CVS Health announces additional COVID-19 resources focused on patient access

Monday, March 9, 2020

Latest enhancements will help prevent interruption of medication availability

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is taking additional steps across the company to address the COVID-19 outbreak and protect patient access to medication.

“Being committed to the welfare of those we serve means being responsive to evolving needs and acting swiftly. This is particularly true in times of uncertainty,” said Troyen Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. “The latest steps we’re taking will help ensure patients of all ages have every option available to them when it comes to filling prescriptions.”

Beginning immediately, CVS Pharmacy will waive charges for home delivery of prescription medications. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encouraging people at higher risk for COVID-19 complications to stay at home as much as possible, this is a convenient option to avoid coming to the pharmacy for refills or new prescriptions.

Building on a recent announcement that COVID-19 diagnostic testing and all telemedicine visits are available with no co-pay, Aetna, a CVS Health company, will now offer 90-day maintenance medication prescriptions for insured and Medicare members and is working with state governments to make the same option available to Medicaid members where allowable. Self-funded plan sponsors will also have the ability to offer this option. In addition, Aetna will waive early refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications for all members with pharmacy benefits administered through CVS Caremark.

Caremark is working with all clients to waive early refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications. Most Caremark clients already offer a 90-day benefit for maintenance medications and the option of home delivery from CVS Caremark Mail Service Pharmacy with no delivery cost.

“When you’re in a position to increase convenience and help provide some peace of mind, you act. As long as COVID-19 continues to be a threat, we’ll maintain a relentless focus on how best to serve our patients, members and customers,” Brennan continued.

Through its frequently updated COVID-19 resource center, CVS Health is providing the latest information on precautions consumers should take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and who should seek medical attention. Anyone presenting COVID-19 symptoms should contact their health care provider immediately.

About CVS Health

CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company in the world. We’re evolving based on changing consumer needs and meeting people where they are, whether that’s in the community at one of our nearly 10,000 local touch points, in the home, or in the palm of their hand. Our newest offerings from HealthHUB locations that are redefining what a pharmacy can be, to innovative programs that help manage chronic conditions are designed to create a higher-quality, simpler and more affordable experience. Learn more about how we’re transforming health at http://www.cvshealth.com.

 

Effective immediately, Aetna members will have access to the following resources:

Aetna will waive co-pays for all diagnostic testing related to COVID-19. This policy will cover the test kit for patients who meet CDC guidelines for testing, which can be done in any approved laboratory location. Aetna will waive the member costs associated with diagnostic testing at any authorized location for all Commercial, Medicare and Medicaid lines of business. Self-insured plan sponsors will be able to opt-out of this program at their discretion.

For the next 90 days, Aetna will offer zero co-pay telemedicine visits for any reason. Aetna members should use telemedicine as their first line of defense in order to limit potential exposure in physician offices. Cost sharing will be waived for all video visits through the CVS MinuteClinic app, Aetna-covered Teladoc offerings and in-network providers delivering synchronous virtual care (live video-conferencing) for all Commercial plan designs. Self-insured plan sponsors will be able to opt-out of this program at their discretion.

Through Aetna’s Healing Better program, members who are diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive a care package containing CVS over-the-counter medications to help relieve symptoms. The package will also include personal and household cleaning supplies to help keep others in the home protected from potential exposure.

Through existing care management programs, Aetna will proactively reach out to members most at-risk for COVID-19. Care managers will walk members through what they can do to protect themselves, where to get information on the virus, and where to go to get tested.

Aetna is extending its Medicare Advantage virtual evaluation and monitoring visit benefit to all Aetna Commercial members as a fully-covered benefit. This offering will empower members with other conditions that need follow-up care to engage with providers without the concern of sitting in a physician’s office and risking potential exposure to COVID-19.

CVS Health is implementing the following programs to educate members about COVID-19 and help address any associated anxiety and stress:

1. Opening Crisis Response Lines for all Aetna (Commercial, Medicare, Medicaid) and Caremark members who may be experiencing anxiety related to COVID-19.

2. Expanding 24×7 access to the Aetna Nurse Medical Line for all Aetna and Caremark members.

3. Providing Aetna plan sponsors with a Resources for Living toolkit with materials specifically developed for members experiencing anxiety related to COVID-19.