How Aetna Is Helping Members Navigate COVID-19

Mar 31, 2020
| David Pearson, Senior Vice President, HR & Organizational Development
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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its ripple effect through the global economy, small and medium-size businesses must to continue to support employee health, even as workers grow increasingly anxious about what the future will hold.
 
Selecting the ideal healthcare provider is always important for businesses, and times like these illuminate the advantages of forward-thinking health organizations who respond to immediate needs  by fast-tracking services and solutions.
 
This proactive approach is one reason we are proud to partner with Aetna for our clients’ employee health benefits. As a leading nationwide healthcare provider, Aetna is taking important steps to respond to the current demands on their members’ mental and physical health.
 
Tapping resources from parent company CVS Health, Aetna is setting an example during this difficult time by enacting member-centric measures that address emerging wellness-related challenges.
 
No copays for all COVID-19 diagnostic testing
 
For those patients who meet CDC guidelines, Aetna will waive member costs for COVID-19 testing at any approved laboratory under plans for their commercial, Medicare and Medicaid lines of business.  Self-insured plan sponsors will have the option to opt out of this program, if desired.
 
Telemedicine member cost sharing waved for 90 days

In order to adhere to current social distancing measures, telemedicine usage is experiencing a major uptick. Telemedicine is included in many of today’s employee health benefits packages as it enables patients to conduct provider visits remotely via secure video app or telephone.
 
Aetna will wave member cost sharing for telemedicine visits until June 4, 2020 and will also wave all cost sharing for virtual visits using Teladoc, Aetna’s telemedicine partner. Additionally, there will be no cost sharing for all commercial plans for real-time virtual doctor visits, including live video conferencing or telephone-only appointments from in-network providers. These payment wavers apply to all telemedicine services, not only those related to COVID-19. (Note: Self-insured plan sponsors may opt out.)
 
Support for people who test positive for COVID-19
 
To help relieve symptoms and protect family members, Aetna members who are diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive a care package filled with CVS brand over-the-counter medications and personal and household cleaning supplies. This service is part of Aetna’s Healing Better program.
 
Outreach to at-risk members
 
Using care management programs already in place, Aetna will identify and connect with members who have the greatest risk of contracting COVID-19. Care managers will share advice and strategies for self-protection, communicate existing resources to obtain reliable information, and let at-risk members know where to get tested if needed.
 
Virtual evaluation and monitoring visit membership benefit
 
In order to curb the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during a doctor’s office visit, all Aetna commercial members will now receive the Medicare Advantage virtual evaluation and monitoring visit as a fully-covered benefit. Members with other (non-COVID-19-related) conditions will be able to receive follow-up care via virtual visit without the need for an in-person appointment at their provider’s office.
 
COVID-19 resource programs for Aetna plan sponsors & members
 
CVS Health is launching relevant programs to answer questions and share information about COVID-19, as well as help Aetna and Caremark members alleviate virus-related stress. Here are three ways Aetna is responding to the needs of their membership:
 
  • Crisis Response Lines will be available for all Aetna and Caremark members to help manage COVID-19-related anxiety
  • Aetna and Caremark members will receive expanded, 24x7 access to the Aetna Nurse Medical Line
  • Aetna plan sponsors will receive a “Resources for Living” toolkit, including materials and information to assist members who are experiencing anxiety related to COVID-19

As one of the nation’s largest healthcare carriers, serving more than 14.6 million workers in all 50 states, Aetna understands the deep impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers, employers, and healthcare professionals.
 
By removing barriers to testing, supporting individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and soothing those experiencing virus-related stress, Aetna is demonstrating their full capacity to respond to unprecedented demands on the mental and physical health of their membership.
 

Would you like to know more about your health plan’s COVID-19 resources? Our employee benefits experts can help.