Your Benefits During COVID-19

Posted by: Melva Lowry on Friday, March 20th 2020

Many of our employer companies are working quickly to keep their employees safe in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Employers and employees are concerned and looking for guidance and any resources available. Along with State and Federal government, health insurance and ancillary benefit carriers are reacting to needs and providing support to clients and insured members.

Below are 4 top tips to know or consider:

1. COVID-19 Testing is covered

  • As of March 10, 2020, insurance companies are covering the cost of COVID-19 testing – most waiving deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance
  • HDHPs can pay for COVID-19 for testing and treatment without imposing a deductible
    • On March 11, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-159, stating health plans that otherwise qualify as HDHPs will not lose that status merely because they cover the cost of testing for treatment of COVID-19 before plan deductibles have been met. Individuals covered by the HDHP will not lose their eligibility to make tax-favored contributions to an HSA
2.  Telemedicine/Virtual Visits may be covered with co-pays and deductibles waived
  • Encourage use of Telemedicine/Virtual Visits, if available: This helps prevent the spread of the virus as well as protects from getting the virus
    • This is the ‘doctor at home visit’ benefit! Some programs are even making services available for non-members. If your plan does not include this option or you are not offering this today…something you may want to consider!
  • Don’t overlook Telemedicine for treating emotional health issues
    • Your program may have options for mental health as well. If you find employees are struggling with anxiety or other issues check your plan options

3. Early prescription refills may be available and more

  • Some carriers are relaxing early prescription refill limits and allowing 30-day supply of maintenance medications to be refilled early
  • Home delivery is also an option and you may consider changing a 30-day prescription to a 90-day

4. Check EAP services and Travel Assist programs included with disability/life policies

  • Some life insurance and disability plans provide a free Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for those enrolled employees in life/disability product. Many are extending these services to all employees, regardless of enrollment.