Coronavirus (COVID19) Tips for our Employers
We really hoped that it wouldn’t come to this, but by now, you have most likely been infected with questions from your employees on how you are handling the COVID-19 situation as a company.
Since we are currently being faced with a national emergency, we want to give you some tools to help navigate this trying time. As an employer, it is your responsibility to make sure that your workforce doesn’t panic. You also need to be attentive to any kind of current medical circumstances employees may have who could be immunocompromised. Also, it is possible for you to have entire segments of your workforce who have drastically different childcare or school closure issues that they were not prepared for, as schools themselves are operating on a county by county decision basis.
Here are three items we have been sharing with some of our clients to address specific issues:
- Awareness in a fun environment from our partners at Quizzify – Coronavirus Challenge Quiz for Employees (this one also works well via text messaging)
- ThinkHR’s sample response for communications for employees – this is something that you can edit specifically for your company before sending out to your employees
- CDC Fact Sheet with what you need to know
Because this is an emerging situation and a challenge for employers across the world, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance for businesses. This provides workplace strategy recommendations for employers and tips on how to decrease the spread of COVID-19.
If you need cleaning and disinfection recommendations, the CDC put together some tips that you can implement in your businesses.
The CDC has also created the following posters for download that you can share with your employees by emailing them out or by printing and posting around your businesses:
- What you need to know (English, Spanish, Chinese)
- What to do if you are sick (English, Spanish, Chinese)
- Stop the spread of germs (English, Spanish, Chinese)
- Symptoms of coronavirus (English, Spanish)
In addition to the guidelines and resources mentioned above provided by the CDC, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has also created a website specifically for workers and employers that address the disease and provide guidance and other resources for preventing infection.
OSHA has also put out a document on preparing workplaces for COVID-19. This is a very helpful tool for companies on limiting exposure, developing a preparedness and response plan, and implementing polices and procedures.
You may also notice that many big insurance carriers and pharmacy providers are stepping up to help their members get the care they need. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas (BCBS-TX) will not require prior authorization and will not apply member co-pays or deductibles for testing to diagnose COVID-19 when medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance. This will apply to all members insured by BCBS-TX. For questions about coverage, members should call the number on the back of their member ID card. Regarding treatment for COVID-19, plans will cover medically necessary health benefits, including physician services, hospitalization, and emergency services consistent with the terms of the member’s benefits.
Aetna is also waiving co-payments for all diagnostic testing related to COVID-10. This applies to covering test kits for patients who meet the CDC guidelines for testing. All member costs associated with diagnostic testing at an authorized location will be waived for Aetna members. For the next 90 days (from 3/12/2020), Aetna will offer $0 copay telemedicine visits for any reason. Should an Aetna member be unfortunately diagnosed with COVID-19, they will send a care package containing over the counter medications to relieve symptoms, along some personal cleaning supplies to protect others in the home from potential exposure.
Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy will waive charges for home delivery of prescription medications.
Both employers and employees can keep up to date with the most recent findings and updated resources provided by the CDC on their COVID-19 main page.
As always, please feel free to reach out to us if you have any specific questions for your company or your group’s health plan. We will help you out as best as we can and if we don’t know an answer, we will track one down for you. In the meantime, let’s all follow our President’s Guidelines to Slow the Spread. Take care and Be Well!
Client Services Executive
About the author: : With an innate desire for helping others and a vested interest in the healthcare, Kalinda is our customer service guru. She combines her public health background and empathy for others to provide solutions to any problems or issues that our clients may be facing. Her daily goal is to make the day better for someone else and she wants to see our employers succeed in their respective fields. With her thorough communication skills and desire to get to the bottom of a dilemma, she is able to provide helpful resources for our employers and their employees alike.
About Generous Benefits: Generous Benefits (www.GenerousBenefits.com) helps employers improve the lives of the communities they serve.