencing sleep difficulty and insomnia related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Magellan Health has expanded telehealth services to help support clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Magellan will permit all credentialed and contracted behavioral health providers to conduct telehealth video sessions for all routine services and certain psychological testing, applied behavior analysis (ABA), intensive outpatient programs (IOP) and partial hospitalization program (PHP) services.
Medica Health Plan will waive co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles related to COVID-19 testing for all fully insured group, individual and Medicare members. Self-insured employers will have an opportunity to also waive fees related to the testing of COVID-19. To help limit the spread of COVID-19, Medica provides coverage for virtual care or telehealth services.
Medica has donated $1 million to Minnesota non-profits to address the health needs of the most vulnerable people in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. Medica’s funding is targeted to support key focus areas including child and family support, clinics and shelters, food security, mental health / telehealth services and general disaster relief.
Medical Mutual is waiving member cost sharing associated with COVID-19 testing and treatment. This applies to services provided by both in-network and out-of-network providers.
Cost sharing will be waived for all treatment related to COVID-19 including hospitalizations and ground ambulance transfers through May 31, 2020. In addition, Medical Mutual will permanently cover FDA-approved medications and vaccines when they become available.
During the current state of emergency in Ohio, Medical Mutual is also waiving the requirement that telehealth (telemedicine) visits have a visual encounter. Therefore, telephonic visits, in addition to web or app, will be covered at this time.
- Alaska Moda is waiving cost sharing payments for all commercial medical members for respiratory diagnostic testing needs, including respiratory syncytial virus, influenza, and COVID-19 lab tests. This includes office visits, urgent care visits, telehealth visits, or emergency room visits when the purpose or outcome of the visit is to be tested for respiratory illness. The waiver applies to in-network and out-of-network providers, facilities, and laboratories. Oregon Moda is waiving cost sharing payments for commercial health members for COVID-19 testing needs, including:
- a telehealth visit to be evaluated for COVID-19 testing;
- a provider office visit, urgent care center visit, or emergency room visit to be tested for COVID-19;
- COVID-19 lab test for all testing facilities; and
- other testing received during a COVID-19 testing visit, when administered to determine if there is a need for COVID-19 testing.
- Oregon Moda is waiving all cost sharing payments for Medicare Advantage members, including:
- a telehealth visit to be evaluated for COVID-19 testing;
- a provider office visit, urgent care center visit, or emergency room visit to be tested for COVID-19;
- COVID-19 lab tests for all testing facilities;
- and other testing received during a COVID-19 testing visit, when administered to determine if there is a need for COVID-19 testing.
Molina Healthcare will waive all member costs associated with testing for COVID-19. Any related visit to a primary care doctor, urgent care or emergency care does not require prior authorization.
Molina Healthcare has launched a Coronavirus Chatbot, an enhanced digital tool for members seeking information about COVID-19 risk factors and their own personal risk profile. This new self-appraisal feature is available for members looking for current insight, risk factors, live help, and appropriate action to take if symptoms are present.
Molina Healthcare of New Mexico is donating a relief package that includes medical supplies for families, Indian Health Services, and 638 facilities across the Navajo Nation that are experiencing hardships as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The relief package includes 5,000 rapid test kits, 240 N95 masks, 200 first aid kits, cleaning supplies, and $25,000 for food supplies.
MVP Health Care is making COVID-19 screening and testing free for all MVP members. Patients are not responsible for any co-payments, other cost-share, or fees associated with:
- an emergency room visit or visit to an in-network health care provider for the purpose of getting tested for COVID-19;
- drive-thru specimen collection sites; and
- telemedicine services, like MVP’s myERnow virtual emergency room and myVisitNow online doctor visits.
Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island
Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island will not require pre-authorization for COVID-19 testing and they will cover the cost if a doctor believes a patient needs testing and the patient meets testing guidelines from the CDC. There will be no cost sharing for those patients.
Oscar is waiving cost-sharing for diagnostic testing for COVID-19, including the cost of the test and administration of the test, at both in-network and out-of-network facilities when recommended by a health care provider.
Oscar is offering telemedicine services at no cost to most members through its Doctor on Call service.
Oscar has also launched the first testing center locator for COVID-19 in the United States. It is free and accessible to the general public, and it is being updated daily to reflect both in-network and out-of-network facilities in the 29 markets that Oscar operates in. The tool builds on its at-home risk assessment survey.
Optima Health will waive out-of-pocket costs for diagnostic testing for COVID-19 for commercial, Medicaid and Medicare Advantage members. It is also offering free telehealth visits to members for the next 90 days. Self-insured plans may opt out of this offering.
PacificSource is waiving out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing and diagnosis-related office visits, urgent care visits, telemedicine visits, ER visits, testing and radiology if billed with one of the COVID DX codes. PacificSource providers are instructed to not collect copay/coinsurance or deductibles for visiting and testing.
PacificSource is also increasing access to prescription medications by waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications, consistent with a member’s benefit plan.
Passport Health Plan will not charge any copays for COVID-19 screening and testing. This includes: Any related hospital emergency visit, urgent care visit, provider office visit, lab testing, telehealth, and immunizations (shots). Passport also will not require any prior authorizations.
Passport Health Plan is providing Medicaid members with virtual recovery support services for substance use disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Physicians Health Plan of Northern Indiana
Physicians Health Plan of Northern Indiana is covering the cost of the COVID-19 screening test for members at no out-of-pocket expense. PHP will waive co-pays, co-insurance, deductibles, and prior authorization, when the test is medically necessary, for members of its fully insured health plans.
PHP will cover the COVID-19 test and the visit where the test takes place at 100%, with no deductible, copay, or coinsurance. If a patient is diagnosed with COVID-19, PHP benefit plans coverage applies to treatment.
This applies to all play types, including self-funded plans. Employers may not opt-out.
PreferredOne will cover medically necessary COVID-19 laboratory testing without cost sharing for fully insured employer group and individual plan members. The tests will be available without prior authorization. PreferredOne is working with self-insured clients on their approaches.
Premera Blue Cross has expanded telehealth services to its members in response to the unprecedented demand for virtual care ignited by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has signed agreements with 98point6 and Doctor On Demand to deliver text- and video-based virtual care to nearly all 2.3 million Premera and LifeWise Health Plan of Washington members for at least 90 days.
Priority Health is expanding its existing $0 copay telehealth to include all lines of business through April 30. All of the company’s nearly 1 million members across commercial, individual, Medicaid and Medicare plans will now have virtual access to medical professionals for non-emergency care, at no additional cost.
Priority Health has added an Employer Decision Guide that outlines options for helping employees maintain health coverage, along with a new COVID-19 screening bot that helps the user determine their risk level and offers resources based on their individual result.
Priority Health has also expanded access to home medication deliveries. Members can take advantage of free home delivery options offered by national retailers Meijer, Walgreens and CVS, as well as their own local pharmacies that offer this service.
Providence Health Plan is waiving all cost sharing for testing services related to COVID-19, such as copays, coinsurance, and deductibles.
Piedmont Community Health Plan
Piedmont Community Health Plan will waive out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing, and is not requiring prior authorization for diagnostic services related to these tests. It is also waiving out-of-pocket costs for telehealth services, and is permitting online mental health counseling for all members at in-network providers. For members, CVS Caremark is waiving early refill limits on 30-day prescription medications, and CVS Pharmacy is waiving charges for home delivery where it’s available. This applies to its commercial fully insured and exchange plan members.
QualChoice Health Insurance will cover COVID-19 testing without any copay, cost sharing, or pre-authorization.
There is also no cost sharing for telehealth services, and no prior authorization is required through June 30.
Quartz Health Solutions will cover the cost of the test to diagnose COVID-19, and will also cover related in-network provider visits during testing at 100%. There will be no copay, coinsurance, or deductible.
Quartz will also cover e-visits or video services at 100% for all members.
Regence BlueShield of Idaho will cover the cost of coronavirus testing without any out-of-pocket costs for fully insured members. Regence is working with federal officials to ensure coordination of benefits for Medicare members and those with health savings accounts (HSA). Regence is also easing access through virtual care, as well as access to regularly prescribed medications.
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon is covering COVID-19 testing at no cost, easing access to virtual care, easing access to regular prescription drugs, and proactively reaching out to high-risk members.
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah will cover the cost of coronavirus testing without any out-of-pocket costs for fully insured members. Regence is working with federal officials to ensure coordination of benefits for Medicare members and those with health savings accounts (HSA). Regence is also easing access through virtual care, as well as access to regularly prescribed medications.
Regence BlueShield of Washington
Regence BlueShield of Washington is covering COVID-19 testing at no cost, easing access to virtual care, easing access to regular prescription drugs, and proactively reaching out to high-risk members.
Sanford Health Plan will cover 100% of the cost of specimen collection and testing for COVID-19. Testing is covered when indicated as medically necessary by a qualified practitioner. Sanford will also cover office visits and ER visits at 100% when related to COVID-19 testing. Sanford Health Plan is also extending prior authorizations an extra 90 days for all existing maintenance prescriptions with prior authorizations that will expire in 90 days or fewer.
SCAN Health Plan
SCAN Health Plan has provided $200,000 in emergency funding for nonprofits to help them respond to demand for their services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. SCAN has also adapted many of their community services from in-person to telephonic, including clinical programs for seniors and caregivers and many volunteer efforts.
Sendero Health Plans has waived all costs to its members for treatment of COVID-19 with in-network providers. Sendero has also waived copayments for in-network doctor visits and lab costs to screen for the disease.
Sentara Healthcare has started providing drive-thru screening and testing at three locations for those who are concerned they may have coronavirus (COVID-19).
Sharp Health Plan will waive the cost-share for all medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19. This includes hospital (including emergency department), urgent care, provider office visits, and telehealth appointmentsfor the purpose of screening and/or testing for coronavirus.
SummaCare is waiving any co-pays and deductibles related to provider-ordered testing of COVID-19 for Medicare Advantage, Individual and Commercial members regardless of where the test is ordered and performed. Self-insured plans will determine how their coverage will apply.
Sutter Health Plan will not collect patient cost shares in advance of providing services for medically necessary COVID-19 screening and testing administered at Sutter hospitals, emergency departments, Walk-in Care clinics and other medical provider locations. This means Sutter won’t collect a copay, deductible or co-insurance in advance.
TakeCare is providing coverage for the COVID-19 test and associated visit under the preventive care benefit, at no cost to members, when using in-network providers provided these tests and visits are not covered by the Public Health System.TakeCare is also allowing for early medication refills for an additional 30 days for members who meet criteria.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Federal Employee Program
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Federal Employee Program will waive any copays or deductibles for medically necessary diagnostic tests or treatment if a member is diagnosed with COVID-19. It will waive prior authorization requirements for tests and treatment. It will eliminate cost sharing for prescriptions for up to a 14-day supply, and waive copays for telehealth services related to COVID-19.
Trillium Health Plan will cover the cost of COVID-19 tests and the associated physician’s visit when medically necessary diagnostic testing or medical screening services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider. If applicable, your plan’s copayment, coinsurance and/or deductible cost-sharing will be waived for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing and/or medical screening services.
Trusted Health Plan will cover all medically necessary services required to facilitate testing and treatment of COVID-19 for its eligible enrollees, in accordance with federal and state guidance. No prior authorization is required for COVID-19 testing.
Tufts Health Plan Foundation is donating $1 million to efforts driven by community and nonprofit organizations supporting older people affected by the coronavirus outbreak in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut.
UCare will waive all copays, coinsurance or deductibles for doctor-ordered COVID-19 testing in all of its plans. UCare is also covering copays, coinsurance or deductibles for medically necessary clinic and urgent care services received at the visit when a COVID-19 test is administered at an in-network clinic, and at out-of-network clinics if in-network alternatives are not available.
UnitedHealthcare is waiving costs for COVID-19 testing provided at approved locations in accordance with the CDC guidelines, as well as waiving copays, coinsurance and deductibles for visits associated with COVID-19 testing, whether the care is received in a physician’s office, an urgent care center or an emergency department. This coverage applies to Medicare Advantage and Medicaid members as well as commercial members. United is also expanding provider telehealth access and waiving member cost sharing for COVID-19 testing-related visits.
UnitedHealthcare is also opening a special enrollment period for some of its existing commercial customers beginning March 23 through April 6 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. UnitedHealthcare is also suspending prior authorization requirements to a post-acute care setting through May 31, and suspending them when a member transfers to a new provider through May 31.
UnitedHealthcare is waiving member cost sharing for the treatment of COVID-19 through May 31, 2020 for its fully insured commercial, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid plans.
Starting March 31, 2020 until June 18, 2020, UnitedHealth will also waive cost sharing for in-network, non-COVID-19 telehealth visits for its Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and fully insured individual and group market health plans.
UPMC and UPMC Health Plan will waive any applicable deductibles, copayments, or other cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing when ordered by a member’s treating medical provider. This no-cost coverage of COVID-19 testing as a preventive service will apply for members in all of UPMC’s commercial UPMC Advantage group and individual products, UPMC for Life Medicare Advantage plans, and UPMC for You Medical Assistance plans. Self-insured or administrative services only (ASO) employer groups will be permitted to opt-out of preventive coverage at their discretion.
UPMC Health Plan is waiving all member cost sharing payments for all in-network virtual health care visits with UPMC telehealth providers. The waiver lasts until June 15, 2020.
UPMC is also waiving early refill limits on medications filled at retail and specialty pharmacies until June 15, 2020.
UPMC is also working with a bank to help small businesses find available loans from state or federal programs.
Valley Health Plan will waive out-of-pocket costs for screening and testing for COVID-19. It is also waiving other hospital, urgent care, and primary care physician fees for members showing symptoms of COVID-19. The company is waiving prescription refill limits and encouraging the use of telehealth.
Viva Health will cover FDA-approved lab testing from a participating/in-network reference lab (Labcorp or Quest), as well as the Alabama Department of Public Health. No deductible, copayment, or coinsurance will apply to the lab test, and prior authorization is not required. Members can have telehealth visits from any location with any in-network physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant who offers this service. Members will not have a copayment for telehealth visits with their local provider for the next 30 days.
WEA Trust will waive cost sharing, including co-pays, coinsurance and deductibles, for the COVID-19 test. In addition, it will not require pre-authorization for medical services related to the testing for COVID-19.
Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield is offering virtual health care visits for all appropriate medical and behavioral health visits at no cost to members until June 16. Those who do not currently have a provider can use an in-network provider through Doctor on Demand. Telephonic visits are also permitted when audio/visual capabilities are not accessible. Wellmark is covering diagnostic testing for COVID-19 at no cost-share to members. It permits early refills of prescription medications. Wellmark’s BeWell 24/7 service is available to members to help them connect on various health concerns.
Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield will waive members’ cost-share related to the treatment of COVID-19 (copay, coinsurance and deductible) when seeking care from an in-network provider, effective Feb. 4 through at least June 16, 2020.
Western Health Advantage will waive all cost-sharing for medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19, including hospital/emergency room, urgent care, and provider office visits where the purpose of the visit is to be screened and/or tested for COVID-19.