UnitedHealthcare announced today several updates that provide people and families expanded access to the care, support and resources they need to navigate through this unprecedented time. These actions will expand access to testing and medical care, medication, telehealth services and virtual care including rollout of an innovative, personalized digital platform which includes a symptom checker to help members rapidly assess their risk for COVID-19. The company is also expanding its efforts to engage those people with the highest risk of contracting serious illness.
“In response to COVID-19 we are taking actions to support our members by significantly expanding access to our telehealth, virtual care and digital capabilities for patients and their health care practitioners,” said Dirk McMahon, CEO of UnitedHealthcare. “We are making every effort to protect the health of our members by keeping them safe in their homes while still enabling them to get the care they need.”
Access to Testing and Medical Care
UnitedHealthcare will continue to waive costs for COVID-19 testing provided at approved locations in accordance with the CDC guidelines. In addition, we will waive copays, coinsurance and deductibles for visits associated with COVID-19 testing, whether the care is received in a physician’s office, an urgent care center or an emergency department. This coverage applies to Medicare Advantage and Medicaid members as well as our commercial members.
Access to Medication
Eligible UnitedHealthcare and OptumRx members needing help obtaining an early prescription refill can call the customer care number located on their medical ID card for assistance.
Access to Telehealth
To increase system access and flexibility when it is needed most, we are expanding our telehealth policies to make it easier for people to connect with their healthcare provider. People will have access to telehealth services in two ways:
- Designated Telehealth Partners – Members can access their existing telehealth benefit offered through one of UnitedHealthcare’s designated partners for free.
- Expanded Provider Telehealth Access - Effective immediately, for the next 90 days, all eligible in-network medical providers who have the ability and want to connect with their patient through synchronous virtual care (live video-conferencing) can do so. We will waive member cost sharing for COVID-19 related visits.
Access to Virtual Care for Highest-Risk Members
- We are rapidly expanding access to our personalized digital care platform to those who need it most, including our highest-risk members. This interactive platform provides the most up-to-date information about prevention, coverage, care and support needed to rapidly assess symptoms, schedule an in person or a telehealth visit with their provider, talk to a nurse, refill or schedule home delivery for prescriptions, and to access emotional support 24 hours a day. We are also adding a symptom checker that can help members review their symptoms quickly from the convenience of their own home and then guide them to the appropriate services.
- We are deploying new technological solutions including a home-based care management platform for our highest-risk members.
- We have established a navigation support program for our members who are under home isolation due to COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure. This program will provide members with a dedicated customer service professional to guide them through the isolation process and help coordinate access to medications, supplies, food, and appropriate care, as well as connecting them with any need support programs that are available. Members can access the program by calling the customer care number located on the back of their ID card and indicating that their provider has prescribed self-isolation. Members may also be referred to this program through our Nurseline or HouseCalls programs.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. In the United States, UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1.3 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,500 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. The company also provides health benefits and delivers care to people through owned and operated health care facilities in South America. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @UHC on Twitter.