November 24, 2020
To Our Valued Clients and Partners,
Testing Trends Across Our Membership
Treatment Claims Trends Across Our Membership
Member Difficulty Finding Testing Locations
We are receiving many calls from members inquiring about testing coverage and where they can get tested. With the recent surge in cases, testing facilities are overwhelmed. Some are turning away non-symptomatic test requests. Members should reach out to their doctor or go to an Urgent Care facility if are symptomatic. Doctors can assess the need for testing. Additionally, each State’s Public Health Department lists the locations of COVID-19 testing facilities that are available for testing.
Preparing for COVID-19 Vaccinations
Some employees might be eager to get a COVID-19 vaccination, where others may have reservations for a variety of reasons, including safety and religious objections. It's understandable that a new vaccine, seemingly rushed to market compared to previous vaccine timelines, may trigger anxiety or fear for many individuals. Education is a great path to mitigating fear. Employers may want to provide objective information to employees regarding vaccinations. Encourage employees to obtain vaccines on their own or assist with easy access to vaccines rather than requiring employees to get vaccinated.
In addition, if you haven’t yet published a COVID-19 employee and workplace safety policy or guide, this is a great time to do so. Best practice policies are customized to your specific employee population and workplace considerations. Most have provisions such as face mask requirements, remote work, or socially distant work either for all employees, or specifically for those who are unvaccinated. Please reach out to your Account Manager if you’d like to see a sample return to work guide. We are happy to share our own guide with you as a sample.
For those that have already published a workplace and employee safety guide or policy during this pandemic, set a regular cadence to review and update it to stay current with potential regulatory changes. Whether a new policy is put in place or not, employers should continue to follow general COVID-19 sanitization procedures and protocols as recommended by the CDC.
Finally, we are also receiving questions about the potential costs for COVID-19 member vaccinations. Based on current regulations, the cost for COVID-19 member vaccinations is likely to fall upon health plans. The federal CARES Act already requires health plan coverage of the vaccines, once available, without cost-sharing. We will continue to closely monitor progress on vaccine developments and swiftly notify clients when a viable vaccine is available.
Perhaps you have broader questions about how COVID vaccinations will affect your health plan. No matter what your questions are, it’s likely that 2021 will include challenging decisions for employers. We will keep you updated through our newsletters as these emerging topics develop.
We provide COVID-19 content for both members and employers/brokers. Just click on the COVID-19 banner at the top of our home page and then choose member, employer, or broker to view our latest updates and content. Our COVID-19 member updates page contains useful information and links to resources to address the most common member questions our Customer Care Advocates receive. Our COVID-19 employer/broker page includes this current update plus links to previous COVID-19 updates for your easy access, just scroll down.
Links to prior COVID-19 updates from HMA: