Connecticut’s Health Insurance Providers Are Working Together

Connecticut’s Health Insurance Carriers’ Coronavirus Preparedness To Include Testing Costs Coverage:

  • Karen S. Lynch, Executive Vice President Of CVS Health And President Of Aetna Business Unit: “’As we navigate the spread of COVID-19, we are deeply committed to ensuring timely and seamless access to care.  That’s why we announced last week that we’re providing COVID-19 diagnostic testing and telemedicine visits with no out-of-pocket costs or cost sharing for Aetna members, and announced further enhancements today to prevent interruption of medication availability.  We join Governor Lamont in encouraging Connecticut residents to talk to their pharmacists about maintaining adequate supply of medications.  Pharmacists at CVS Health are available to counsel patients on their options to refill prescriptions early and extend prescriptions from 30 to 90 days.’” (“Coronavirus Preparedness To Include Testing Costs Coverage,” The Newton Bee, 3/12/20)
  • Jill Hummel, President Of Anthem Blue Cross And Blue Shield In Connecticut: “’Improving lives and communities is an important part of Anthem’s mission.  Towards that end, amid the growing concerns about the potential spread of COVID-19 in communities across the state, Anthem has previously announced efforts to eliminate the burden of additional costs for members by providing coverage of the coronavirus screening test at no out-of-pocket-cost.  We remain committed to keeping healthcare affordable for the consumers we serve, and working with state leaders to help contain the spread of this virus.’” (“Coronavirus Preparedness To Include Testing Costs Coverage,” The Newton Bee, 3/12/20)
  • Wendy Sherry, President Of Cigna’s Connecticut Market: “’As we face this serious challenge to public health, it’s critically important that we all work together to safeguard our communities.  That’s why Cigna will cover the full cost of COVID-19 testing for our customers when it’s prescribed by a health practitioner.  By removing barriers to COVID-19 testing, we can help contain the spread of virus, while bringing peace of mind to our customers in Connecticut and around the world.’” (“Coronavirus Preparedness To Include Testing Costs Coverage,” The Newton Bee, 3/12/20)
  • Dr Richard Migliori, Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealth Group: “’Our top priority is the health and well-being of the people we serve.  By waiving cost sharing for diagnostic tests for COVID-19 for our insured health plan members, helping members who need an early refill of their prescription, opening our Emotional Support Help Line, and promoting the use of virtual visits, we are making it easier for people to get the care and support they need.’” (“Coronavirus Preparedness To Include Testing Costs Coverage,” The Newton Bee, 3/12/20)

Health Care Providers Added Another Field Hospital At Danbury Hospital. “Lamont continued to say that health care providers added another field hospital at Danbury Hospital Wednesday and there is still a lot of capacity at other hospitals.  The governor added that he was impressed with people coming forward and helping, including a company that gave out free hand sanitizer.” (Ben Goldman, “FOX61’s Ben Goldman Addresses Deferred Health Insurance Premiums, Quarantine Into CT With Lamont,” WTIC FOX, 3/25/20)

Connecticut Residents That Have Lost Health Insurance Because They’ve Lost Their Jobs Can Enroll In Health Insurance Coverage Through Access Health CT. “Access Health CT is reminding the recently unemployed about Special Enrollment Periods that allow Connecticut residents to enroll in health insurance coverage outside of the annual Open Enrollment Period, Nov. 1-Dec. 15.” (Staff, “Unemployed Residents Can Apply For Insurance,” Register Citizen, 3/30/20)

Connecticut Moves To Help Those Who Lost Their Jobs. “Connecticut’s health insurance marketplace announced Wednesday that uninsured residents will be able to sign up for coverage under a special enrollment period that’s been created in light of the coronavirus.  Eligible residents can begin signing up Thursday for plans offered by Access Health CT’s two insurance carriers, Anthem and ConnectiCare.  The enrollment period ends April 2, and the coverage will begin on April 1.” (“New England States Move To Help Those Who Lose Their Jobs,” The Associated Press, 3/18/20)

A New, Special Open Enrollment Period Is Available For The 200,000 Uninsured Connecticut Residents To Get Health Care Coverage During The Coronavirus Crisis. “’For the time being this special open enrollment is open until April 2.  But the closer we get to that deadline, I think you know we will have conversations not only with the governor’s office but with our two participating carriers to determine if there is going to be an extension,’ said Andrea Ravitz with Access Health CT.” (Brian Scott-Smith, “Special Enrollment Period For Connecticut Health Insurance May Be Extended,” WSHU, 3/19/20)

Access Health Connecticut Announce New Enrollment Period For Uninsured Residents Amid COVID-19 Concerns. “Access Health CT announced a new special enrollment period for uninsured Connecticut residents on Tuesday morning.  Starting Thursday, March 19 until Thursday, April 2, individuals can sign up for a health insurance plan offered by either of Access Health CT’s two insurance carriers.” (Staff, “Access Health Connecticut Announce New Enrollment Period For Uninsured Residents Amid COVID-19 Concerns,” WVIT NBC, 3/18/20)   

Access Health CT Is Extending Special Enrollment Period Until April 17. “Access Health CT is extending a special enrollment period for uninsured Connecticut residents through April 17.  The enrollment period was due to end Thursday night, but the insurance marketplace was flooded with calls on Wednesday from people who lost their insurance due to a job loss during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.” (Staff, “Access Health CT Extends Special Enrollment Period Until April 17,” WVIT NBC, 4/2/20)

Health Insurance Providers In Connecticut Are Providing A 60-Day Grace Period For Premium Payments, Policy Cancellations, And Non-Renewals Of Insurance Policies. “Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7S enacts a 60-day grace period for premium payments, policy cancellations, and non-renewals of insurance policies from April 1 to June 1.” (State Of Connecticut Insurance Department, “Protection Of Public Health And Safety During Covid-19 Pandemic And Response – Safe Stores, Relief For Policyholders, Taxpayers, And Tenants,” Press Release, 4/2/20)

Governor Lamont Announces 60-Day Grace Period For Insurance Payments. “The move is designed to help those who have been furloughed, laid off or fired during the coronavirus crisis and are unable to make insurance payments.  This includes life, health, automotive, casualty and other types of insurance plans.” (Staff, “Governor Announces 60-Day Grace Period For Insurance Payments,” WVIT NBC, 4/1/20)

Former Republican State Legislator Kevin Rennie: Connecticut Is Prepared To Help Its Citizens With Health Insurance. “Connecticut had not fully recovered the jobs it lost in the last recession more than a decade ago.  An economic restart will not eliminate hardship.  A significant number of the recently unemployed are going to need some help maintaining health insurance coverage beyond the current choices.  Our state is home to a concentration of health insurance experts.  The expansion of telemedicine is one example of their talent for innovation.  Let’s put it to work.  They want to help.” (Kevin Rennie, “People Will Need Help With Health Insurance, But Connecticut Can Provide,” Hartford Courant, 3/26/20)

Health Insurance Underwriters Are Taking A Major Step As A Group – Waiving Deductibles For Patients Who Contract The Coronavirus. “’We are currently working with our employer customers in Connecticut to provide flexibility on payments for their premiums, given the unique and challenging circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,’ said Aetna spokesperson Ethan Slavin.  ‘We will comply with any mandates set forth by the (governor) and Connecticut Insurance Department moving forward.’  President Donald Trump singled out Cigna this week for its commitment to pick up costs of care for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, that its members would incur under their regular plans.  The Bloomfield-based company is one of a half-dozen major health insurance carriers in Connecticut, with more than 340,000 members.

Anthem, Connecticut’s biggest health insurer with nearly 900,000 members, is likewise covering all out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus treatments, to include deductibles.  On Tuesday, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care became the latest to make a commitment to eliminating deductibles for coronavirus care, with the Massachusetts-based nonprofit the most recent carrier to make an entrance to the Connecticut market.” (Alexander Soule, “Possible Grace Period For Health Care Premiums Next For CT,” The Hour, 3/31/20)

Governor Lamont Working With Health Insurers To Assure Preparedness For Coronavirus Outbreak Including Coverage For Testing Costs. “Governor Ned Lamont today announced that in order to prepare for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), his administration is working with health insurance carriers in Connecticut to cover the costs for COVID-19 testing and to assure, in accordance with the provisions of Section 20-616a of the Connecticut General Statutes, access to maintenance prescription drug medications (excluding controlled substances).” (Governor Ned Lamont, “Governor Lamont Working With Health Insurers To Assure Preparedness For Coronavirus Outbreak Including Coverage For Testing Costs,” Press Release, 3/10/20)

Executives From The Nation’s Major Health Insurers Committed To Picking Up The Tab For Coronavirus Testing. “‘All the insurance companies here, either today, or before today, have agreed to waive all copays on coronavirus testing, and extend coverage for coronavirus treatment in all of their benefit plans,’ said Vice President Mike Pence … The vice president, who is in charge of coordinating the federal response to the COVID-19 crisis, was sitting next to President Donald Trump in the meeting with executives including those from UnitedHealth Group, Anthem, Cigna, Humana, AetnaCVS and the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association.” (Ana Radelat, “Trump, “Lamont Win Commitments From Insurers On Coronavirus Benefits,” CT Mirror, 3/10/20)

Bloomfield-Based Cigna Was The First Insurer In The United States To Say It Would Cover Coronavirus Testing, At No Charge To Patients. “Now that private labs will begin testing patients for coronavirus, insurers are being pressured by lawmakers to pick up the tab amid concerns about who will bear the cost of care in an outbreak.  Bloomfield-based Cigna was the first insurer in the United States to say it would cover coronavirus testing, at no charge to patients.  ‘During this time of heightened concern, Cigna’s role is clear.  We will do everything we can to help contain this virus, remove barriers to testing and treatment, especially for seniors and people who are chronically ill, and give peace of mind to those we serve,’ said Cigna President David Cordani in a statement released late Thursday.” (Ana Radelat, “Cigna First Insurer To Say It Will Pick Up The Tab For Coronavirus Testing,” CT Mirror, 3/6/20)