Due to rapidly escalating concerns associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19), Virginia United Methodist Pensions, Inc. (VUMPI) has directed Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield to waive all health plan member costs for the COVID-19 diagnostic test. Accordingly, any member enrolled in any of the Virginia Conference-sponsored health plans (including the high deductible HSA plan) who is directed by a medical provider or hospital to have a COVID-19 screening test, will have no out of pocket costs for the test.
The COVID-19 screening test was released to providers and labs very recently, and VUMPI does not currently have information about which providers and labs have the test. Accordingly, it is recommended that health plan members call their doctor in advance to ask how to obtain the screening.
VUMPI also encourages health plan members to consider using LiveHealth Online, which is a covered service under the Conference-sponsored health plans. With LiveHealth Online, health plan members can use a smartphone, tablet or computer (with a webcam) to be evaluated by a board-certified physician. Health plan members can access this service by going to livehealthonline.com. Accessing care through this service can enable health plan members to avoid medical office waiting rooms, which could be a source of infection for an otherwise uninfected person. The LiveHealth Online copay, which is less than the copay associated with a physician office visit, will apply.
The Conference-sponsored health plans for Medicare-eligible retirees, which are insured by United Healthcare, will also cover the cost of COVID-19 screening at no cost to the health plan member.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov) offers guidance on how to address coronavirus concerns. VUMPI encourages all health plan members and others to visit the CDC website for information about best practices to avoid infection, and steps to take if you believe you may have been infected with coronavirus.
Please contact a member of VUMPI staff if you have questions or if any additional information is needed.