COVID-19 & Your Health Insurance
COVID-19 & Your Health Insurance
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has wreaked havoc throughout the United States infecting over 300,000 people & killing over 10,000 as of April 6th with estimates in the hundreds of thousands by the pandemic’s end. States are enforcing stay at home orders that have fundamentally changed the way we work & interact with others.
Health insurers have made unprecedented benefit changes as COVID-19 threatens to stress our nation’s healthcare capacity. Hospitals have responded to the pandemic by delaying non-essential surgeries & transferring office visits to telehealth in order to ensure there is room for the inflow of COVID-19 cases. Health insurers have adapted by offering incentives for telehealth and virtual care- along with upgrading benefits for those being tested and treated for COVID-19.
Insurers- including Anthem, Aetna, Medical Mutual of Ohio, and United Healthcare- are now covering COVID-19 testing AND treatment with no cost share to members from April 1, 2020 through at least May 31, 2020. This means you would not have to pay your copay, deductible, or co-insurance for COVID-19 testing and treatment. Details vary from insurer to insurer with some covering in and out of network treatment at no cost to members, while others cover only in-network treatment at no cost share. You can click the link on each company’s name above to find out more on your insurer’s coverage. Employees covered by an employer’s Self-Funded plan will need to verify with their employer whether their plan is offering COVID-19 treatment without cost sharing.
Insurers are also enhancing telehealth benefits by offering the benefit for established network doctors to use in place of in person office visits. Virtual healthcare options you can access from home via smartphone, tablet, or computer are also being promoted. Anthem offers LiveHealth Online along with Virtual Care text sessions on the Sydney Care mobile app, Medical Mutual offers Cleveland Clinic Express Care Online, Aetna offers Teladoc, and UHC offers Virtual Visits via Teledoc, American Well, or Doctor On Demand. Anthem is waiving cost share to members for telehealth visits until June 14, 2020. United Healthcare is waiving telehealth cost shares until June 18, 2020 and Aetna is waiving cost share until June 4, 2020.
Anthem has also launched a COVID-19 symptom assessment tool available online and on Anthem’s Sydney Care mobile app.
The IRS has confirmed that High Deductible Health Plans with Health Savings Accounts will not be jeopardized by COVID-19 cost share waivers; however, insurers are still awaiting guidance for plans offering to waive cost sharing for telehealth visits unrelated to COVID-19.
Most insurance companies are also offering Early Prescription Refills & 90 Day Mail Order options as the CDC has recommended having at least a two-week supply of any medications you take regularly.
We recommend checking your insurer’s website, logging into your plan’s mobile app, and reviewing the CDC & Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 pages frequently for info and updates as the COVID-19 situation is constantly changing.
We’re all in this together and we will eventually prevail. Saunders Insurance Agency has advised our employees to work from home but will have the office staffed for limited hours throughout Ohio’s Stay At Home order. You can reach us during office hours at 740-446-0404 or email at any time. Follow SIA on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for COVID-19 and insurer updates. Stay safe, stay home if possible, and let us know if there’s anything we can do to help.