Aetna waives costs for COVID-19 treatment

Health insurer Aetna, owned by CVS Health, has opted to waive cost-sharing and co-pays for commercially insured members of the company when it comes to care for COVID-19. The announcement goes further than many health insurers that have waived costs for testing for COVID-19, but not treatment.

“The additional steps we’re announcing today are consistent with our commitment to delivering timely and seamless access to care as we navigate the spread of COVID-19,” Karen S. Lynch, president of Aetna Business Unit and executive vice president of CVS Health, said in a statement. “We are doing everything we can to make sure our members have simple and affordable access to the treatment they need as we face the pandemic together.”

Specifically, Aetna will waive member cost-sharing across commercial plan sponsors for inpatient admissions at its in-network facilities if patients need treatment for COVID-19 or care for COVID-19 complications. The policy is effective through June 1, 2020. Aetna had not received any claims related to COVID-19 as of March 25, a spokesperson told Health Exec.

Further, Aetna waived advance approval for Aetna members needing hospitalization for COID-19 in states where COVID-19 is especially prevalent, including New York and Washington. The health insurer is also working with partner hospitals for health issues beyond COVID-19 to help transfer and discharge members needing care in appropriate settings in order to free up emergency departments for COVID-19 patients.

Aetna also opened up its employee assistance program, Resources For Living, to all individuals and organizations impacted by COVID-19.