Recent legislation, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, covers more than paid leave for illness or those who need to stay at home with their school aged children. The FFCRA also requires that all group health plans:
- Cover coronavirus testing without any cost-sharing for participants. This means no deductibles, copayments or coinsurance.
- Not require prior authorization or any other medical management requirements for testing.
Carriers are also coming forward with other solutions to help businesses and their employees through the crisis.
Health insurance industry changes:
- Some health insurance carriers are allowing special enrollment periods for a limited time to allow for eligible employees and their dependents that previously declined coverage to have the opportunity to enroll in coverage now.
- Health insurance carriers are also expanding telemedicine services. The benefits are provided to reduce an employee’s risk of exposure to COVID-19 or other viruses. Some carriers also are waiving co-pays normally assessed to telemedicine to encourage members to seek help when symptoms first arise.
- Some health insurance carriers have lifted prescription refill restrictions so that employees can get early refills of prescription drugs.
- Some health insurance carriers are relaxing eligibility requirements so that employees with reduced hours, furlough, etc., may maintain their insurance benefits even while not actively working.
Not all carriers are extending the above programs or exemptions, so it will be necessary for you to reach out to your MidwestHR Benefit Specialist or broker for options available from your specific carriers.