Doctor holding positive coronavirus test

    Health insurance carriers prepare for coronavirus

    Authored by Bukaty Companies on March 13, 2020

    As confirmed coronavirus cases hit the Kansas City area, health insurance carriers are releasing provisions to help protect and care for their members. Below is a list of specific actions taken by major carriers.


    Humana will automatically enact the following required provisions for all groups except 100+ ASO groups:

    • Early refills for prescription medications are allowed for 30 days.
    • Telemedicine costs are waived for urgent care needs for 90 days to minimize the spread of disease. This is only applicable for in-network service providers who deliver virtual care.
    • Humana member support has specialized call center associates available to discuss coronavirus-related questions and concerns. Members can find the toll-free line on the back of their member ID card.


    Aetna will automatically enact the following provisions for fully insured and Aetna Funding Advantage (AFA) plan members:

    • Member COVID-19 diagnostic test copays are waived, so long as members are tested at an authorized location. This applies to group, Medicare and Medicaid lines of business.
    • All telemedicine visit copays are waived for the next 90 days. This includes virtual visits made through the CVS MinuteClinic app, Aetna covered Teledoc services, and in-network providers offering virtual care options. Applies to group plans only.
    • Home delivery charges for prescriptions are waived by CVS Pharmacy.
    • Aetna offers 90-day maintenance medications, and CVS Caremark is working with pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to waive early refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications.
    • Aetna will proactively reach out to members who are at high risk for contracting COVID-19 to provide necessary disease management information.
    • The Medicare Advantage virtual evaluation and monitoring visit benefit is now extended to group plan members. This benefit is intended to minimize the exposure risk for members who have other conditions that need physician treatment.
    • CVS Health will open a Crisis Response Line at 1.833.327.2386 for Aetna and Caremark members experiencing COVID-19-related anxiety. The Aetna Nurse Medical Line will be also be available 24/7 at 1.800.556.1555 for group, Medicare, and Medicaid lines of business.

    Blue Cross Blue Shield KC (Blue KC)

    Blue KC will automatically enact the following provisions for fully insured and individual business until at least May 15, 2020:

    • COVID-19 diagnostic tests are covered with no cost to members.
    • Prior authorizations for COVID-19-related diagnostic tests and medically necessary services are waived.
    • Refill limits for 30-day prescription maintenance medications are waived due to CDC recommendations to have a one-month supply of medication available.
    • Blue KC Virtual Care costs are waived thru May 15, 2020, providing members no-cost telehealth services to minimize the spread of disease. The Blue KC Virtual Care app is currently available on the Apple App Store and Google Play or at Services include therapy appointments to ease coronavirus-related anxiety.

    UnitedHealthcare (UHC)

    UHC will automatically enact the following provisions for fully insured, Medicare and Medicaid lines of business:

    • Member cost sharing is waived for approved and authorized COVID-19 tests, even if members have not met their deductible.
    • UHC and OptumRx members can call the customer care number on the back of their medical ID card for help securing an early prescription refill.

    Bukaty Companies will continue to update our clients as more is shared by the carriers.

    Blog Category: Carrier Notice