UPDATED: Health Insurance Providers Respond to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Posted by AHIP on May 21, 2020. https://www.ahip.org/health-insurance-providers-respond-to-coronavirus-covid-19/ The website lists almost all US insurance companies, A-Z. I have listed some of the major ones:
https://www.ama-assn.org/system/files/2020-05/prior-auth-policy-covid-19.pdf (Updated 5/15/2020)

Aetna
• effective May 7, 2020 Aetna is resuming our standard prior authorization protocols for inpatient admissions except in certain states with executive orders or DOI mandates in place.
• 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.
• Aetna, a CVS Health company, is streamlining its provider credentialing process so there can be more health care professionals caring for patients.
• Aetna is also paying the amount of the cost-sharing the member would have ordinarily paid related to COVID-19 testing or inpatient treatment so there is no financial impact on the provider.

• Additionally, Aetna is reimbursing all providers for telemedicine at the same rate as in-person visits for applicable telehealth codes, including for mental health care services.

• The Aetna Foundation is donating $500,000 to the Americares COVID-19 Mental Health and Psychosocial Support project to help frontline health care workers, particularly those who serve low-income populations, improve their mental health awareness, knowledge and resiliency, and understand the mental health concerns impacting their patients.

• The Aetna Foundation is also making a $300,000 grant to the Crisis Text Line, which provides 24/7 confidential direct mental health support for those on the frontlines, including health care workers dealing with the stress, anxiety, fear, depression and/or isolation associated with COVID-19.

• Aetna is extending all member cost-sharing and co-pay waivers for inpatient admissions for treatment of COVID-19 or health complications associated with COVID-19. Additionally, given the escalating mental health crisis resulting from or amplified by the pandemic, Aetna is extending all member cost-sharing waivers for in-network telemedicine visits for outpatient behavioral and mental health counseling services. These actions, which were scheduled to expire on June 1, 2020, have been extended through September 30, 2020. Aetna will continue working with self-funded plan sponsors to provide options.

• Aetna is also taking additional steps to eliminate out-of-pocket costs for primary care services for Medicare Advantage members. Effective from May 13, 2020 through September 30, 2020, Aetna is waiving member out-of-pocket costs for all in-network primary care visits, whether done in-office and via telehealth, for any reason, and encourages members to continue seeking essential preventive and primary care during the pandemic.

• Aetna has also extended the following actions, which were scheduled to expire on May 15, 2020, through September 30, 2020:

o Waiving early refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications for all members with pharmacy benefits administered through CVS Caremark.
o Continuing to encourage all members of Commercial, Medicare and Medicaid plans to take advantage of plan benefits for 90-day maintenance medication prescriptions.

Anthem

• 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 has committed $50 million for COVID-19 response and recovery efforts to help areas of greatest need, including care provider safety, food insecurity, and mental and behavioral health resources. The company is also 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.

• Anthem’s affiliated health plans and Beacon Health Options have joined with Psych Hub, mental health advocates and other national health insurers to develop a free digital resource site to help individuals and care providers address behavioral health needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This COVID-19 Mental Health Resource Hub provides a range of resources designed to help people, their families and care providers cope with pandemic-related stress brought on by social isolation, job loss and other challenges.

• Anthem has also partnered with Aunt Bertha, a leading social care network, which helps connect individuals and families to free and reduced-cost social services in their communities. These programs include COVID-19-specific assistance, such as food delivery and help paying for bills. All consumers can access the more than 350,000 programs, which are available in every zip code across the U.S.

• Anthem has donated $200,000 to United Way and Feeding America, two organizations that are crucial frontline responders to the coronavirus pandemic in California. Funds will be cascaded to food banks, shelters and other resource centers across the state that are helping struggling individuals and families access necessities amid the pandemic.

• Anthem Blue Cross’s $100,000 contribution to the Feeding America COVID -19 Response Fund is helping Feeding America’s network of 17 food banks throughout California to secure resources, meet increased demand and implement extra social distancing precautions as they continue to serve the most vulnerable members of the community. This includes families dealing with school closures, those experiencing job disruptions, the elderly and disabled, people with low-incomes, those struggling with homelessness and other challenges.
• Anthem Blue Cross’s $100,000 contribution to the United Way’s COVID-19 Response Fund is supporting California’s low income and vulnerable populations by ensuring families stay fed and housed amid the economic shutdown. Contributions are being used to provide food assistance, cash to pay for necessities such as rent and utilities, and even broadband access to help school children continue their education from home. Funds are also supporting the United Way’s 2-1-1 programs, which connect people with needed resources and supports. Additionally, the fund is helping many of the state’s agricultural workers, many of whom are undocumented and not eligible for federal financial relief or other resources to support their families.
• The Anthem Foundation has distributed more than $200,000 to local organizations across Georgia that are responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

o These contributions are part of a nearly $2 million commitment recently made by the Foundation as Anthem continues to support relief efforts for communities and families as they respond to the many emerging challenges associated with this public health emergency.

o The Foundation has also made $260,000 in grants to Ohio-based Boys & Girls Clubs, Feeding America organizations and the Children’s Hunger Alliance to address food insecurity in the wake of COVID-19.

• Anthem has launched a virtual dental care program through a partnership with The TeleDentist, an in-network provider of virtual dental services from board-licensed dentists. The partnership provides consumers with timely access to dental care that is available 24/7, 365 days a year in the event of an emergency, with virtual exams covered at 100% with no deductibles, copays, paperwork, or claims to file through June 30.

• Anthem launched Ortho@Home, a teledentistry and at-home orthodontia program. The services are part of Anthem’s continuing commitment to providing access to affordable services that meet a person’s whole health needs, while also providing safe, remote-care during this pandemic. The service integrates seamlessly with orthodontic network provider options and includes discounts of up to $200 off retail pricing.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (refer to website for additional changes by State)

• 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.

Cigna

• 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. 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.

• Cigna and Express Scripts are working with Buoy Health to provide an early intervention screening tool to help customers and members understand their personal risks for COVID-19. The digital tool immediately triages symptoms and recommends next steps for care, while also relieving demand on an over-burdened health care system.

• Cigna is launching a pilot program to increase social connectivity among its Medicare Advantage (MA) customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Through the pilot, Cigna is reaching out proactively to many of its Medicare customers to monitor their general health and well-being as well as daily needs during COVID-19, including food, housing and transportation. Customers will be able to opt-in to receive follow-up calls from the same Cigna representative to help cultivate meaningful connections. Cigna will also leverage its comprehensive data and analytics to identify MA customers who may be at higher risk for health issues and complications for additional proactive outreach to help answer questions about COVID-19, conduct regular health checks and triage care to a medical professional, if necessary. The pilot program will initially reach 24,000 customers with plans for rapid expansion.

• Cigna is also providing medications to Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis to initiate a clinical trial that will evaluate antimalarial and antibiotic treatments for COVID-19. The researchers plan to enroll 500 patients, over the course of the study, hospitalized with the novel coronavirus at Barnes – Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO.

• Cigna has launched Dental Virtual Care, which will be available through Cigna’s growing network of dental providers who offer teledentistry.

• Cigna Dental Virtual Care will be available this month to over 16 million dental customers enrolled in Cigna’s employer-sponsored insurance plans at no cost through May 31, 2020.

• Cigna is also partnering with The TeleDentists, a national virtual care dental provider with more than 300 dentists. Through a video consultation, licensed dentists can triage urgent situations such as pain, infection, and swelling and guide the customer on next steps. If necessary, the dentist will prescribe medications, such as antibiotics and non-narcotic pain relievers.

• Cigna Foundation and New York Life Foundation have partnered to launch the Brave of Heart Fund to help the spouses, domestic partners, children, and parents of the frontline healthcare workers who gave their lives in the fight against COVID-19. Cigna Foundation and New York Life Foundation will make initial seed contributions of $25 million each and both CEOs will work to garner additional support from other corporate and private citizens.

• In addition to the financial assistance, Cigna will provide behavioral and emotional health support to the families to help them cope. These offerings are an expansion of Cigna’s efforts to support both front-line healthcare workers and the general public during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

• Cigna is expanding its digital capabilities to help customers with COVID-19 by providing real-time, personalized support. These new virtual solutions will help rapidly identify and assist Cigna customers who arrive in emergency room settings with COVID-19 symptoms, and support those who are actively recovering at home.

• Cigna has partnered with Collective Medical to identify customers, in real-time, checking into emergency care settings with COVID-19 symptoms. With this information, Cigna Care Advocates can quickly engage these customers and connect them with programs to support whole person health, such as care management, remote patient monitoring and behavioral health support.

• Customers with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms can now access an interactive digital tool while they safely shelter and recover at home. Cigna has partnered with Medocity to create a simple solution, Medocity for Cigna, which allows customers to track their symptoms, connect with care advocates and access behavioral and emotional supportive resources.

Humana
• Beginning May 22, 2020:
o Humana will resume regular utilization management processes/ standard authorization policy (including authorizations for outpatient services, inpatient services, post-acute transitions of care and durable medical equipment, and applies to participating/in-network and non-participating/out-of-network providers). From a process standpoint, Availity and telephonic authorization tools will continue to provide an automatic approval upon submission of an authorization request or notification through May 21, 2020, and no process changes are required through that date. On May 22, 2020, authorization requests for required services will not automatically be approved, and authorization responses will be provided in normal processing timeframes; please plan accordingly. https://docushare-web.apps.cf.humana.com/Marketing/docushare-app?file=3937193

o As a reminder, for any authorization approved prior to April 1 that was not completed, Humana applied an additional 90 days to the authorization expiration date.

• 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.

• The Humana Foundation will deploy $50 million in immediate short-term and long-term relief and partner with national and community service organizations to help those disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis. The commitment will be split between organizations that support essential workers, food security, behavioral health and community-based organizations.

• The Humana Foundation will distribute $34 million of the $50 million commitment to the immediate short-term response efforts of service organizations on the frontlines of the COVID-19 health crisis.

• The remaining $16 million will go toward long-tern recovery and rebuilding support for service organizations that are fighting COVID-19.

• Humana is eliminating out-of-pocket costs for office visits so that Medicare Advantage members can reconnect with their healthcare providers. To reduce barriers, Humana is waiving in-network primary care costs, not only for COVID-19 costs, but all primary care visits for the rest of 2020. In addition, the company is waiving member costs for outpatient, non-facility based behavioral health visits through the end of year.

• Humana is also extending telehealth cost share waivers for all telehealth visits—PCP and specialty, including behavioral health, for in-network providers through 2020.

Kaiser Permanente

• 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.

• Kaiser Permanente will waive all member out-of-pocket costs for inpatient and outpatient services related to the treatment of COVID-19.

• Kaiser Permanente’s elimination of member out-of-pocket costs will apply to all fully insured benefit plans, in all lines of business, in all markets, unless prohibited or modified by law or regulation. It will apply for all dates of service from April 1 through May 31, 2020, unless superseded by government action or extended by Kaiser Permanente.

• Kaiser Permanente and Dignity Health will partner with California and Los Angeles County to open the Los Angeles Surge Hospital, a temporary facility in Los Angeles that will expand access to additional beds and expand ICU capacity for patients who contract COVID-19. The facility will be located on the campus of the former St. Vincent Medical Center in central Los Angeles.

• The Los Angeles Surge Hospital is expected to open April 13.

• Futuro Health, a California-based nonprofit established by Kaiser Permanente and the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) to address the nation’s allied health worker shortage, has expanded its education offerings to prepare front-line health care workers for an expected surge in COVID-19 cases, committing $1 million to launch a new pandemic-readiness program.

Optima Health

• 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.

• Optima Health is waiving member cost-sharing for the treatment of COVID-19 from health care providers from April 1 through June 7, 2020 for its fully-insured Commercial, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid plans.

UnitedHealthcare

• 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.
• UnitedHealth Group, through UnitedHealthcare and Optum, is taking steps immediately to accelerate nearly $2 billion in payments and other financial support to health care providers in the U.S. to help address the short-term financial pressure caused by the COVID-19 emergency.
• UnitedHealth Group’s move to accelerate claim payments to medical and behavioral care providers applies to UnitedHealthcare’s fully insured commercial, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid businesses. Other financial support currently includes the provision for up to $125 million in small business loans to clinical operators with whom OptumHealth is partnered.
• UnitedHealth Group has been asked to assist the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in distributing, as directed by the Department, an initial $30 billion in emergency funding to health care providers seeking assistance under the CARES Act.
• UnitedHealthcare Group is donating $5 million to support a federally sponsored program seeking to accelerate and expand the availability of investigational convalescent plasma treatments for COVID-19 patients nationwide. The initiative, led by Mayo Clinic, coordinates efforts to collect blood plasma from donors who have recovered from COVID-19 and distribute the plasma to hospitalized patients with severe or life-threatening COVID-19 infections.
• UnitedHealthcare is providing $1.5 billion in additional support for its customers. Actions taken to deliver the support include:

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