Health insurance and COVID-19

With the impact of COVID-19, COVU has complied many timely questions in regards to people's healthcare and health insurance.


Health insurance and COVID-19: what should I know?

COVU is committed to helping individuals with their health
and well-being during this unprecedented global pandemic.

Does my plan cover testing and treatment related to COVID-19?

Many of the major carriers are including coverage for testing and treatment related to COVID-19. While each carrier and plan can differ in terms of what that entails, it’s best to check with your carrier directly on what is available to you. Due to high volume, please anticipate longer wait times when calling an insurance company and utilize the other contact methods such as email, chat and accessing some of the other resources through your user account at that carrier’s website (if you don’t have an account and you’re a member of that carrier, sign up now). America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) has posted a great resource here.

Learn how each state is working to promote relief and flexibility to insurance companies.

What happens to my health insurance and dependents if I am furloughed or laid off?

Quickly access or retrieve information from your employer’s HR and benefits department to fully understand what will happen and where you can find more information. Every company can be different in this regard. If you find yourself without coverage, or soon-to-be without coverage, you can search for plans on the state or federal exchanges (depending on your state) or, if you have a spouse or partner who has an employer sponsored plan, you may be able to enroll in that plan. The key is to search and enroll as soon as you know when your coverage will lapse or cancel so that you are not uncovered during any transitions. 

If your company offers you COBRA or another type of continuation of coverage (i.e. “mini-COBRA), it’s best to read the literature thoroughly and respond accordingly within the time frames provided. If you haven’t been provided any language or have questions, reach out to your employer’s HR or benefits department. For more information on COBRA, see here.

Can I change plans or get new coverage in the middle of the year due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Typically, with most plans you are not allowed to change without a qualifying event such as an involuntary loss of coverage, life event (marriage, new baby), etc.  The best way to find out is to contact your insurance company directly, or if you receive coverage from an employer sponsored plan, reach out to the HR and benefits department and/or log into any HR or benefits software available to you to find out more. Some states and insurance companies may offer relaxed guidelines and flexibility on many of these standard rules given the pandemic. Please contact the insurance companies directly to find out what’s available.

COVID-19 and managing stress: How can I access mental health and well being outlets/care and know what’s covered?

Locate and upload to COVU your health insurance plan summary or Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) which you can find in your insurance company’s online portal or your hr/benefits portal through your company. COVU will reach out with recommendations and support.

Contact your employer, HR/benefits department, or your insurance carrier directly to find out what is available and how to access mental health care. There are many mental health-related coverages included in your current health and life insurance plans. See here for some of the ways insurance carriers are providing access to mental health resources. Review the covered mental health benefits in your health plan, as well as the employee assistance plans (EAP) available through your employer or insurance carrier. For information about mental health coverage, see this article by the American Psychological Association.

I’m uninsured and worried about getting sick with COVID-19. What can I do to obtain health insurance?

Some states have added special enrollment periods allowing the ability to sign up for health insurance later than usual. Otherwise you can access to see what might be available. If you’re employed and eligible for health insurance, reach out to your HR and benefits department.

What is “Telehealth?” How do I know if I have it? Should I use it, how and when? Where do I find it? Same for “VirtualCare”

Telehealth involves the delivery of healthcare services via telecommunications and virtual technology. With the onset of COVID-19, we have seen a natural boom in telehealth, due to the stay-at-home orders and the unprecedented amount of pressure on frontline healthcare workers. Overnight, it has gone from a convenience to the sole way to access healthcare less an emergency. See here for a great resource on telemedicine.

With COVU, let’s make sure you’re protected and making highly informed decisions.


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