As part of Anthem’s commitment to helping address the COVID-19 crisis, today the company announced simplified policies designed to help providers deliver care to patients more quickly and effectively. Today, unless otherwise required under specific State and Federal mandates, Anthem health plans will suspend select prior authorization requirements and audit protocols to allow healthcare providers to focus on caring for patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Additionally, Anthem has launched the Anthem Medical Associate Volunteer Program as way for associates with professional medical training to volunteer and assist in their local community’s response to COVID-19.
Policy actions announced today include suspension of prior authorization requirements for patient transfers, along with the suspension of prior authorization requirements for use of medical equipment critical to COVID-19 treatment. Additionally, Anthem will cover respiratory services for acute treatment of COVID-19 along with in-network and out-of-network coverage for COVID-19 laboratory testing. To further ease the administrative demands on providers, Anthem will also temporarily adjust handling and monitoring of claims and audits. Proactive steps are underway to communicate these changes to providers via Anthem’s provider portal and provider services team.
“Anthem is committed to supporting our care delivery partners in their efforts to keep our consumers, communities and themselves safe,” said Anthem President and CEO Gail K. Boudreaux. “We will continue to engage with medical leaders and frontline care providers to provide the support they need in their work to combat the COVID-19 crisis.”
Many Anthem associates have professional medical training, and many have received requests by community leaders to volunteer and provide relief in support of medical professionals treating COVID-19. Anthem’s Medical Associate Volunteer Program allows these associates the opportunity to take paid leave from their regular Anthem role and use their medical expertise and training to support providers and deliver care and relief. Providing critical services to members, providers and customers is foundational to Anthem’s culture and values and an important element of the organization’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. For those associates who wish to volunteer, their volunteer hours are eligible for a Dollars for Doers match by the company’s philanthropic arm, Anthem Foundation. Associates will receive $10 for every hour volunteered, allowing additional resources to be directed to nonprofits serving communities in this time of need.
These additional actions to support providers expand upon the proactive steps Anthem has already taken in response to COVID-19, which include:
- Access to Testing and Medical Care: Anthem’s affiliated health plans will continue to waive copays, coinsurance and deductibles for the diagnostic test related to COVID-19 as well as for visits associated with in-network COVID-19 testing, whether the care is received in a physician’s office, an urgent care center or an emergency department.
- Access to Medication: Anthem is relaxing early prescription refill limits for members who wish to receive a 30-day supply of most maintenance medications, where permissible.
- Online Symptom Assessment & Sydney Care App: Anthem launched a COVID-19 symptom assessment tool available online and via the Sydney Care mobile app. Sydney Care is available at no-cost for Anthem members on Android or iOS and in addition to COVID-19 and other health assessment tools can enable members to connect directly to a board-certified doctor via text or secure two-way video within the Sydney Care app who can then recommend care options.
- Access to Virtual Care: Anthem’s affiliated health plans will waive any member cost share until June 14, 2020 for telehealth visits, including visits for mental health, for our fully insured employer plans, Individual plans, Medicare plans and Medicaid plans, where permissible.
As Anthem continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 developments, we remain committed to all of those we serve. Anthem customers can rest assured that we are taking steps to ensure our operations remain uninterrupted, while ensuring the health and safety of our associates.
About Anthem, Inc.
Anthem is a leading health benefits company dedicated to improving lives and communities, and making healthcare simpler. Through its affiliated companies, Anthem serves more than 79 million people, including 41 million within its family of health plans. We aim to be the most innovative, valuable and inclusive partner. For more information, please visit www.antheminc.com or follow @AnthemInc on Twitter.