Today, Anthem’s affiliated health plans announced additional updates and resources that can help provide increased access to care, while eliminating costs and helping alleviate the added stress on individuals, families and the nation’s healthcare system. These actions are intended to support the protective measures taken across the country to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and are central to the commitment of Anthem’s affiliated health plans to remove barriers to care for their members and support communities through this unprecedented time.
“Anthem is committed to ensuring a more affordable and effective healthcare experience for the people we serve. Today’s actions provide greater access to testing, as well as enhanced care assessments via our innovative technologies,” said Anthem President and CEO Gail K. Boudreaux. “These efforts are simply one more way we are working to meet the needs of consumers safely and efficiently.”
Today Anthem is announcing the following updates for members of its affiliated health plans:
Access to Virtual Care and Development of a Coronavirus Assessment via Anthem’s Sydney Care Mobile App: Anthem is working to accelerate the availability of a Coronavirus Assessment on the Sydney Care mobile app, which members can download at no cost. The Coronavirus Assessment is designed based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help individuals quickly and safely evaluate their symptoms and assess their risk of having COVID-19. Inputs provided by individual users include symptoms, recent travel and potential contact with anyone with the disease. Based on the results, Anthem members will be able to connect directly to a board-certified doctor via text or secure two-way video via the Sydney Care app who can then recommend care options.
Sydney Care is available for Anthem members to download now on Android or iOS. This app should accompany their Sydney Health or Engage benefits app. Coronavirus Assessment functionality is in development and expected to be available within the next week.
Additionally, effective immediately, Anthem’s affiliated health plans will implement the following changes:
- 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. In addition, this will be extended to include waiver of copays, coinsurance, and deductibles 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.
Additionally, Anthem continues to encourage health plan members who have a pharmacy plan that includes a 90-day benefit, to talk to their doctor about whether changing from a 30-day supply to a 90-day supply, of any prescription medicines they take on a regular basis, is appropriate. Members filling 90-day prescriptions can obtain their medications through our home delivery pharmacy and, in some circumstances, select retail pharmacies. Members can call the pharmacy services number on the back of their health plan ID card to learn more.
Access to Virtual Care: For 90 days, Anthem’s affiliated health plans will waive any member cost share for telehealth visits, including visits for mental health, for our fully insured employer plans, Individual plans, Medicare plans and Medicaid plans, where permissible. Cost sharing will be waived for members using Anthem’s telemedicine service, LiveHealth Online, as well as care received from other telehealth providers delivering virtual care. Access to LiveHealth Online as well as virtual care via text is available to members through the Sydney Care app. Self-insured plan sponsors will have the choice to participate in this program.
Anthem continues to recommend members use virtual care options when possible, as it can help prevent spread of coronavirus and improve access to care. Virtual care is a safe and effective way for members to see a doctor to receive health guidance related to COVID-19 from their homes via smart phone, tablet or computer.
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. We are employing social distancing strategies, using teleconference and video conferencing capabilities whenever possible and encouraging work at home where appropriate. Additionally, associates who work in clinical settings and are providing direct care to our members are receiving appropriate guidelines and implementing protocol measures to help minimize risk of exposure when caring for possible COVID-19 patients.
Additionally, through the efforts of its philanthropic arm, Anthem Foundation, Anthem continues to provide funding to support organizations that are on the forefront and working to meet the needs of our communities such as the Red Cross, Direct Relief, Americares and Feeding America. As communities across the country see their schools close, Anthem Foundation is working to redirect up to $2 million in grant funding to local Boys and Girls Clubs to help distribute meals to children and families in need. In addition, as active members of their communities, our associates are helping to amplify the efforts of these organizations with the help of the Anthem Foundation’s program, which provides a 100% match to associates who donate to these nonprofit partners.
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.