Ritter and Carrier Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We’ll use this page to provide information distributed by insurance carriers, federal and state insurance related departments, and other insurance or small business resources as it is received.

Although we attempt to vet all the information we receive, the volume of information and the fluid nature of the pandemic itself, may cause some mixed messaging. Please check back often for updates and new information. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at 800-769-1847. We’re here to help ease your concerns and answer your questions! In the meantime, we are encouraging all agents to take advantage of using virtual tools, such as Medicareful, to continue to successfully communicate with clients – remotely! Learn more about Medicareful and what you can do with your own site

For quick navigation, click any of the links listed below and then use the orange arrow to return to this table.

This page was last updated at 9AM ET on May 27, 2020.

Ritter Insurance Marketing

Our technology team has equipped each of our essential operations departments with the ability to work remotely. In the event of a statewide lockdown, all aspects of customer support, including sales, licensing, and application and commission processing, will continue at full capacity.

Our Carrier Partners

Aetna

“As you may have seen, medical experts are encouraging “social distancing” as a way to reduce to the number of individuals who become ill. We believe that it is important for us as a healthcare company to commit to this approach.

As a result, all Aetna Senior Supplemental Insurance associates who are able to work from home will do so effective March 12, 2020 until further notice. We will evaluate this policy on a weekly basis until the COVID-19 threat diminishes. While most of our associates will not be at the office, we are committed to servicing your needs and expect minimal disruption.

While we will continue to accept paper applications and phone calls, we encourage you to use all of the electronic resources available to you on aetnaseniorproducts.com during this time for faster service.

CVS Health announces opening of rapid COVID-19 drive-through testing sites in Georgia and Rhode Island

Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for individuals affected by a FEMA-Declared Weather Related Emergency or Major Disaster - Applicable for COVID-19

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) clarified yesterday that the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for Individuals Affected by a FEMA-Declared Weather Related Emergency or Major Disaster is applicable and is available for beneficiaries who were eligible for – but unable to make – an election due to the COVID-19 pandemic and meet the terms of the SEP listed below.

What you need to know

  • This SEP is available nationwide to residents of all states, tribes, territories, and the District of Columbia effective March 1, 2020.
  • This declaration does not mean that all Medicare beneficiaries get an SEP. To be eligible, beneficiaries must meet criteria outlined below. All other rules apply.
  • For those who qualify, the SEP opportunity will run through June 30, 2020.
  • Remember, you cannot proactively market this SEP opportunity to beneficiaries. However, you can assist any clients who contact you about this SEP.

Who’s eligible for this SEP?

Individuals will be considered “affected” by and eligible for this SEP if they:

  • Reside, or resided at the start of the incident period, in an area for which FEMA has declared an emergency or a major disaster* and has designated affected counties as being eligible to apply for individual or public level assistance;
  • Had another valid election period at the time of the incident period; and
  • Did not make an election during that other valid election period.

In addition, the SEP is available to those individuals who do not live in the affected areas but rely on help making healthcare decisions from friends or family members who live in the affected areas. Beneficiaries will not be expected to provide proof that they were affected by the pandemic-related emergency.

IMPORTANT: When assisting eligible beneficiaries, ensure you follow the enrollment instructions below to avoid processing delays.

In the “Reasons for Special Enrollment Period Eligibility” section on the first page of the enrollment application, check the box for the natural disaster-related SEP.

Conserving policies during COVID-19

Many of us across the country are experiencing the difficult effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, so we understand the financial impact this may have on members being able to pay their premium. We’re here to help by providing options for Medicare Supplement and ancillary product members to keep their policies active. Members who are at risk of a lapse in coverage will need to call us at 855-524-6028 before June 1, 2020, since we can only discuss payment options directly with the member.

View your potential lapse report.”

AIG

“We continue to be ready to serve you whether for new business or inforce. We have activated our business continuity plan, which means that our employees have now transitioned to remote working where appropriate. We are committed to working through this initial transition quickly and striving for our service levels to reflect normal operating standards as quickly as possible. Our employees have stepped up at this critical time and we are proud of the stories of great collaboration across the organization.

While much has changed, much remains the same. Protecting against life’s uncertainties remains at the heart of what we do in the life insurance business. The current environment is impacting the way everyone conducts business, and we are here to help. As consumers face uncertainty, together we can help provide the peace of mind that comes with a solid protection foundation.

Please watch for upcoming communications from us providing resources to help you continue serving your clients and growing your business in this environment. You can always find life insurance product information and valuable tools on our marketing sites. Or visit our producer portal at www.aig.com/Connext to submit new business requirements, check policy status, access forms and applications, view department contact information and more.”

Allwell

“Your health and safety are our primary concerns and if you leave your home to avoid this emergency, we do not want any undue barriers to keep you from getting your medication or to seeing a medical professional.

For our members, we have removed the refill too soon edits for your Part D Prescription Drugs, and removed the out-of-network authorization requirements for out-of-network providers. You must still use Medicare certified facilities and providers.

Prior authorization for medical services or medication may still be needed for medical necessity. This change is in effect until the emergency notice is closed or April 27, 2020 whichever is earlier.”

American-Amicable

“We continue to monitor the Coronavirus outbreak and our highest priority is to help ensure the health and safety of our agents, our employees, and our current and future customers. We strongly encourage you to avoid face-to-face contact with your clients whenever possible and to remember to practice good social distancing. We have taken additional steps to provide many of you with the capability of taking applications over the phone and thereby eliminating the necessity to meet your prospective clients in person.

In further response to this evolving situation we are adding an addendum to our applications that asks about the applicant’s situation relative to COVID-19. If these questions are answered “NO” then the application is unaffected and will be processed according to the remaining underwriting guidelines. “YES” answers to these COVID-19 questions will result in a decision of either Return of Premium (final expense plans) or Refer to Home Office.

There are three questions on the addendum and the period covered is “within the last 12 months”. The questions are:

  1. Have you been advised by a medical professional to be quarantined, for any period of time for the coronavirus (COVID-19)?
  2. Have you been treated for, examined for, diagnosed with, or tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by a medical professional?
  3. Within the past 30 days, have you been advised by a medical professional to get specific medical care (such as any diagnostic testing or hospitalization) which was not completed; as a result of fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue (excluding HIV/AIDS)?

Our mobile “e”application now includes the addendum (form#3649) and is ready for use. If you are using paper applications you can download and/or order the addendum from our Company websites or call and order through our supply department at 1-800-736-7311 prompts 1, 1, 6.

Please note that the states of California, North Dakota, and Florida have not yet approved the addendum and applications taken in those states will not include the addendum for now.”

Americo

“Americo is committed to supporting you and your policyholders in the same manner that you’ve come to expect from us. We want to provide you with an update to ensure you are well-informed on what Americo is doing to keep it ‘business as usual’. We are taking specific steps as part of our business continuity plan to maintain the level of service you have been accustomed to receiving from us, including:

  • Employees are working remotely to ensure business is processed, commissions are paid, and you continue to receive the same excellent support you are accustomed to with Americo.
  • Working closely with our IT department to make sure we have any additional, equipment and supplies needed to take care of our associates and, by extension, our agents and policyholders.
  • Continuing to provide online tools like the Agent Portal to manage and track your business, and Sales Connection to run illustrations and write eApplications.

95 percent of our business is received through our 100 percent instant decision eApplication. Your clients will know they are covered and no follow-up phone calls or visits are required. In addition, our eApplication for Final Expense, Mortgage, and Medicare Supplement has remote signing capabilities.

We understand social distancing can have an impact on your business. Americo has remote signing capabilities to write Final Expense, Mortgage, and Medicare Supplement utilizing email signatures. You can take an application over the phone without having to meet in person with clients.

In addition, we are making the following product and underwriting changes:

  • We will be adding the following screening question to the applications for Eagle Premier Series and HMS Plus Series. “Yes” answers will result in a postponement of the application process.
    • In the past 60 days, has the proposed insured practiced self-isolation or quarantine because of exposure to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), or been advised by a licensed member of the medical profession to be tested for COVID-19 (Coronavirus), or had a positive test result for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) reported?
      • Note: If the applicant answers “Yes” to this question, they can reapply 60 days from full resolution of symptoms or conclusion of treatment.
  • Effective April 3, 2020, Ultra Protector Series, our face-to-face paper product, will no longer be available for sale. Applications received after April 10, 2020 will be returned. You can still write final expense business using our Eagle Premier Series eApplication with email signatures.”

AmeriHealth Caritas VIP Care

AmeriHealth Caritas VIP Care / Keystone First VIP Choice Broker Briefs: March 2020

AmeriHealth Caritas VIP Care (HMO-SNP) and Keystone First VIP Choice (HMO-SNP) have taken proactive steps to ensure the health and well-being of our broker partners during the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), while continuing to serve our members, customers, and partners at the highest level.

Since large groups of people gathering together in a professional or social setting increase the risk of exposure to viruses that cause COVID-19 and influenza, all AmeriHealth Caritas VIP Care/Keystone First VIP Choice Medicare member and prospective member events in March and April are canceled, including sales seminars. Also, note that sales representative should not visit alternative marketing sites, such as provider offices.

Home visits also are discouraged, as people of advanced age or with chronic illness are at higher risk of infection.

However, you can take advantage of our easy-to-use CRM capabilities to walk beneficiaries through the enrollment process over the telephone and keep your business moving.

  • CRM enrollment tool: Agents can use the online enrollment tool to converse with members by phone and remain compliant. The enhance enrollment tool feeds directly into systems and meets Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requirements for timeliness of enrollment for AmeriHealth Caritas VIP Care/Keystone First VIP Choice.

If you need any additional information, please contact Naoko Kumagai, Manager, Operations Improvement and Business Process via her office phone at 215-937-8050 or her mobile at 215-756-3724. You can also e-mail her at [email protected]”.

Ameritas

“Ameritas is monitoring the latest coronavirus developments and following updates from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control. Our top priority is the health, safety and well-being of out customers, associates and financial professionals.

Our digital systems allow us to protect our employees and still provide customer service. We continue to bill and collect premium, and pay claims and commissions, as usual. And we’re focused on minimizing disruptions.

As the situation evolves nationwide, we will keep you posted of any new developments at Ameritas that affect you and your customers.

We’ve received many questions about our customers’ dental and vision coverage status during this uncertain time. We know many people will not be able to make premium payments during this crisis because of reduced hours, layoffs and furloughs, or temporary closures.

Our customers’ well-being is our first priority. Therefore, we are extending our premium grace period to 60 days while continuing coverage and claims payment. Ameritas will adhere to any state-mandated premium grace periods as a temporary exception to our policy during this time.

We will work with customers on an individual basis to help meet their needs. Please read our FAQ for details about coverage, claims, and much more. We will also direct customers to this FAQ on our website.

Finding the right words and encouraging ideas to send to your clients and their employees is challenging during this turbulent time. Perhaps our Tips for Surviving Market Volatility During COVID-19 Virus Uncertainty can help. We can also provide a Spanish language version.

If you have questions and about your business with Ameritas, please contact us at [email protected], and include COVID in your email subject line.”

Anthem

“If your doctor orders a coronavirus test, your Anthem Blue Cross/Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company (Anthem) health plan will cover the cost for the test and the doctor visit, and you won’t have any cost sharing for it. Anthem is waiving these costs for all Medicare plans.

Some Anthem health plans include LiveHealth Online. It lets you see a doctor through a live video chat on your phone, tablet, or computer. If your plan offers LiveHealth Online, just log in at anthem.com/ca to use it. If you’re not sure whether your plan offers it, call us at the Member Services number on your ID. If it doesn’t, we can talk about your options.

Sydney Care mobile app can help members assess their potential risk for COVID-19

Members can now assess their symptoms and potential risk for COVID-19 using the free Sydney Care mobile app. It’s fast, easy, and they don’t have to leave home to do it.

The app is available for iOS and Android devices. Members can download it from the App Store® or Google Play™ and get started in just minutes.

They can assess their symptoms and, if needed, the app will connect them to a doctor through a Virtual Care text session or a LiveHealth Online video chat session right from their phone.

Members can get one Virtual Care text session for free. Additional Virtual Care text visits cost $19 each. Members can use LiveHealth Online at no cost until further notice. Most plans include telehealth as part of their benefits. We’ll also waive cost sharing for phone or video telehealth visits with doctors in members’ plans.

Anthem has created a microsite for producer and members to access regarding the COVID-19 virus. Please take a look. Also keep in mind that we still open for business so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any concerns or issues. Anthem Blue Cross Coronavirus & COVID-19: What You Need to Know

Assurity

“We understand how important it is to stay connected right now. Assurity has created this list of frequently asked questions to help our valued agents understand how we are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Your policyowners may also find important information at Assurity.com.

Effective immediately, Assurity’s life insurance underwriting department will be suspending the practice of offering conditional receipt coverage upon application submission for all life insurance products. Please do not submit initial premium with new applications regardless of face amount, as any premium for applications taken and submitted after today will be returned. These changes are temporary and will be revisited regularly as this situation changes.

Here at Assurity, we have a very experienced and knowledgeable underwriting team. We will continue to review each case quickly and carefully to find a fit for your clients and provide them coverage needs.

If you have any questions, reach out to [email protected] or call us at 800-276-7619 ext. 4264.

Effective immediately, a COVID-19 Questionnaire is a requirement of application for all individual life insurance coverage until further notice. A sample copy of the COVID-19 Questionnaire as approved in the Interstate Insurance Compact is attached here (forms may vary by state).

This COVID-19 Questionnaire is available and is associated with each Assurity life insurance application in the iPipeline forms repository, but is not included as part of the application, so requires separate download.

This questionnaire is not currently incorporated in our e-application flow with iPipeline or our accelerated underwriting process.

Any applications submitted to Assurity electronically through iPipeline will trigger a separate email communication from Assurity to the proposed insured(s) at the email address provided in the application advising them of the need to complete the questionnaire and instructions to do so with signature and return back to Assurity via DocuSign.

If the application includes an Other/Additional proposed insured, please include the email address for Other/Additional proposed insured in agent comments with application submission.

Please advise your clients to look for this email from Assurity and complete promptly to avoid processing delays as all underwriting decisions require its completion.

Proposed insureds not willing to adopt the e-sign process for completion of the questionnaire can, at their request, be mailed a paper form for completion and return.

Applications being completed entirely in paper format should be submitted along with the COVID-19 Questionnaire completed for all proposed insureds to avoid processing delays.

Please call customer connections at 800-276-7619 ext. 4264, if you have any questions.

After careful consideration, beginning Monday, April 27, 2020 and until further notice, applications for life insurance will not be accepted for applicants age 70 and older.

Applications received in-house prior to Monday, April 27, 2020 are unaffected by these changes.

If you have any questions, reach out to [email protected] or call us at 800-276-7619 ext. 4264.”

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York

For information on COVID-19, check out our BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York carrier page.

BlueShield of Northeastern New York

“As individuals in the United States are being diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we recognize BlueShield of Northeastern New York members may have concerns. The cost of the test is fully covered for our members. COVID-19 testing is only available through a referring physician at specific sites as designated by the CDC.

Any member who suspects they have symptoms of coronavirus should first call their doctor or use telemedicine. Members with Doctor on Demand in their plan can visit https://bsneny.com/telemedicine to register and set up a visit.

Members are encouraged to use their mail order benefit to obtain a 90-day supply of their prescription medication.

For more information on COVID-19, check out our BlueShield of Northeastern New York carrier page

Bright Health

“To ensure that diagnosis is affordable for all of our members and to fight the spread of illness, we have updated our coverage policy as follows:

  • COVID-19 diagnostic test is covered as preventive care, at no cost to members
    • 100% coverage with no member cost-sharing
    • No prior authorization required
    • Testing is covered regardless of network
  • Early medication refills authorization for members who are impacted by the outbreak
  • Non-emergency transportation will be extended to all members
  • Ride limits for non-emergency transportation are waived
  • 100% coverage for all telehealth costs incurred in connection with COVID-19 testing and diagnostics

If you have any questions about what services are covered for members, please email the Broker Service Unit at [email protected] or call us at 888-325-1747. We are available Monday through Friday, 8AM to 6PM CT.”

Capital BlueCross

“If you feel you need to see a doctor, Capital BlueCross members can get assistance without leaving home and risking infection. Check your benefit coverage to see if your plan covers Virtual Care. With your smartphone, tablet, or computer, you can log in and talk to a doctor in the privacy of your own home, 24/7. Free to Capital BlueCross members and available 24/7, registered nurses have answers to your questions. Call 800-452-2583, TTY: 711

Capital BlueCross is committed to providing you the best level of service. This commitment guides us as we face the challenges of responding to the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

As you are aware, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has ordered that all non-life sustaining business located within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to close effective, Monday, March 23, 2020. Our respective roles as insurance carriers and insurance agents have been classified as non-life sustaining. Accordingly, while our physical locations within the Commonwealth are closed, it is important to stress that we are, and remain, “OPEN FOR BUSINESS”. Our dedicated employees are available to take calls, answer questions, process enrollments and adjudicate/pay claims. We are diligently working to provide service to you and your clientele during this situation.

We understand the impact that this global situation may be causing you, and we hope the following guidance will provide some solutions that allow you to continue to service your clients as well as assist those needing your help.

Obtaining Supplies

Submitting Enrollments

During this time of social distancing and limiting face-to-face contact, we recommend conducting phone appointments to continue your enrollments with Capital BlueCross. We recognize the compliance obstacles this creates so here are some solutions:

  • Medicare Advantage
    • Scope of Appointment (SOA) compliance - options:
      • Recommended - Mail SOA to the prospect ahead of time so they can sign it and return to you.
      • Three way call with our team to conduct a recorded telephonic SOA. After the SOA has been recorded, Capital BlueCross will drop off the line so you can conduct the phone appointment with your member. The number to utilize this free service is 844-440-4630 during the hours of 8AM to 4:30PM Monday-Friday.
      • If available, utilize your preferred agency’s electronic SOA option.
      • Remember that SOAs are required per CMS and must be maintained for 10 years.
    • Taking an Application - options:
      • Mail the application (or send a PDF version) to the prospect to complete and return to you or to the Capital BlueCross address indicated on the application. Make sure you include your name and NPN before sending to the prospect in order to get credit for the enrollment. If they mail the application back to you – fax it to Capital BlueCross at 717-526-3228 or submit online through your producer portal. (see below)
      • Electronically while on the phone with the prospect. Go to capitalbluemedicare.com/wps/portal/capm/home/enroll and click the Ways to Enroll tab. Under the Enroll Online heading choose the plan to start online enrollment. VERY IMPORTANT - Make sure to include your name and NPN when prompted in order to get credit for the enrollment.
  • Medicare Supplement
    • Taking an Application – options:
      • Mail the application (or send a PDF version) to the prospect to complete and return to you or to the Capital BlueCross address indicated on the application. Make sure you include your name and NPN before sending to the prospect in order to get credit for the enrollment. If they mail the application back to you – fax it to Capital BlueCross – Blue Reliance at 717-651-8266 or submit online through your producer portal. (see below)
      • Electronically while on the phone with the prospect. Go to capbluecross.com/wps/portal/cap/home/shop/medicare-supplement/bluereliance/bluereliance-enrollment and click the Ways to Enroll tab. Under the Enroll Online heading click on BlueReliance to start online enrollment. VERY IMPORTANT - Make sure to include your name and NPN when prompted in order to get credit for the enrollment.

Member/Producer Service

During this unprecedented time, we stand ready to provide the best service possible to you and your clients. Thank you for continuing to put your trust in us.”

Cigna

“Cigna customers will have access to coronavirus (COVID-19) testing, as prescribed by health practitioners, and the company will waive all co-pays or cost-shares to help fight the rapid spread of the virus in the U.S. and for its globally mobile customers.

Recognizing that health outbreaks can increase feelings of stress, anxiety and sleeplessness and in some cases, loss, Cigna is also staffing a second phone line for customers. This 24-hour toll-free telephone help line will connect customers and caregivers directly with qualified clinicians who can provide support and guidance on coping and resiliency.

To mitigate exposure risks, customers are reminded that telehealth options are available for seeking on-demand medical attention, as appropriate. To access telehealth options, visit mycigna.com and select the Connect Now button on the home page to talk with a doctor or nurse any time day or night.”

Clover

“In an effort to protect the health of its members, effective immediately, Clover Health, will provide coverage for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnostic lab testing. Additionally, Clover will waive any associated member co-pays or cost-shares.

Clover promptly partnered with Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, to offer members access to amongst the first commercially available COVID-19 diagnosis lab tests in the United States.

Important Clover Policy Change- Remote Enrollments

Clover is relaxing the face-to-face requirement for Medicare enrollment, meaning you can now use our Medicareful platform to accept applications in a remote setting. Medicareful is an online enrollment tool that allows you to collect Scopes of Appointment (SOA) and applications remotely. You’ll be able to send clients the links to the SOA and application while presenting the product over the phone.

Please note, a client will need to complete the SOA and application, you cannot complete it on their behalf using the platform. In addition, you still need to complete the plan benefit presentation telephonically. To view how to compliantly collect applications via Medicareful, please review our video on using Medicareful in a Remote Setting.”

EmblemHealth

“EmblemHealth has taken steps to ensure that all of our members have peace of mind of knowing that they will have access to the services they need.

As we, like other health plans, step up to meet the challenges of these times, by absorbing out-of-pocket costs associated with the benefits members and employees have purchased, we are asking our partners to take similar steps by accepting treatment rates set for Medicare and Medicaid for everyone who needs these services.

We are providing our members with comprehensive information on our website about the virus and are updating it regularly based on the information coming from the CDC, the NY Department of Health and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.”

Envision

“Envision has introduced three new attestation options on our electronic enrollments.

At the bottom of the electronic enrollment, there has been two attestation boxes to choose from. Now due to the COVID-19, we have three additional attestations of getting the client/member’s signature. We have received approval from our legal team and our compliance team.

Due to COVID-19, I am unable to meet with my client to obtain a signed application and Scope of Appointment (SOA). Please select one of the following options:

  • I attest that I spoke to the member on the phone and they agree to enroll in EnvisionRxPlus. I will collect the paper documents at a later date and be prepared to be audited at plan discretion.
  • I attest my client has sent me a picture image of the signed SOA and application through a smart phone or email. I will keep this documentation for my records and will be prepared to be audited at plan discretion.
  • I attest that I have recorded my client agreement to enroll in EnvisionRxPlus through a web communication software such as Zoom or Go To Meeting. I will save a copy of this recording or transcript of it and be prepared to be audited at plan discretion. There is no need for paper SOA or application.

For the first option, if the client gives approval over the phone, you still need a signed application and Scope of Appointment (SOA), but you can collect these documents at a later date. When you send them the SOA to sign, you need to verify the application date and the signature date are the same. Enter the date you completed the phone enrollment and not the date they are mailing the signed documents back to you.

For the second option, the client has a smart phone, can scan and email images, or can borrow a family member’s phone to take a picture and save it to their records as signatures.

For the third option, if a WebEx, Go To or Zoom meeting can be organized, that will be the face-to-face. However, you must obtain the transcript or recording of that meeting to save, as you would have the signed documents.

We hope this helps to alleviate some of the worries of this “no face-to-face “ time we are currently experiencing.

Due to the COVID-19, we are working, but from home we have all the equipment and connections we need to continue giving great support to our agencies and agents. Any questions or concerns feel free as always to reach out to [email protected].”

Excellus

“General guidance regarding health benefits coverage for COVID-19 for Health Plan members

For insured members and members with self-funded employers, the Health Plan will waive prior authorizations for diagnostic tests and for covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance for members if diagnosed with COVID-19.

We will also make dedicated clinical staff available to address inquiries related to medical services, ensuring timeliness of responses related to COVID-19.

The Health Plan will cover medically necessary diagnostic tests that are consistent with CDC guidance related to COVID-19 at no cost share to member. Across all our insured health plans (Commercial, Medicaid Managed Care, HARP, Essential Plan, Child Health Plus, Medicare Part B, Medicare Advantage), and self-insured plans this testing will be covered, with no cost share to the member, where it is not covered as part of the Public Health Service response. The Health Plan will also ensure that patient testing and any subsequently needed care are done in close coordination with federal, state and public health authorities.

  • Members who are in insured commercial and self-insured plans will have coverage with no out-of-pocket expense to them, for in-network provider office visits, in-network urgent care visits and emergency room visits resulting in testing for COVID-19. If an in-network provider is not available, the Health Plan will cover testing at an out-of-network provider with no out-of-pocket expense to the member.
  • Members who are enrolled in Medicaid Managed Care, HARP or Child Health Plus will have the cost of coronavirus testing by an in-network provider covered with no out-of-pocket expense. If an in-network provider is not available, the Health Plan will cover testing at an out-of-network provider with no out-of-pocket expense to the member.
  • Medicare members - Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers COVID-19 testing. This test is covered when your doctor or a health care provider orders it, if you get the test on or after February 4, 2020.
  • Members with high deductible health plans will not be responsible for copayments, coinsurance and deductibles for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)-related testing even if the deductible has not been met, under new guidance from the Internal Revenue Service. This also means that an individual with an HDHP that covers these costs may continue to contribute to a health savings account (HSA).
  • A telehealth visit is also an option to do initial screenings or when you can’t reach your personal physician. Telehealth services are covered under all product lines with no member cost share during the state of emergency if telehealth is part of your benefit package.

General guidance regarding the effect of COVID-19 on prescription drug coverage

We are closely monitoring the supply of medications that are available during the coronavirus outbreak.

When a state of emergency is declared for a specific state or region, we implement early refill overrides for prescription medications for members living in those specific areas. Pharmacists can make the override at the point of sale.

The Health Plan is increasing access to prescription medications by waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications (consistent with a member’s benefit plan).

Members are also encouraged to use their 90-day mail order benefit for prescription medications.

The Health Plan will ensure formulary flexibility if shortages or access issues do occur. Members will not be liable for additional charges that stem from obtaining a non-preferred medication if the preferred medication is not available due to shortage or access issues.

Emergency prescription drug overrides are available as part of our standard exception process on an individual member basis.”

GCU

“The GCU has had in place a Business Continuity Plan and Disaster Relief Plan that would be enacted due to a natural disaster or a specific instance affecting our ability to conduct our operations out of our home office such as weather related incidents, nuclear evacuations, fire and other incidents that may occur such as our current COVID-19 pandemic.

We have successfully transitioned to our Business Continuity Plan as several staff members are working remotely in continuing to service our members’ and agents’ needs. The GCU will continue to process all annuity deposits, insurance premiums, annuity withdrawal requests, insurance claims, and new insurance and annuity applications. Our Call Center will continue to operate under normal business hours to service your needs.

We are cognizant of the fact that this situation may have created financial hardships for many of our members, affecting their ability to pay life insurance premiums. Please be informed that your policy will not lapse if you should become unemployed or laid off. We ask you to contact our Call Center at 855-306-0607 so that we may so note your account and continue to work with you in assuring your life policy remains in force.

This pandemic has affected the investment markets as the three most-followed stock market indices, the Dow Industrial Average (DOW), the S & P and the NASDAQ all have suffered substantial declines over the last few weeks. GCU has not been affected by this decline as the GCU has less than one percent of its total investment portfolio in common stock.

The current investing environment is presenting unique challenges on several fronts. Investors must navigate significant uncertainty surrounding the length and severity of this global COVID-19 outbreak, the decline in commodity prices resulting from the Russia-Saudi Arabia oil price skirmish, while also assessing the implications of November’s upcoming U.S. national elections. While the environment is challenging, GCU is well-positioned to continue pursuing a durable, long-term investment approach based on the principles of diversification and risk management.

GCU, as guided by our Investment Policy Statement, operates under a disciplined framework for asset allocation. We partner with skilled external asset management firms which are carefully vetted and subject to strict investment guidelines. In general, we seek to capitalize on the income and capital preservation available via high quality fixed income investments, complemented with smaller allocations to diversifying asset classes. We believe this commitment to a risk controlled, long-term investing perspective puts GCU in a better position to navigate through the conditions we face now and in the future.

We assure you that the life and annuity business you have placed with the GCU is safe. The current crisis has not diminished the statement value of your annuity(ies) or cash value of your life insurance policy(ies).

Policy Delivery Changes Effective March 23, 2020

Effective March 23, 2020, the GCU will begin mailing ALL annuity and life insurance certificates directly to the Members. This will be a temporary procedural change, to assist our agents in dealing with the current pandemic outbreak. We will continue this new procedure until further notice. As a result of this new procedure, it will now be the responsibility of the Member to return the delivery receipt to GCU Home Office. For their convenience, a postage paid envelope will be included with each contract for the Member to return the delivery receipt.

Guarantee Minimum Changes Effective April 1, 2020

GCU continues to monitor the current economic environment and based on the events that are going on we are going to be reducing our guaranteed minimums. NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners) Regulations allow insurance companies to adjust their guaranteed minimum rates using the five-year constant maturity bond as the benchmark. This average has decreased to a level that we could have lowered all minimum rates to 1.00 percent. However, the strength of GCU’s investment portfolio allows us to only reduce the minimum by .50 percent. GCU continues to strive to provide the greatest value for its members today and into the future.

Annuity 4/01/20 Contractual Minimum
Option A 1.25%
1+ 4 1.25%
Triple Advantage 1.25%
Flex 5 Advantage 1.25%
Flex 8 1.75%

Geisinger

“To ensure that cost is not a barrier in preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Geisinger Health Plan (GHP) will cover any out-of-pocket fees for coronavirus testing when ordered by a member’s treating medical provider. This policy will waive any applicable deductibles, co-payments, or other cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing at an approved laboratory for all GHP members who meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (DCD) guidelines for testing. Geisinger has set up a dedicated, 24/7 coronavirus hotline for those with questions about care reccommendations and more at 570-284-3657.

Regarding our internal operations, all Geisinger meetings that are not essential to daily work or patient care should be cancelled or postponed until after April 30, 2020. If an essential meeting must occur, it will be limited to fewer than 50 in-person participants. Examples of non-essential meetings include grand rounds, education events, and support group meetings, among others.

We will continue to conduct home visits, group meetings, clinic site visits, senior centers and 65 Forward events. Remote Skypesessions or conference calls will be utilized when appropriate.

View the updated Employer Newsletter View the COVID-19 Member Email

No face-to-face meetings? No problem. Enroll new members over the phone!

In these unprecedented times with COVID-19 and little to no face-to-face meetings, Geisinger is here to fix that for you. We are excited to launch a broker telephonic enrollment line for our Geisinger Gold brokers. With this line, you’ll be able to be present over the phone with your member and a Geisinger Health Plan (GHP) enrollment specialist at the same time while the member enrolls; this will enable you to receive credit for new member enrollment. Any precertification, as in Medicare/Medicaid eligibility, needs to be completed prior to the enrollment call. Here is how it works and what you need to do:

  1. Speak to a potential member (remember, they call you) or a current member that needs your help.
  2. Read them the Scope of Appointment (SOA), which you can download here.
  3. Guide them through all the plans and land on a Geisinger Gold plan.
  4. Make sure the member has their Medicare card in front of them.
  5. Make sure they remember you read the SOA to them; we will ask them right away, as this is a CMS requirement.
  6. Call the broker help line at 866-488-6653, Monday - Friday, 8AM to 5PM.
  7. Identify and verify yourself, then advise the enrollment specialist on the phone that you have a member on the line ready to enroll.
  8. DON’T FORGET: You must stay on the line throughout the entire duration of the call. Do not hang up.
  9. We will only complete an application. We will not answer any questions regarding the plan.
  10. Once the application is complete, you and your member will receive a confirmation number.
  11. The enrollment specialist on the phone will advise when the application is submitted; at this time, you can disconnect.

It is important to note that the representative on the phone is non-licensed and cannot answer any health plan specific questions. They will need to be instructed as to what election period to use.”

Telehealth services available to GHP members

Effective through June 15, member cost-sharing for telehealth services received from a network provider or through Geisinger Health Plan’s vendor, Teladoc, will be waived.

Telehealth services are available for consultation, diagnoses, treatment, and prescriptions for all conditions, not only for coronavirus/COVID-19.

GHP’s Teledoc service is available to member only. Non-members will be responsible for a point-of-service fee. Individual network providers may offer telehealth services based on their individual capabilities.

During the coronavirus pandemic, members should call their primary care office before visiting healthcare facilities for any reason, including exposure to coronavirus and/or symptoms.

A telehealth visit is like a PCP office visit, while members will not have a cost-share for the visit, but any additional needed services could have a cost. For self-funded plans, administrative fees will be waived through June 15. If self-funded clients wish to opt out of this benefit, please contact your account manager.

This service is available to all Geisinger Health Plan products (including HDHP and QHDHP with HSA plans) as well as self-insured plans, unless the self-insured plan administrators opt out.”

GPM

“GPM Health & Life’s Medicare Supplement Administrative Office physical location is temporarily closed. Please know that we are open for business in a remote capacity. Our processes and procedures are functioning, and we should not experience an interruption in business for either our customers or business partners. We can accept and process insurance applications just as we normally would.

Below are highlights and resources available for you to continue your daily business:

  • Our customer call centers and claim centers are up and running remotely. However, depending on call volume, please be advised that you may experience longer than normal wait times. We are working diligently to continually assess all processes and procedures to support our commitment to our customers, policyholders and sales distributions.
  • Our sales teams are fully engaged and working at normal operations in a remote capacity.
  • E-application and Online resources are available to continue your business.
  • Important phone and email contacts:
    • Sales Support Unit: 866-754-5716 or [email protected]
    • Customer Service: 866-242-7573
    • Individual Claims: 866-865-7631
    • Medicare Supplement Underwriting: 866-453-4993

Guidance for meetings

  • We strongly encourage you not to conduct in-person client meetings and we should all be prudent to exercise an abundance of caution. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Opt for video meetings or phone calls where possible.
    • Avoid in-person meetings if either you or another participant are at-risk.
      • Contact participants in advance to ask about their level of comfort with an in-person meeting.
      • Don’t assume; ask.
      • Do not meet in person if you are feeling ill or the other participant is not feeling well. Again, ask.
      • If you do proceed with an in-person meeting, please document the client’s agreement to meet for your file. This will be key if there are any questions later regarding meetings or participants.
    • Practice social distancing. Stay at least 6 feet from the client. Follow the guidelines as prescribed by the CDC for any in-person meetings. Here is a link to the CDC’s COVID-19 resource page: CDC Guidelines and Recommendations
  • We are open for business, despite our presence at the physical building in Omaha being extremely limited.
    • We have virtual support capabilities in most home office functions.
    • We are working to provide the highest level of support we can under this arrangement — thank you for your patience.

Please know we are here to support you and your business. If you have any questions, please contact your sales team, Sales Support Unit or use one of the email boxes provided above. GPM Health & Life continues to be committed to the industry, to you and our customers. Thank you for your trust in us!”

GTL

“As you might imagine, the past ten days has been very eventful at Guarantee Trust. We have lots of moving pieces and heightened levels of activity to support a very thorough plan of operations which has two main objectives. One objective is to provide the safest possible work environment for our employee population and the second, and equally important, objective is to provide outstanding uninterrupted service to our policyholders and field representatives.

As of yesterday, we had better than 50 percent of our workforce working remote. By Monday all of our employees will be able to work remote. Employees under the age of 60 with no underlying health issues are permitted to come to our office if they so choose but most of our employees will be working remote. We have done a truly good job at shifting the entire way we work in a very short period of time. Several things worth noting are that Guarantee Trust has never been as financially sound as it is today. We are open and ready to process as much business as you can send our way. It is also true that we have never been as competent as we are today and while we wish the circumstances driving reality were not what they are, we are excited to demonstrate our preparedness to function well in a challenging environment.”

Health Partners

Health Partners Plans (HPP) is committed to the health and wellbeing of all our members and the communities we serve. Our brokers, licensed benefits agents and Member Relations representatives continue to help members during this challenging time.

Home Visits Brokers should not be conducting home visits at this time, as older individuals and people with chronic conditions are at high risk of infection.

Testing is Free HPP will cover the cost for COVID-19 testing. Health Partners Medicare members should contact their doctor or local health department. They will screen based on CDC guidelines. Then, if the doctor or health official finds it appropriate, they will issue a lab order for the test.

Cost Sharing HPP is waiving all member cost sharing for services related to testing, screening and diagnosis to treat for COVID-19.

Rx Drugs We encourage Health Partners Medicare members to make sure they have enough medications. Members should call their doctor if a refill is needed.

HPP is waiving refill limits for Health Partners Medicare members on 30-day prescriptions for maintenance medications to prepare for extended supply needs. Members should contact their local pharmacy and prescriber doctor if additional refills are needed. Members are encouraged to ask if the pharmacy can deliver.

Telemedicine and Teladoc Many doctors are now providing care via telemedicine (over the phone or video) to reduce patient exposure in their offices. Members are encouraged to call their doctor if they are having any type of health symptoms or problems, or before attending a previously scheduled appointment.

Health Partners Medicare members can also talk to a doctor at no cost by calling 1-800-TELADOC or visiting Teladoc.com. Teladoc provides 24/7 access to doctors by phone or video. Teladoc’s clinical team is trained on the latest protocols for local and national notification, testing and management of people who are sick with the virus.

Urgent Care Centers Many urgent care centers in our network can support members if they are unable to get in touch with their doctor. We recommend that members utilize urgent care centers instead of emergency rooms for non-emergent issues.

Postpone Non-urgent Care Members should talk with their doctor or dentist about delaying elective or routine procedures and non-urgent care.

We encourage you to visit hpplans.com/COVID19 for the most up-to-date information from Health Partners Medicare.

Highmark

“Highmark has created the following site: https://faqs.discoverhighmark.com/ to provide information/tips pertaining to the Corona Virus.

Effective immediately, members who require in-network inpatient hospital care for COVID-19 will not incur any deductibles, co-insurance and co-pays.

This applies to members with group employer coverage (self-funded groups may elect to opt into the program), as well as ACA and Medicare members.

Highmark previously waived out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing and telehealth, and is now doing the same for related inpatient hospitalization following a positive test.

The waiver will continue through May 31, 2020, as Highmark continues to monitor and evaluate the rapidly changing nature of this crisis.

Highmark has also expanded access to both in- and out-of-network teleaddiction services for members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware who are in addiction treatment and need immediate help without any out-of-pocket costs.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we want to provide you with some additional options for completing and submitting enrollment applications. We have updated the guidelines below to remove any time restrictions (with the exception of the SOA guidelines) and added an option for telephonic enrollment.

Regardless of the client’s requested effective you have the following options for a safe and compliant consultation and application submission. These processes are effective immediately until further notice.

  • NEW! Telephonic Enrollment Option – Once you have completed a phone consultation with the prospect and the prospect is ready to complete the enrollment, you may conference call our dedicated enrollment line for the beneficiary to complete the enrollment telephonically. The personnel staffing the enrollment line are unlicensed agents and will not be able to provide consultative assistance to you or the beneficiary. If the beneficiary has any plan specific questions, they will be directed to call their agent back to assist before completing the enrollment.
    • Phone Number: 1-866-673-9112
    • Required Information: Please provide the agent your name and National Producer Number (NPN), the beneficiaries name, and the plan they wish to enroll in. The agent staffing the line will then process the enrollment telephonically.
    • To ensure all applications are properly processed, you must send the beneficiary’s name, DOB, and selected plan to [email protected].
  • Mail Option - Please mail the client an application or provide them with the information on how to access enrollment material from Highmark’s website. Applications can be mailed back to you or submitted to Highmark directly. Please make sure your NPN is included on all applications.

If you need to access online material, you or your clients can go to https://medicare.highmark.com/resources, enter your client’s zip code and county, on the left side of the screen, you will see “Library” where you can then access “Plan Documents” from the list. This will include a paper application, Summary of Benefits, formulary, Evidence of Coverage (EoC), and more.

  • Online Enrollment: Please direct your clients to https://medicare.highmark.com/where you can review plan options over the phone with them and the beneficiary can complete an online application.
    • To ensure you receive credit for this enrollment, you must email [email protected] with the client’s full name, DOB, and include their enrollment confirmation number received at the submission point of the online enrollment. All cases will be reviewed by management and updated to include the AOR as appropriate.

REMEMBER! Scope of Appointment (SOA) – In all situations, you are still required to capture an SOA. We suggest you mail an SOA to the client in advance of your sales consultation and have the SOA returned directly to you. As always, you are not required to submit the SOA with the application but must retain a copy per CMS’ record retention guidelines.

In an effort to reduce delay times, we strongly suggest that applications are submitted through the Highmark Producer Portal https://producer.highmark.com. If you are unable to access the portal or do not know your login information, please contact one of the resources listed below.

Check out our Highmark Carrier page for a FAQ on COVID-19 Highmark Carrier Page

Humana

“Effective immediately, we are waiving the out-of-pocket costs associated with COVID-19 testing and increasing the availability of telemedicine options to reduce additional exposure. We are also implementing some important actions such as early refills of prescription medicines and connecting people with a reassuring voice on the phone.

Humana will waive out-of-pocket costs associated with testing for COVID-19 for patients who meet CDC guidelines at approved laboratory locations. This will apply to Humana’s Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and commercial employer-sponsored plans.

As the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to circulate around the world, Humana is being mindful of all we can do to stay safe and healthy and minimize potential disruption to our ability to care for members. Humana is focused on safety and mobility of our associates and the continuity of our operations, especially in areas related to accessing pharmaceutical products and medical supplies. We have enterprise cross-functional teams working together to identify and manage risks, including outreach to our third parties to ensure their plans for this situation complement ours. We’re also coordinating with public health authorities and are ready, with contingency plans in place, should the virus continue to spread.

Humana has trained a specialized group of call center employees to help support members with specific coronavirus questions and concerns, including live assistance with telemedicine. Members can call Humana’s toll-free customer support line, which can be found on the back of their member I.D. card, to be connected to this dedicated team of professionals.

Enrollment Application Submission Options

We have made great strides over the last year in reducing the amount of paper applications submitted and promoting the use of electronic enrollment channels driving faster enrollment, better visibility to agents, and a more seamless onboarding experience for members. In an effort to minimize utilization of the postal system and our vendor partners, we are strongly encouraging the use of electronic channels for application submission. Additionally, the electronic channels have historically lower error rates and will be processed faster and more efficiently than paper applications, reducing the overall stress on the enrollment process and provide faster access to care.

Effective immediately, we are requesting that agents submit enrollment applications using our Enrollment Hub or FastApp electronic tools, with the prospect/member’s permission.

If a paper application is necessary, we are requesting those be submitted using:

  • Vantage Upload Paper Application form (Click here for instructions)
  • Humana Enrollment Document Transmitter App (see instructional video here)
  • Fax- 1-877-889-9936

During this time, agents should NOT mail paper applications, as postal service delays or vendor limitations that prevent our ability to receive and process these applications are possible.

As a member of Humana and SilverSneakers®, your health and safety are our top priorities.

  • SilverSneakers is monitoring the Coronavirus situation closely and are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • SilverSneakers locations are taking necessary steps to maintain a clean and sanitized environment.
  • Understanding this is a fluid situation, we recommend calling your participating SilverSneakers location prior to your visit to ensure that it is open, classes are in session, and events are still on.
  • Exercise is a key part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and can support a healthy immune system. Whether you choose to go to the gym or stay home, we encourage you to stay active.
  • Included in your SilverSneakers membership is SilverSneakers OnDemand which gives you access to 200+ online workout videos. Log in to silversneakers.com (or create an account) to view OnDemand workouts like SilverSneakers Classic, Yoga, etc.”

Agent Support Unit

  • Agent Support Unit will begin transitioning all associates to Work at Home over the next several days. There may be service level impacts during this transition.
  • Send any non-urgent requests or questions to [email protected]
  • If any urgent needs, please call us at 800-309-3163

Telephonic Sales Presentation

  • In an effort to protect our most vulnerable population we strongly suggest not meeting face-to-face. Sales agents may conduct a telephonic sales presentation, with the beneficiary’s permission.

Use our Vantage Agent Portal for Faster Service

  • Leverage the IVR system to complete a Scope of Appointment 866-945-4471
  • Electronic Enrollments
    • Enrollment Hub with E-Signature
    • Fast App with E-Signature
  • Digital Marketing Materials
    • Digital Marketing Materials can be used to present plan options after conducting a sales presentation.
    • A beneficiary may complete their own application through Digital Marketing Materials
  • Agent Support
    • Service Inquiries
    • Commission Statements, License and Cert Status
    • My Humana Business Center in Vantage (Enrollment status checks)
  • Humana.com
    • Plan information, drug look up, Find a Doctor

SEP Notice for Individuals Affected by COVID-19

CMS has officially announced an SEP is available for individuals affected by COVID-19. This SEP is available nationwide to residents of all states, tribes, territories, and the District of Columbia. The SEP can be used until June 30, 2020 under the following circumstances.

Who qualifies for this special enrollment period?

An SEP exists for individuals affected by a major disaster who were unable to, and did not make an election during another valid election period. This includes both enrollment and disenrollment elections. Individuals will be considered “affected” and eligible for this SEP if they:

  • Reside, or resided at the start of the incident period, in an area for which FEMA has declared an emergency or a major disaster and has designated affected counties as eligible to apply for individual or public level assistance; and
  • Had another valid election period at the time of the incident period; and
  • Did not make an election during that other valid election period.

In addition, the SEP is available to those individuals who don’t live in the affected areas but rely on help making healthcare decisions from friends or family members who live in the affected areas.

Nationwide Covid-19 SEP – SEP Start Date March 1, 2020 SEP End Date – June 30, 2020

What Does This Mean to Agents

If an individual wants to enroll and believes they may qualify for this SEP, agents should:

  • Confirm that they had another election period available during the time of the incident period.
  • Once eligibility has been verified, use election code SEP DST on the application.

Enrollments made pursuant to this SEP are effective the first of the month following the receipt of the enrollment request. For enrollment requests where more than one enrollment effective date is possible, agents will need to determine the applicant’s desired effective date.

The Disaster SEP should never be used as a marketing tool to promote MA or PDP sales. Agents should not be actively marketing this SEP, but rather, should be aware that it is available in case they are approached by someone who believes they have missed an election period due to the incident.”

Independence

“Independence will cover and waive cost-sharing (such as co-pays and coinsurance) for the COVID-19 test when performed at a hospital or an approved laboratory.

To help reduce potential exposure, Independence encourages members to utilize telemedicine services if they are available as part of a member’s plan. To support use of these services, Independence will waive co-pays for telemedicine visits for the next 90 days. To access telemedicine options, members should login to our member website at ibx.com.

Independence has lifted prescription refill restrictions, such as the “refill too soon” limit, for all commercial, individual, and Medicare Advantage members with Independence pharmacy benefits. We also encourage members to use their 90-day mail order benefit.

Independence Suspends Home Visits Due To COVID-19 Coronoavirus

Because large groups of people together in a professional or social setting increases the risk of exposure to viruses that cause COVID-19 and influenza, all Independence Blue Cross Medicare members and prospective member events in March are cancelled, including Medicare Basics, Medicare Saving Seminars, Sales Seminars, and events on Independence Express.

However, you can take advantage of our many easy-to-use digital capabilities to walk beneficiaries through the enrollment process, and keep your business moving.

  • Enhance Enrollment Tool: Through this tool, agents can quote, converse electronically, and remain compliant with permission to contact forms and Scopes of Appointment. The Enhance Enrollment tool feeds directly into systems and meets CMS timelines for enrollment requirements.
  • MyQuote: Get credit for a sale by generating a MyQuote link and sending the link to the beneficiary to enroll themselves. Click Here for step-by-step instructions.
  • Digital Fulfillment: We have digital versions of our Smart Solutions brochure and fulfillment kits that can be shared easily with beneficiaries. You must send these materials for beneficiaries to review before enrolling them in one of our plans.
  • Smart Solutions
  • Keystone 65 HMO
  • Personal Choice 65 PPO
  • MedigapFreedom

COVID 19 Related Enrollment Flexibilities- Medicare Part A and Part B

On May 7, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released additional guidance on “equitable relief” if circumstances described in section 1837(h) of the Social Security Act (the Act) occur. Equitable relief may be in the form of extra time for certain eligible beneficiaries to enroll in Part B or premium-Part A, or refuse automatic Part B enrollment. In addition, eligible beneficiaries would not be subject to a late enrollment penalty for the period between the original enrollment period and the enrollment during this extension of the enrollment period. Beneficiaries are eligible for equitable relief due to the COVID-19 pandemic-related national emergency if they were unable to make their Part A or Part B enrollment choice in a timely manner due to delays and problems with access to the Social Security Administration (SSA) to file an application or enrollment election, as a result of the unexpected closure of field offices due to COVID-19.

See COVID-19 FAQ’s: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/enrollment-issues-covid-ab-faqs.pdf

CMS is granting equitable relief in the form of additional time to use an Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), General Enrollment Period (GEP), or a Special Enrollment Period (SEP)–such as the SEP for when a beneficiary’s enrollment in employer coverage based on current employment ends–in order to file an application for Part B or premium-Part A or refuse Part B. This equitable relief will last from March 17, 2020 through June 17, 2020. Beneficiaries are eligible for this equitable relief if:

  • The beneficiary had an enrollment period during the period from March 17, 2020, through June 17, 2020, that was an IEP, GEP, SEP; and The beneficiary did not apply for Part B (or premium-Part A) or refuse Part B during that IEP, GEP, or SEP.
  • Eligible beneficiaries who wish to take advantage of the equitable relief must file their enrollment request by June 17, 2020.

Individuals who are eligible and have a valid election period between March 17, 2020, and June 17, 2020, and are not already enrolled in Medicare Part A should apply for Part A online at https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare/.

Individuals who already have Medicare Part A and wish to sign up for Medicare Part B cannot sign up online. Individuals interested in using the relief to enroll in Medicare Part B coverage who are eligible to apply under the IEP or GEP should complete form CMS-40B and mail the request to their local SSA field office.

Individuals who are receiving Social Security benefits before their 65 birthday are considered to be in their IEP and are automatically enrolled in Part A and Part B. Those who do not want to be automatically enrolled in Part B must refuse the coverage within 60 days of receiving their IEP package. Instructions on how to refuse the coverage are included in the IEP package. Individuals may also contact the Social Security Administration at 1 800-772-1213 (TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778) for more information on how to refuse the coverage.

Individuals interested in enrolling in Medicare Part B coverage who are eligible to apply under the SEP, should complete forms CMS-40B and https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/CMS-Forms/CMS-Forms/Downloads/CMS-L564E.pdf ; both forms are available in English and Spanish versions. The CMS-40B application is completed entirely by the individual enrolling in Part B. For the CMS-L564 enrollment form:

Section A:

  • Must be completed by individuals enrolling in Part B

Section B:

  • Can be completed by the employer; OR
  • If it isn’t feasible for your employer to complete the form, leave Section B (the rest of the form) blank and provide at least one of the items listed below. Acceptable proof of employment, Group Health Coverage Plan (GHP), or Large Group Health Plan (LGHP) include but are not limited to:
  • income tax returns that show health insurance premiums paid;
  • W-2s reflecting pre-tax medical contributions;
  • pay stubs that reflect health insurance premium deductions;
  • health insurance cards with a policy effective date;
  • explanations of benefits paid by the GHP or LGHP; and
  • statements or receipt that reflect payment of health insurance premiums

Individuals can fax their completed enrollment forms to SSA toll-free at 1-833-914-2016, or mail the request to their local SSA field office. Although SSA offices are closed for in-person service, requests received by mail are still being processed. Individuals can find the address and phone number for their local field office using the SSA Office Locator https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp.

This assistance is available retroactive to March 17, 2020, and will continue for a period of 3 months ending June 17, 2020. Beneficiaries need to have qualified for and missed an enrollment opportunity during this period. Eligible beneficiaries must submit their delayed enrollment request before June 17, 2020.

You may contact the Broker Medicare Resource Center with any questions regarding this brief by contacting 1-888-234-3313 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30AM and 8:00PM, or by emailing us at [email protected]. Beneficiaries can contact 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week with any questions. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. Members can contact Independence Blue Cross by calling the number on the back of their member ID card.

Important Links-

https://www.cms.gov/files/document/enrollment-issues-covid-ab-faqs.pdf
https://www.ssa.gov/
https://www.ssa.gov/disabilityresearch/wi/medicare.htm
https://www.medicare.gov/Publications/
https://www.medicare.gov/eligibilitypremiumcalc/#TabTop

Independence Blue Cross offers products through its subsidiaries Independence Hospital Indemnity Plan, Keystone Health Plan East and QCC Insurance Company — independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.”

John Hancock

New Business Processing

Our New Business team is working diligently to continue processing your business as usual. As part of our business continuity plan, our staff is cross-trained to ensure key functions can operate efficiently.

Underwriting Vendors

John Hancock is continuing to monitor and work closely with our paramedical vendors, lab processing centers and medical record providers, who have all implemented their business continuity plans.

In this evolving landscape, we will be providing updates on our short-term alternative underwriting processes. You can expect to see the first update in the coming days.

Policy Contract Delivery

We realize many of our firms have adopted flexible work arrangements and people may not be in the office to receive the policy contract for delivery to the client. Until further notice, we are sending all policies via email. The firm contact will receive a non-watermarked PDF copy of the contract via Office 365 Encryption.

Inforce Operations

The Inforce Operations team remains committed to delivering on customer requests in a timely and efficient manner. We have redeployed staff to focus on high volume requests and those with more urgency. Based on staff redeploying to support critical functions, the current impact to cycle time is limited.

Similarly, we are working to ensure that we can answer calls as quickly as possible. The Call Center remains a high priority for the organization and will continue to be a focus as we navigate through this time.

Grace Periods

If customers are experiencing a hardship and having difficulty paying their premium based on challenges arising from the COVID-19 situation, we will extend grace periods by an additional 61 days from the date the policy would have otherwise lapsed. We are here to support your customers and want to ensure they have the time they need to fund their policy.

To request an extended grace period for a customer, please contact us at JohnHancockInsurance.com or by calling 1-800-387-2747 (USA) or 1-888-267-7784 (NY) between 9AM and 6PM ET to speak to a customer service representative.

Claims

We have received several questions about how claims related to COVID-19 will be administered.

John Hancock life insurance policies do not contain exclusions related to any specific disease or a pandemic. If a claim is received where a death occurred as a result of COVID-19, it will be paid in accordance with our normal procedures, subject to our standard contestability provisions. We remain committed to paying death claims as quickly as possible.”

Johns Hopkins

“AdvantageMD will cover testing for coronavirus. If you are diagnosed with coronavirus, Advantage MD will cover the care you receive based on your benefits. You will pay your normal cost-shares, including any copays, coinsurance or deductible.

Many common medications are made in China. The spread of the virus may or may not affect the supply and distribution of these drugs. If there is a shortage, you should talk to your provider about a safe and effective alternative. You can also consider getting a 90-day supply of any medication you take on a regular basis.”

KSKJ Life

“As the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, we want to assure you that we are open for business and still able to serve you.

We have recently implemented procedures which allow for employees to work from home as needed. We are doing all that we can to ensure the health of our employees and to maintain a safe working environment. Because onsite staff has been reduced to accommodate the required social distancing, you may experience longer than normal call wait times, but our commitment to you and to our personalized service remain unchanged.

KSKJ Life is committed to doing what we can to be supportive and responsive, and we will continue to keep you informed as things develop.

Please continue to access our website or portals available to you as an additional resource or you may contact our main office number at (800) 843-5755.

Best Practices/Tips for Point of Sale

While a face-to-face meeting is preferred for us, below are ways you can continue to facilitate field underwriting during this pandemic and stay-at-home orders:

Using Video Chat

  1. Complete the application for the client and interview through Facetime, Skype or other video apps.
  2. ID verification: have client hold up ID or Driver’s License to the camera to verify identity of proposed insured(s).
  3. Meet client at their home for signature. You can do whatever everyone is comfortable with:
    a. Put completed application inside screen door and step back while they review and sign. b. Or put in mailbox and wait in your car while they review and sign.

Using Phone

  1. Complete the application for the client and interview over the phone.
  2. Meet client at their home for signature and ID verification. You can do whatever everyone is comfortable with: a. Have client hold up ID or Driver’s License to a window on the door, or leave outside the door, to verify identity of proposed insured(s).
    b. Put completed application inside screen door and step back while they review and sign. c. Or put in mailbox and wait in your car while they review and sign.

If there are other work-arounds that are working for you, please share your stories and experiences with us so we can help other agents. You can share your stories by emailing [email protected].

We will continue to work with you and communicate updates as we navigate through the current situation, and we want to help you keep your business moving and growing. Please let us know how we can help you during this time - share your questions, feedback, and suggestions with us. We want to know more about the challenges you are facing so we can consider creative ways that we can support you.

Ways you can improve application processing:

  1. We encourage you to use the “File Upload” feature on the original agent portal at kskjlife.net. This secure upload feature is the safest and quickest way to access applications.
  2. Use the MyKSKJ.com site to find answers that you may have regarding your pending and current business before calling into the Home Office.
  3. Make sure all of the required information is included on applications, including confirming the client’s date of birth with his or her driver’s license or state ID.

Limited Phone Hours

Please be aware that starting Monday, April 6, we will be limiting our phone hours to the following:

Mondays through Thursdays: 9AM to 3PM CT
Fridays: 9AM to 12PM CT

These phone hours apply to both the Agent Hotline and KSKJ Life’s main phone number. If you place a call outside of these hours, please leave a voicemail. Your call will be returned within the new calling hours in the order in which they were received.

COVID Update Product Adjustments - Effective April 27, 2020

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we will be making temporary changes to some of our underwriting processes for Final Expense policies.

Final Expense

  • Face Amount - Maximum Face Amount for applicants ages 75+ will be limited to $15,000
  • Graded or Modified policies - Only applications approved at Select or Standard rates will be accepted. Modified policies will not be issues at this time

These temporary changes are effective for all applications received on Monday, April 27, 2020 and thereafter.

We will continue to monitor the current situation and communicate any additional underwriting changes that may become necessary.”

Medico

“Every effort is being made to ensure this situation will not affect the timeliness or quality of our service. As a precaution, we are taking steps to ask employees to work from home as business reasonably allows and suspending all non-essential travel. We are limiting in-person meetings and no longer allowing outside visitors to our offices. Additional sanitizing protocols have also been implemented. Should a COVID-19 outbreak directly affect any of our locations, we have steps in place for operational resilience and the mitigation of business disruption.

Ensuring you have the tools and resources needed is always important to us - especially during times like these when you can no longer rely on face-to-face interaction with your clients. To help you stay safe while continuing to sell, we’ve compiled a list of tools and resources on our agent website. We will also begin mailing all policy packets directly to new policyholders to comply with social distancing best practices and eliminate the need for you to hand deliver materials.

Please contact Agent Services at 800-547-2401, option 3, if there is anything we can do to assist you.

As we do whenever any customer is facing hardships, we will work with customers impacted by COVID-19. We have been closely monitoring the various directives issued by states regarding the extension of grace periods. Based on these directives, we will extend the customary 31-day grace period to 60 days unless a state requires longer. Like always, we continue to work in earnest to help our customers while also adhering to necessary regulations.

If you have a customer that has been affected by COVID-19, we’re here to help. Please have them contact our Customer Care team at 800-228-6080, Monday through Friday, from 7:30AM to 5PM CT for assistance.”

Molina Healthcare

“Molina is waiving all member costs associated with testing for the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.

As a reminder, Molina members have access to a 24-hour Nurse Advice Line.

Learn how to enroll your clients using our virtual enrollment platform. This platform allows you to send a quote, a pre-filled application, and even email a Scope of Appointment (SOA) in a convenient all in one tool.

Access to the virtual enrollment platform: Agents must be ready to sell (certified, contracted, licensed in the applicable states and appointed by Molina Healthcare). Your user id and password were provided along with your ready to sell notification email. If you don’t have a login or your access isn’t working, please contact the Broker Support Unit.

Virutal Enrollment Broker Login
Virtual Enrollment Video
Email a SOA
Email a pre-filled application

Broker Support Unit

  • Our Broker Support Unit is now working from home and our phone, email, fax communications are all up and running and open during our regular business hours.
  • We appreciate your patience as we work through this transition. We remain committed to supporting you.

Local Market Support

  • Our Broker Channel Managers are remote employees and are available via phone, email to answer any of your questions.
  • They will be hosting online meetings and will support you in the sale of our products.

Member Services

  • Member Services teams are in the process of temporarily transitioning to work-from-home and we appreciate your patience.
  • Regular hours and numbers should be functioning at this time, however members might experience slightly longer hold times as we work through this transition.

Teledoc Now Available for Medicare Members

Molina Healthcare is now offering all members virtual care via Teladoc.

All Medicare (D-SNP and General Enrollment MAPD) and MMP members can connect with a board-certified doctor by phone, video or mobile app at no cost! Members can access Teladoc for common health issues like allergies, skin problems, sinus problems, etc. It is also a way for members experiencing flu-like symptoms that could be related to COVID-19 to get care they need without leaving their home. This benefit is for routine care and not for emergencies. Members who feel they are experiencing a medical emergency should call 911 or proceed to the nearest emergency room.

Members can access this benefit in several ways:

  • Phone (voice or text) 800-835-2362 (TTY: 855-636-1578 or 711)
  • Internet video through the secure Teledoc member portal Teladoc.com/Molina
  • Video through the Teledoc mobile app Teledoc.com/mobile

Please note that language translation is available via phone.

Molina has made some changes in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • Waiving cost-sharing for Teladoc services (via phone or video). Molina will waive cost sharing for telehealth services provided through Teladoc. Teladoc is a great option for people who think they could have COVID-19.
  • Waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 diagnostic testing. Molina is waiving cost share for COVID-19 tests and associated, office, urgent care and ER visits if a Molina Medicare member has a cost share for such services. Molina will cover the cost of treatment related to members who have tested positive for COVID-19 effective March 1, 2020.

Free Access to a 24-hour Nurse Advice Line

  • English: 888-275-8750
  • Spanish: 866-648-3537

Self-Assessment Tool for COVID-19 Now Available for Molina Medicare Members

Molina has launched a new tool that guides members through a series of questions about their current health status and provides recommendations about what steps they can take next based on their individual circumstances.

The Coronavirus Chat Bot is now available on our public websites, on the My Molina Member Portal and on the Molina Healthcare Mobile app.

Note: This tool is not compatible with Internet Explorer 11. Member can use Google Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge to access the tool.

The Chat bot is available within our Molina Mobile Application for iOS and Android phones.”

Mutual of Omaha

“We want to take this opportunity to share how we’re responding to this situation:

  • Mutual of Omaha has a multi-disciplinary team of subject matter experts meeting daily to closely monitor, assess and respond to the coronavirus situation as it develops.
  • Mutual of Omaha remains committed to providing superior service to our policyholders and we are taking active steps to prevent any interruption in our business processes.
  • If you have any questions regarding your insurance policy, we encourage you to access your account from home 24/7 using our online portal, Customer Access, or our automated phone system (800-775-6000) to view policy information, update payment/billing information and more.
  • Please note that out of an abundance of caution, Mutual of Omaha is practicing social distancing and has asked all associates who are able, to work from home. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we take steps to protect the health and safety of our associates and ensure uninterrupted service to our customers.
  • As additional information for our Medicare supplement customers, please be advised of the following:
    • Should your doctor or medical provider determine you need to be tested, your Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) will cover the test. To learn more, visit Medicare.gov
    • Your Medicare supplement plan covers foreign travel emergency (up to plan limits); the plan is the same as stated in your policy
    • Be assured that we continue to pay claims without disruption, which allows you to remain focused on your health.

In an effort to continue to provide updates to our business partners around COVID-19, and offer one spot for housing this information, we have created the below webpage. This webpage will keep you updated in real-time with any changes or enhancements we make to our benefits handling and other key items related to COVID-19. We will add additional resources as they become available http://www.mutualofomaha.com/group-benefits/covid-19.

As COVID-19 cases increase within the United States and around the world, Mutual of Omaha is issuing the following underwriting guidance on new and pending applications for life and health products (Accidental Death, Long-Term Care, Disability Income, Critical Illness, Cancer, and Heart Attack & Stroke), effective immediately:

  • If the proposed insured or any member of his or her household has traveled or resided outside of the United States within the past 30 days, the application will be postponed until 30 days following their return.
  • If the proposed insured or any member of his or her household has come into close contact with anyone known to the insured to have tested positive for COVID-19, the application will be postponed until 30 days following their exposure.
  • In addition, anyone testing positive for the COVID-19 virus or those who have been hospitalized or quarantined for the virus will have their application postponed for a minimum of 90 days.

Due to the rapid changes arising from this pandemic, we are continuously monitoring the updates published by the U.S. Department of State and the CDC, as well as local, state or other federal agencies. We will provide additional updates as new information becomes available.

Click here for a message from CEO James Blackledge.
Click here for important updates from customer service.
Click here for information regarding life policy output procedures.
Click here for information regarding annuity new business.
Click here for information regarding LTC underwriting and new business.”

Nationwide

“We have been preparing for several weeks to take action on the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the dramatic shifts in the market.

  • In support of the need to flatten the coronavirus curve, we implemented a progressive work-from-home policy for most of our associates. We are well-equipped technologically and operationally and have taken steps to ensure our ability to serve you with minimal disruption.
  • There are many ways for you to connect with Nationwide, if needed:
    • Schedule a call with your financial professional or agent
    • Log in to your account online to securely make changes to your life insurance policy. If you don’t have an online account, please take a few minutes to create your online account today at Nationwide.com.
    • Contact Nationwide directly at 1-800-848-6331
  • We are prepared to work with you based on your individual circumstances. We will continue to monitor regulators like the Department of Insurance (DOI) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for updates that may provide additional options to assist those who have been impacted by recent events related to the coronavirus.
  • We will continue to service life insurance policies in a way that keeps both our customers and associates safe.

You have the strength and stability of Nationwide “on your side.” We have a 100-year history of disciplined investing and prudent decision-making and have navigated significant market challenges before. Our consistently high ratings from independent credit rating agencies, diversified quality investments, and risk management practices ensure we have the capital and liquidity to fulfill our financial obligations and keep the commitments we make now and in the future.”

New Era

“We realize that the past several days have been anything but normal. We want you to know that we are prepared to continue our operations and support you during this global event, without interruption.

Our top priority is the health and safety of our policyholders, employees, agents and their families. We are diligently monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and responding to recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

New Era remains committed to ensure that our agents continue receiving the best service possible during this public health event. We have already implemented business continuity measures to ensure that our offices remain open as well as our phone lines. We will continue to fulfill our responsibilities to you, take new applications, process claims, and answer any questions that you may have. If you do happen to experience a longer hold or response time than usual, please be patient as many of our employees are working remotely during this time.

Additional benefits have been granted to Health Saver Series and Health Choice Series policyholders.

During these unprecedented times, PALIC remains committed to offering the best service and health insurance value in America. We hope that these additional benefits offer your clients further peace of mind.

Enhanced benefits for COVID-19 include the following:

  • Waived premiums
  • Increased prescription benefits
  • Increased inpatient benefits

View the details here

NGL

“We are committed to the health of our employees and community and that is why we decided to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus by asking employees to work remotely if possible. This resolution is the best way for us to keep our employees safe and to continue providing you with the high level of service you have come to expect from NGL.

We are taking precautions to continue to serve our customers in a safe and effective manner. We encourage all of our agents and customers to stay safe and take necessary precautions to keep themselves healthy.

With your business being very personal in nature and the increasing hesitancy to meet face-to-face to complete an application we suggest using the Electronic Application submission is available via E-Application as an alternative.

Additionally, copies of completed applications can be uploaded securely directly to the Administrative Office through the Upload process. Both E-Application and the Upload process are available through the “New Business” tab in the EssentialLTC Agent Resource Center.

You can check on the status of all submitted applications via the Status tab of the Agent Resource Center. Alternatively, you may continue to contact the Administrative Office by contacting 888.505.2332, and pressing 1 to speak to the Agent Services team during our regular business hours.

It is our expectation that our New Business and Service processes will largely continue as usual, with little or no delays anticipated in our processes at this time. We will also work with any vendors we may utilize to monitor for any potential issues or delays in their processes as well.”

OneAmerica

“We stand ready to serve you. Because of our pre-planning, we are able to maintain our service and support to you at normal levels. Our operation is stable and built to withstand COVID-19 regardless of how long it lasts.

As we continue to monitor the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain committed to operating in an informed, responsible manner that upholds our commitment to maintaining financial strength. These decisions help ensure that we continue to be there for our customers when they need us the most.

With that in mind, we believe it’s prudent to make a few temporary changes to our business limits. These changes only apply to business received after May 1.

Our new guidelines are as follows:

Care Solutions Business

For Care Solutions, the temporary changes to our business limits include:

  • Ages 70 and above
    • Only single pay is allowed
    • COB must also be single pay
    • Annuity-Funded Whole Life and Asset Care 2 & 3 remain available
    • The full suite of Annuity Care products remains available (COB pay periods remain as they are today on annuities)
    • No rated cases allowed
    • We are suspending the following:
      • Asset Care Recurring Premium Whole Life
      • Asset Care 4
      • Asset Care with Return of Premium
  • Ages 69 and below
    • No changes to current guidelines

For ages 70 and above, cases not meeting these criteria will be postponed.

Certificates of Insurability

For all underwritten products, both traditional and Care Solutions, we will require a Certificate of Insurability (COI) upon policy delivery for all sales — both Cash on Delivery (COD) and Cash with App (CWA). The COI or Statement of Health is included with the policy delivery packet and can also be found on the OneAmerica FormsPipe library. The COI must be received before the policy can be put in force/paid.

Thank you for all your efforts to serve your clients, and for adapting alongside us in this rapidly changing environment. We appreciate your commitment and are deeply grateful for your business.”

Oscar

“Oscar is waiving cost-sharing for diagnostic testing for COVID-19 for all our members, when the test is recommended by a doctor. This includes in-network and out-of-network testing facilities. Normal cost-sharing will apply for other aspects of the visit in most states.

If a member has a question about how to find a provider, we encourage them to send their Concierge Team a message from their account on hioscar.com or the Oscar app, or contact us at 855-672-2755.”

Optima Health

“Optima Health is waiving member cost-sharing for the treatment of COVID-19 from health care providers from April 1 through June 30, 2020 for its fully-insured Commercial, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid plans. This is in addition to our previous announcements to waive member cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and testing-related visits, and telehealth visits. We plan to work with self-funded customers who want us to implement a similar approach on their behalf.

To help reduce any potential exposure, we are waiving member copayments and coinsurance for all telehealth visits through our partner MDLIVE® through June 4, 2020. If ordered by a physician, we will cover all out-of-pocket costs associated with COVID-19 diagnostic testing at any in-network lab location. Feel free to share our FAQs and factsheet with your clients who may have prevention and coverage questions.

The Optima Health Mobile App

In addition to registering online at optimahealth.com, we encourage members to download the Optima Health mobile app on the App Store® or Google Play™ to:

  • View their digital member ID card
  • Launch virtual visits
  • Check claims and benefits
  • Access important insurance documents
  • Learn about preventive health programs
  • Sign up to receive documents electronically

Sentara Healthcare Virtual Care Visits

Virtual visits allow members to securely connect with a Sentara Medical Group provider. Members can follow these steps to set up their account:

  • Download the Sentara mobile app on the App Store® or Google Play™.
  • Create an account or sign in using their Sentara MyChart or Sentara account credentials.
  • Before their visit, members must sign in to the app, check-in to their virtual appointment, and then connect with the provider.

Please note that due to COVID-19, members may experience longer than usual wait times. Members can schedule visits by calling their provider office or viewing the Sentara Virtual Visits page.

MDLIVE® Virtual Care Visits

MDLIVE is available 24/7/365, including holidays. Doctors are able to diagnose, treat, and prescribe medication. Members can access MDLIVE by following these simple steps:

  • Pre-register before care is needed. After registering on optimahealth.com, members must sign in to MDLIVE Virtual Visits to activate their account by following the guided steps under Account Details.
  • Choose a board-certified doctor from the nation’s largest virtual provider network. Members can see the next doctor on call or schedule an appointment with their preferred provider.
  • See the doctor and complete their virtual visit.

View MDLIVE Coronavirus Facts
View MDLIVE Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions

Due to COVID-19, members may experience longer than usual wait times. Members can request to see a doctor right away or schedule an appointment through the MDLIVE patient portal. If there are any issues accessing MDLIVE, members can call 1-866-648-3638.

Contact Optima Health

To help keep our members safe and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, walk-in services for members at our corporate office on Corporation Lane in Virginia Beach are temporarily suspended. If they have any questions or concerns, they can use the resources below:

  • Call Member Services at the number listed on the back of their member ID Card Monday through Friday from 8AM to 6PM.
  • Call the dedicated Sentara COVID-19 call center at 1-833-945-2395 seven days a week from 9AM to 7PM for questions.
  • Call the After Hours Nurse Line at 757-552-7250 or 1-800-394-2237 for care coordination or nurse advice after hours.

Early Refills

Optima health has made the following changes to make sure members have an appropriate amount of medication on-hand:

  • We will allow for early refills, if needed. If members need extra medication, they can talk to their pharmacy about filling their prescription early. Members will be responsible for their standard cost share.
  • For the safety of our members, members or their pharmacy will need to call for an override to refill an opioid prescription early.

90-Day Refills

Optima Health allows members to fill 90-day supplies of medication at most retail pharmacies and by mail order.

  • We have implemented a one-time 90-day fill of specialty medications. Members will be responsible for their standard cost share.
  • We encourage the use of 90-day supplies for medications members take regularly.
  • If members don’t have a prescription for a 90-day supply, they can talk to their physician to see if a 90-day supply would work for them.

Home Delivery Option

Our mail order pharmacy can deliver a 90-day supply of medications to members’ homes. Visit https://optimahealth.com/members/manage-plans/prescription-home-delivery for more information on how to sign up for home delivery.

Drive-thru Screenings and Testings

Sentara Healthcare is offering drive-thru screening and testing at select locations. They are open on a day-by-day basis as supplies allow. Please visit Sentara Healthcare social media channels and sentaraupdates.com for daily updates.

In order to best support our customers amid the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing changes in the workforces, we have temporarily relaxed some of our enrollment and eligibility policies.

View Policy Changes

NEW Optima Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) Assessment Tool

An assessment tool is now available to help members understand care options based on their risk level for COVID-19.

To access this tool:

  1. Visit optimahealth.com/.
  2. Click Coronavirus Assessment Tool on the right side of the page.
  3. Follow the prompts.”

Oxford Life

“In light of the COVID-19 situation, Oxford Life Insurance Company is doing everything we can to protect the health and well-being of our team members and our Producer Partners.

We want to assure you that we have extensive business continuity plans in place and we will be implementing those plans as necessary.

At this time, we do not expect an interruption to any of our services and we are here to support our customers. With that said, following are a few of the key steps you can take to ensure your business will be serviced and processed in a timely manner.

For the health and well being of our Producers and Clients, effective immediately, all policies will be delivered directly to the client.

As a reminder, you can view your policies at any time through your Agent Portal.

E-Applications Whenever possible, use the E-Application feature for our Assurance Final Expense and our Multi-Select, Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuity. E-Applications guarantee that all required fields are filled in prior to advancing. This valuable tool helps to insure that more of your applications are “IN-GOOD-ORDER”.

You can access E-Applications at oxfordlife.com. Log into your agent portal and click on My Tools then E-App. Then click on the specific product you wish to submit.

Upload Documents Go to oxfordlife.com and log into your agent portal. Click on My Tools, Upload Documents and then New Business.

From here you can upload all new business documents along with any outstanding requirements ensuring prompt secure processing.

Chat Feature Avoid potential long hold times by “chatting” with an Oxford Life Customer/Agent Service representative.

Go to oxfordlife.com and click on Chat.

Triple check your application before submitting Now more than ever, avoid the need to revisit a client for any outstanding requirements.

Make sure all required fields are filled in accurately. This includes submitting any required additional forms such as Suitability, Disclosure, Replacement, Power of Attorney, Non-Resident Sale Certification, Authorization for Multiple Premiums, Transfer of Funds/1035 Exchange and Certification of Trustee Powers.

View Your Agent Portal Visit your Agent Portal often to stay up-to-date on any developments with your business.

Travel Restrictions As a firm, we have restricted travel unless absolutely necessary. We are also restricting attendance at conferences or any other meetings where social distancing is not possible.

In terms of client meetings, we are encouraging our Producer Partners to take whatever measures are necessary to ensure you and your clients’ safety.

As we navigate this global pandemic, we are committed to being available to answer the important questions, and provide the best value for our customers.”

Regence

“Effective immediately, we’ve taken the following steps to support our members:

If a doctor believes someone needs to be tested for COVID-19, there is no pre-authorization required.

We will cover the cost of a COVID-19 test with no cost share to fully insured members if a provider determines a test is necessary.

Our “refill too soon” policy for medications, except opioids, has been adjusted to help members prepare as needed.”

Securian Financial

“Securian Financial has been actively monitoring the rapidly changing current events and evaluating our underwriting and new business processes. We have been focused on delivering high levels of service, helping customers with their insurance needs and maintaining the company’s financial strength.

Working closely with our reinsurance partners, we have decided to make temporary changes as we navigate the challenges presented by the pandemic. Effective at the end of business today (April 10, 2020), our underwriting and new business participation guidelines will be updated as follows:

WriteFit

  • The maximum face amount for WriteFit applicants ages 18 through 50 is being increased from $2 million to $3 million. Applicants ages 51 through 60 continue to be eligible for up to $1 million of coverage via the WriteFit platform. Eligibility for WriteFit is determined by answers to the tele-interview.

Traditional Life Underwriting (includes underwritten policy changes)

  • Insurance ages 71 and older: new applications will not be accepted. Currently pending applicants rated standard or better will be issued. Currently pending applicants who are rated worse than standard will be postponed until at least June 15, 2020.
  • Insurance ages 61 through 70: offers for new and pending applicants who are rated Table B or worse will be postponed until at least June 15, 2020.
  • Insurance ages 51 through 60: offers for new and pending applicants who are rated Table C or worse will be postponed until at least June 15, 2020.
  • Insurance ages 50 and younger: offers for new and pending applicants who are rated Table G or worse will be postponed until at least June 15, 2020.
  • Money may not be submitted with new applications, and temporary insurance agreements will not be available until at least June 15, 2020.

SecureCare Universal Life (UL) Underwriting

  • Insurance ages 71 and older: new applications will not be accepted. Currently pending applicants with mortality assessed at standard or better will continue to be underwritten. Currently pending applicants with mortality assessed worse than standard will be postponed until at least June 15, 2020.
  • Insurance ages 70 and younger: mortality evaluation will need to be standard or better for a SecureCare UL policy to be issued. Applicants who would be table rated for mortality purposes will be postponed until at least June 15, 2020.
  • Money may not be submitted with new applications, and temporary insurance agreements will not be available until at least June 15, 2020.

Premium Limitation for Eclipse Protector II Indexed Universal Life (IUL)

  • The maximum amount of premium for Eclipse Protector II IUL policies is being reduced to the greater of five times target premium or $250,000 in any year. This maximum is inclusive of both out-of-pocket premiums and 1035 proceeds.
  • Please note that pending and new applications received on or before April 17, 2020, will be permitted to process and pay at our current guidelines until May 29, 2020.

Internal Exchanges

  • Non-underwritten internal exchanges for individuals age 81 and older are not available. If you need assistance with an existing contract, please contact the inforce case design team at [email protected] or 651-665-3746.

As a mutual holding company, we take a long-term approach that positions us strongly regardless of what happens in the economy. We do not take making these changes lightly and have done so after much consideration of the potential business hurdles. We expect to re-visit these changes and others as we continue to learn more about the pandemic.

During unprecedented times like these, we are grateful for strong relationships. Thank you for your business as we navigate these uncertain times. "

Sentinel Security

“Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company activated our Business Continuity Plan to protect employees’ health and allow for business operations to continue as normal. However, due to the recent decision of Utah’s Governor Herbert to close all Utah public schools for two weeks (effective Monday, March 16), Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company is taking further steps to support our Utah staff and community during this period.

Effective immediately, Sentinel Security Life Insurance Company will more rapidly advance its transition to allow more employees to work remotely from their homes. Please note, as we work through this transition, we expect disruptions to service. You may experience longer call and processing times, so please plan accordingly. We would strongly encourage use of the Agent Portal to obtain status updates on pending applications.

We want to ensure you that we are doing everything in our power to make this transition efficient and to return service levels to normal as quickly as possible. We are dedicated to serving you, our partners, and appreciate your patience during these unprecedented times.

As stated in our March 14th update, we request that you work smartly and take necessary precautions to protect your health. We suggest using the E-App system to limit your in-person client meetings. Through the E-App, you can submit applications while working with your clients remotely over the phone. Please reach out to our Sales team at [email protected] if you have trouble utilizing the E-App (found on the Agent Portal). You can also register for an E-App Training here.

Our dedicated teams are here to support you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions or need assistance. We will continue to monitor the Coronavirus outbreak closely and will provide additional updates as needed. "

SilverScript

“On March 9, 2020, CVS Health announced additional COVID-19 resources to increase patient access to medications.

Beginning immediately, CVS Pharmacy will waive charges for home delivery of prescription medications, which will help patients avoid visiting their local CVS Pharmacy for refills or new prescriptions.

Aetna will offer 90-day maintenance medication prescriptions for insured and Medicare members.

CVS Caremark is working with all PBM clients to waive early refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications.”

Simply Healthcare

“We have decided to make the next few Face to Face trainings “virtual”. We will be holding the trainings via WebEx and Conference on the same dates and times scheduled which were sent to you previously.”

SureBridge

“In an effort to inform the public of the limits of supplemental policies, such as the SureBridge products listed below, as they relate to the diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19, the New Mexico Superintendent of Insurance has ordered that we deliver a COVID-19 notice to all applicants for these listed plans.

  • Accident Companion
  • Accident Direct
  • CancerWise® Plus
  • CIWise™ (CancerWise Plus + HeartWise)
  • Critical Accident Direct
  • Fixed Indemnity Direct
  • HeartWise™
  • HospitalWise™
  • Metal Gap
  • ProtectFit Plus

Please provide the COVID-19 notice to every person who applies for one of these supplemental plans in New Mexico until further notice. This notice can also be found on the Broker Portal on the Tools tab under Supplemental Product Information.

NOTE: Existing customers of these plans who live in New Mexico are receiving the COVID-19 notice via regular mail.

Possible Delay in Receiving Paper Checks

If business operations are interrupted due to COVID-19, you may experience an unavoidable delay in receiving your paper checks from Chesapeake. While we are diligently working to ensure payments are received in a timely manner, as the situation evolves so may our ability to process checks.

To continue receiving your pay without interruption, it is highly suggested you take a few moments to sign up for ACH. This can be completed via the Broker Portal under the Direct Deposit tab. Click here for instructions on how to set up Direct Deposit.

ACH is faster, more secure, and more reliable than paper checks. Your pay is automatically deposited into your checking or savings account on the appropriate date.”

Transamerica

“We want to assure you that Transamerica is continually monitoring developments and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine what steps we need to take to help protect our employees while they’re on the job and safeguard our ability to serve the customers and business associates who depend on us.

The heart of Transamerica’s business is risk management, and we have robust plans in place to ensure continuity of service to our customers, clients, distributors, agents, and advisors. Transamerica remains committed to providing high-quality service, and our leadership team continues to keep the security of our customers in mind in light of ongoing events.

You may be assured to learn that Transamerica is:

  • Servicing customer calls and emails from multiple customer care centers, allowing easy transfer of customer care among diverse geographic locations.
  • Increasing our work-from-home capacity. A significant number of employees can already conduct business as usual from home or another location, which provides stability for our distribution processes, operations and business practices.
  • Banning employees’ travel to all regions identified by the CDC Level as 3 and implementing self-quarantine procedures for any who return from countries on that list, as well as curtailing most domestic travel.
  • Ramping up our use of virtual meetings.
  • Working with our third party vendors to help ensure their responsiveness to ongoing events.
  • Keeping everyone’s well-being in mind by taking precautionary measures consistent with CDC recommendations to help minimize exposure among our employees and business associates.

As we adjust, certain business functions could be affected, including:

  • Newly submitted business: We are experiencing processing delays, meaning you may experience longer timeframes than usual as we work to issue and place business. During this time, our New Business teams will communicate via email rather than by phone for critical issues and concerns about submitted business.
  • Resources/hours: We are making sure our processing expertise is well balanced between the phone lines and business processing. To meet this need, we’re adjusting our contact center’s operating hours. Effective Friday, March 27, it will operate from 9:30AM to 4PM ET, aligning with the same hours as the U.S. stock market.
    • Our sales desks will keep their normal business hours.
  • Communication: To ensure our contact center representatives are focused on the most critical service efforts, we ask that you use other channels for non-urgent needs, including:
    • Portals: Available 24/7, they offer many standard self-service options, such as information on pending policies and status updates.
    • Email: Use the same email(s) as usual.
    • IVRs: We are updating our contact center messaging to remind you of our changes.
  • Claims: We remain committed to paying claims in a timely manner. At this time, we may be unable to follow up as thoroughly as usual on customer requirements. If you have customers with outstanding claims who need guidance, please email us at one of the following boxes:
  • Our Operations Distribution Relationship Team: While we always aim to provide the best support possible, our capabilities might be limited at this time. Please follow the processes listed above for all status checks and escalations. Requests for administrative decisions should follow our normal procedures and communication pathways through the processing teams. Contact via the Operations Distribution Relationship email should be limited to the re-review of administrative decisions only.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the industry in many ways, including limiting access to paramedical exams. We are now offering additional options to satisfy medical requirements on new cases which includes increased non-medical guidelines for clients through age 55.

  • Starting on April 8, 2020, these new guidelines will be in effect until further notice for Trendsetter® Super, Trendsetter® LB, Transamerica Financial Foundation IUL®, and Transamerica Lifetime℠ current medical guidelines through 75 years old.
  • Traditional paramed exams and labs will still be accepted at the current medical guidelines for clients under 75 years old - the following chart outlines options in lieu of the traditional paramed requirements.
  • Due to the circumstances around COVID-19, Transamerica will not be accepting applications on clients over the age of 75 for all life insurance products and unable to offer LTC Riders or Chronic or Critical Living Benefit riders on individual ages 56-75 on all products and face amounts.
  • Requests to reduce face amounts to nonmed levels to waive medical requirements will be honored; contact your Underwriter to request this.

Click here to view the chart for Initial Age Amount Requirements.

Major Improvements to Help Your Business

  • Underwriting and Non-Medical Guidelines: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the industry in many ways, including limiting access to paramedical exams. We are now offering additional options to satisfy medical requirements on new cases that include increased nonmedical guidelines for clients through age 55. The updated underwriting guidelines go into effect on April 8, 2020. Please note: Due to the circumstances around COVID-19, Transamerica will not be accepting applications on clients over the age of 75 for all life insurance products.
  • New Policies Mailed Directly to Clients: Many areas across the country are impacted by state and federal “stay at home” orders. We know this has impacted how you are interacting with customers. To help fill a gap in the new business process, Transamerica will begin sending new policies directly to customers. This will be a temporary adjustment, as we know how important it is for you to have a face-to-face conversation with customers. A letter explaining a change to our traditional process is included in the package they receive. Please continue to monitor your portals, systems, and email for information about when a policy has been issued. We also ask that you reach out to customers and have a virtual policy review. The extra help during this time will go a long way in building a long-term relationship.
    • Estimated start dates for this process:
      • Annuity — April 13, 2020
      • LTC — April 13, 2020
      • Trendsetter Term — April 8, 2020
      • FFIUL, FE, Lifetime, MedSupp — April 17, 2020
      • Lapse/Grace Period Extension: COVID-19 is dramatically affecting many clients, both personally and financially for some. With that in mind, we’ve revisited our policy grace and lapse situations by extending payment due dates — similar to how we respond to natural disasters.
  • Changes to Customers Grace Periods: As the COVID-19 situation continues to impact our daily lives, customers may start to experience financial hardships. With that in mind, we’ve revisited our policy grace and lapse situations by extending payment due dates — similar to how we respond to natural disasters. For our life and health customers whose coverage lapsed on or after March 11, 2020, we’re sending a follow-up letter to let them know we’ve extended the window in which they can make a payment and keep their insurance coverage active. They’ll have an additional 30 days beyond their most recent notice to bring premiums up to date.

Temporary Decision Related to Rapid Reviews

At this time, Transamerica Underwriting is putting all focus on the underwriting of our formal applications. Therefore, we are temporarily suspending our rapid review process, with the exception of rapid reviews on foreign nationals and foreign travel. For those risks, please send an email directly to [email protected].

For clients up to (and including) age 55:

  1. Changes to traditional paramed requirements

Up to $2,000 with best risk class available. For your clients who have visited their doctors regularly, or have paramed from previous carrier.

Submit Transamerica Nonmedical Application Part 2, along with:

  • Paramed and labslip/labs completed for another carrier within the past 12 months

OR

  • Primary care physician exam and labs from within the past 12 months

Tip: Acceptable labs must include lipids, liver function tests, kidney function, and glucose. Measured height and weight must be included in the exam/physical notes.

  1. Nonmed underwriting limits

Up to $1 million

  • Transamerica Financial Foundation IUL® and Transamerica LifetimeSM whole life: Preferred NT/Tobacco
  • Trendsetter® Super: Standard Plus/Standard smoker
  • Trendsetter LB® (Face $250,000 and above): Standard Plus/Standard smoker
  • Trendsetter LB: (Face $100,000-$249,999): Standard nonsmoker/Standard smoker

Submit Transamerica Nonmedical Application Part 2

  • For Transamerica Financial Foundations IUL, use the long app form U327, to include all medical questions
  • For Trendsetter Super/Trendsetter LB, use the Transamerica nonmed Part 2

Tips:

  • Must specify in agent remarks or agent page that nonmed option is wanted
  • Do not order exam/labs
  • Do not apply for the top two rate classes (not available with the nonmed option)

Your clients have the opportunity to come back and have a year fully underwritten at our expense for best class consideration (with no adverse impact on current risk class).

  1. Our fully underwritten option with our typical nonmed policies

Clients age 56-75:

Normal underwriting requirements

  • Transamerica Lifetime allows for fluidless underwriting, up to $499,999 and up to age 65
  • If rated over Table B for cardiac, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, or respiratory conditions, a referral to our medical department will be required
  • Living benefit and LTC Riders are NOT currently available for this age group

Clients age 76+:

Due to circumstances stemming from COVID-19, Transamerica will not be accepting applications at this time on clients over the age of 75 for all life insurance products. "

Univera Healthcare

“Medicare members - Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers COVID-19 testing. This test is covered when your doctor or a health care provider orders it, if you get the test on or after February 4, 2020.

When a state of emergency is declared for a specific state or region, we implement early refill overrides for prescription medications for members living in those specific areas. Pharmacists can make the override at the point of sale.

The Health Plan is increasing access to prescription medications by waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications (consistent with a member’s benefit plan).

Members are also encouraged to use their 90-day mail order benefit for prescription medications.

The Health Plan will ensure formulary flexibility if shortages or access issues do occur. Members will not be liable for additional charges that stem from obtaining a non-preferred medication if the preferred medication is not available due to shortage or access issues.

Emergency prescription drug overrides are available as part of our standard exception process on an individual member basis.”

UPMC Health

“For the next 90 days, for individuals enrolled in UPMC Health Plan products, including our fully-insured commercial groups, ACA plans, Medicare Advantage, and HealthChoices programs, as well as self-insured employer groups that do not opt out of this coverage, we have implemented the following policy changes:

  • Waiving all cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing- We will cover the full cost of diagnostic tests for COVID-19 for all fully insured members who meet CDC guidelines for testing. Members in fully insured plans will face no copayment, coinsurance, or deductible for these tests.
  • Waive all cost-sharing for telehealth - We will remove financial barriers that could discourage our members from seeking telehealth services, including those available through UPMC AnywhereCare. Members will not face deductibles, copayments, or cost-sharing of any kind for virtual visits with in-network health care providers. UPMC AnywhereCare is available seven days a week, 24 hours/day.
  • Allow early prescription refills - Members with medical conditions that require prescription drugs should not have to worry about running out of their medications or making additional trips to the pharmacy during this challenging time. For the next 90 days, UPMC Health Plan will increase access to prescription medications by waiving early refill limits on medications filled at retail and specialty pharmacies.
  • MyHealth 24/7 Nurse Line - UPMC Health Plan offers members the MyHealth 24/7 Nurse Line. This resource allows UPMC Health Plan members to speak directly with a UPMC nurse, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, when non-emergency care is needed. Our nurses can offer immediate support and advice regarding specific services members may need to assist with their care needs. UPMC Health Plan members can access the MyHealth 24/7 Nurse Line by calling 1-866-918-1591.
  • Reliable Education - UPMC Health Plan will update its website with timely, trustworthy information on COVID-19, including useful resources and articles from UPMC doctors and links to other trusted sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

UPMC Health Plan is encouraging everyone to adopt the following best practices during this time:

  • Conduct business over the phone. You can continue to answer questions, find participating providers, look up prescription drugs, compare plans and benefits, and explain out-of-pocket costs to beneficiaries over the phone.
  • Use Cavulus. Through our online CRM you can document phone conversations with your clients, as well as order enrollment kits. In your documentation, be sure to list in detail all of the plans and benefits that were discussed, along with any providers or prescriptions that you reviewed with your client.
  • Encourage alternate enrollment options. There are several ways your clients can enroll in UPMC for Life.
    • Enrollment kits include two paper applications and postage-paid envelopes that can be completed and mailed to us.
    • Online enrollment can be completed at https://www.upmchealthplan.com/medicare/shop/.
    • Telephonic enrollment can be done as soon as the plan review is completed and the beneficiary is ready to enroll. If using this option, advise your client to hang up with you and call 1-866-400-5067. Before you end the call, you need to add the note below to your lead in Cavulus so your client can be enrolled in the correct plan:
      • For Medicare Enrollments: Final TE Note: ON BEHALF OF <agent name>. <Beneficiary Name> requesting enrollment in <Plan Name and premium>, effective <mm/dd/yyyy>, Enrollment Period - <List Enrollment Period>, Medicare Claim Number - <List MBI number>, PCP - <list practice name and number>, Bill - <list option>. Current Company - <Company name> Current Plan - <plan name> Beneficiary will be <completing enrollment online or calling to enroll.>
      • For SNP Enrollments: Final TE Note: ON BEHALF OF <agent name>. <Beneficiary Name> requesting enrollment in DUAL/SNP, effective <mm/dd/yyyy>, Enrollment Period - <List Enrollment Period>, Medicaid # <list number>, Medicare Claim Number - <List MBI number>, PCP - <list practice name and number>, Bill - <list option>. Current Company - <Company name> Current Plan - <plan name> Beneficiary will be <completing enrollment online or calling to enroll.>
      • Please make sure your client knows to contact you directly with any additional questions.

Note: Agents are NOT permitted to conduct a telephonic enrollment without a recorded line.

For questions about locating a provider or available testing laboratory, the member services team is available from 7AM to 7PM, Monday through Friday, 8AM to 3PM on Saturday, and can be reached at 1-844-220-4785 (TTY: 711).”

United American Insurance Company

We are making every effort to support you in selling our products effectively. We invite you to look on UAOnline and watch our On-Demand Webinars. We have added two new exciting webinars on Virtual Selling and Screen Sharing.

While you are there, click on our training webinars and register for some additional training. We would like to highlight two webinars for the week. Join our Senior Director of Sales, Tom Hall, on Mondays and Tuesdays for two live webinars:

  1. How to Sell Over the Phone
    • Mondays at 7PM ET
    • Learn how to create your approach phone script following a 7-step outline
  2. Overcoming Sales Resistance and Objections
    • Tuesdays at 6PM ET
    • Learn how to acknowledge and overcome sales resistance and objections during a phone sales approach

UnitedHealthcare

“UnitedHealthcare is waiving member cost-sharing for the treatment of COVID-19 through May 31, 2020. This policy applies to Medicare Advantage and Medicaid plans. This announcement builds on our previously announced efforts to expand access to care and improve affordability, including waiving of cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and testing-related office visits and the expansion of other member services. More information is available here.

Optum, part of UnitedHealth Group, has opened its Emotional-Support Help Line. Professionally trained, mental health staff are available to provide support to people who may be suffering from fear or stress as a result of COVID-19. Optum’s Emotional-Support Help Line number is 866-342-6892 and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage only members will receive We are Here for You: Navigating through the Coronavirus and AARP® Medicare Supplement members will receive What You Need to Know: Stay Informed.

If you have events planned in the coming days, the health of you and attendees is our top priority. Please reference our events policy in your agent guide on Jarvis, and be sure to contact your sales leaders and follow the appropriate steps.

Learn more about resources available to help ensure members have access to the care they need, as well as virtual tools to help you stay connected with members and consumers during this time. Learn More on Jarvis.

How You Can be a Partner in Care to Members

Helping sign up consumers for health care coverage and staying on top of benefit enhancements may help save lives by ensuring those who are sick seek medical attention and aren’t worried about the high cost of potential medical bills.

Consider calling in to check on your members. During social distancing, Medicare recipients are particularly susceptible to isolation. During these calls, share the resources available to them:

  • Cost sharing waived for Medicare Advantage and Dual Special Needs Plan (DSNP) members with a telehealth benefit which includes virtual visits will be waved through June 18, 2020.
  • Self-administered COVID-19 Test UnitedHealth Group Study Clears Path for Self-Administered COVID-19 Test, Improving Testing Efficiency and Protecting Health Care Workers. Read more in this press release.
  • No-cost COVID-19 testing (no copay, no deductible requirement)
  • Find more member resources here including information on the 24/7 NurseLine telehealth services and Optum’s Emotional-Support Line.

You can reduce the spread of COVID-19 by conducting your business as remotely as possible. Use the tools UnitedHealthcare has provided to help keep safe distances and reduce the chances of rapid infections:

  • Ancillary Updates: You may get questions on ancillary benefits. Review this updated guide for answers.
  • Conduct Virtual One-on-One Marketing Appointments
  • Use Remote Technology:
    • LEAN remote signature using DocuSign® so there’s no need to get an enrollment signature in person.
    • Voice Signature can be used to enroll consumers in an AARP® Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan, insured by UnitedHealthcare® Insurance Company, in 11 states (IL, IN, GA, MN, MO, NC, NV, OR, PA, SC and UT).

Nationwide Special Election Period Available for Applicable Individuals Affected by COVID-19

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) confirmed that the Special Election Period (SEP) for Individuals Affected by a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Declared Weather-Related Emergency or Other Major Disaster is applicable to individuals affected by COVID-19 who meet the criteria outlined below. With this announcement, Medicare Advantage and Part D beneficiaries affected by COVID-19 nationwide may be eligible for a Special Election Period (SEP).

SEP Time Period

March 1, 2020 with an SEP running through June 30, 2020

SEP Start Date: 3/1/2020 SEP End Date: 6/30/2020

This SEP is available nationwide to residents of all states, tribes, territories, and the District of Columbia.

Who is eligible

  1. Any beneficiary who resides in, or resided in (at the start of the SEP time period), an area that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared an emergency or major disaster (see www.fema.gov/disasters) is eligible to apply for individual or public level assistance. Beneficiaries who do not live in the impacted areas but receive assistance making healthcare decisions from someone who lives in one of the affected areas are also eligible; and
  2. The beneficiary had another valid election period at the time of the incident period, but did not make an election during that other valid election period.

What does this mean for beneficiaries

Thank you for being a partner in care to our members during this critical time.

  • Beneficiaries who were eligible for a different election period, but were unable to enroll in a plan during the allotted time period, have until June 30, 2020, to enroll. Enrollments received are effective the first day of the following month.

Agent Action

If a consumer contacts you as a result of this SEP, you may help them enroll in one of our plans and earn a commission. You must:

  1. Ask the beneficiary for proof that the beneficiary resided in an affected area (e.g., driver’s license or utility bill reflecting the beneficiary’s address).
  2. If the beneficiary is unable to provide proof, ask the beneficiary if they attest that they lived/live in an area impacted by the emergencies.
  3. Once you verify eligibility, you can proceed with the application.
  4. Application details:
    a. For paper, use the SEP election type code on the application. Write in Disaster Related Emergency.
    b. For LEAN, please select the FEMA Disaster reason code.”

United Home Life

“As concerns about the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continue, we will be asking an additional question at the beginning of each Personal History Interview (PHI):

“In the last 30 days, have you had any signs of fever, non-allergy related cough or respiratory ailments; or been diagnosed with, exposed to, or had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?”

As well, to help protect our agents and clients, we will be mailing policies direct to policy owners, along with delivery requirements. We recommend a follow-up call with your clients to check that they have received the mailing, and to ensure that they plan to sign and return the delivery requirements to the Home Office. A postage-paid envelope will be included for their convenience.”

United Life

“During this difficult time, we realize that meeting with your clients in-person is not a feasible option. Your business does not have to stop- United Life cases can be handled remotely!

Visit with your clients over the phone or with video conference services such as FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, etc. As part of the Know Your Client Rule, you must verify identification for any new clients. Be sure to document your files appropriately.

Any sales materials referenced during the visit must be sent to the client. The completed applications and necessary forms must be signed prior to submitting to United Life.

With the unusual conditions related to COVID-19, many life insurance carriers are incorporating temporary adjustments to underwriting guidelines in relation to the unprecedented risks associated with the pandemic. United Life has analyzed our underwriting guidelines and find that it is prudent to follow the movement of the industry at this time.

The temporary changes outlined below will apply to new life insurance submissions received beginning May 1, 2020 until further notice:

  • All Applicants- with an underwriting decision of Table 5 or higher will be declined. Coverage is obtainable for insurable risks of Table 4 or better.
  • Applicants age 71 & older- are subject to additional underwriting* for all life products and all face amounts.
  • Foreign Travel- if applicant traveled to a foreign country in the past three months, or has future plans to travel to a foreign country, we will not consider coverage until three months after their return.
    • Does not apply to states who prohibit underwriting based on travel.
  • Statement of Good Health- is a new policy delivery requirement for approved cases IF either scenario below applies:
    • It has been over two weeks since the date the app or paramedical exam (Part 2 of the app) was signed.
    • A ‘future issue date’ is requested that is greater than two weeks from date app was signed.
  • COVID-19 supplemental form- has been filed. Once approved it will be required with all life applications. We will notify you at that time.

Additional underwriting could include paramedical requirements, telephone interviews and Attending Physician Statements. On cases with face amounts of $500,000 or lower, we will attempt to use an APS in lieu of paramedical exams where applicants have been examined by their own physician within the past six months.”

Vibra

Vibra Health Plan is committed to providing you the best level of service. This commitment guides us as we face the challenges of responding to the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

As you are aware, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has ordered that all non-life sustaining business located within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to close effective, Monday, March 23, 2020. Our respective roles as insurance carriers and insurance agents have been classified as non-life sustaining. Accordingly, while our physical locations within the Commonwealth are closed, it is important to stress that we are, and remain, “OPEN FOR BUSINESS”. Our dedicated employees are available to take calls, answer questions, process enrollments and adjudicate/pay claims. We are diligently working to provide service to you and your clientele during this situation.

We understand the impact that this global situation may be causing you, and we hope the following guidance will provide some solutions that allow you to continue to service your clients as well as assist those needing your help.

Obtaining Supplies

Submitting Enrollments

During this time of social distancing and limiting face-to-face contact, we recommend conducting phone appointments to continue your enrollments with Vibra Health Plan. We recognize the compliance obstacles this creates so here are some solutions.

  • Scope of Appointment (SOA) compliance - options:
    • Recommended - Mail SOA to the prospect ahead of time so they can sign it and return to you.
    • Three way call with our team to conduct a recorded telephonic SOA. After the SOA has been recorded, Vibra Health Plan will drop off the line so you can conduct the phone appointment with your member. The number to utilize this free service is 844-667-6941 during the hours of 8AM to 4:30PM Monday-Friday.
    • If available, utilize your preferred agency’s electronic SOA option.
    • Remember that SOAs are required per CMS and must be maintained for 10 years.
  • Taking an Application - options:
    • Mail the application (or send a PDF version) to the prospect to complete and return to you or to the Vibra Health Plan address indicated on the application. Make sure you include your name and NPN before sending to the prospect in order to get credit for the enrollment. If they mail the application back to you – fax it to Vibra Health Plan at 844-260-7923 or submit online through your producer portal. (see below)
    • Electronically while on the phone with the prospect. Go to vibrahealthplan.com/wps/portal/vhp/home/enroll and click on the Enroll tab at the top of the page. VERY IMPORTANT - Make sure to include your name and NPN when prompted in order to get credit for the enrollment.

Member/Producer Service

During this unprecedented time, we stand ready to provide the best service possible to you and your clients. Thank you for continuing to put your trust in us. Attached is the Quick Reference Sheet with all our direct contact information.

Wellcare

“WellCare will be extending coverage for COVID-19. This important step is being taken in partnership with other major insurers and with the support of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

We intend to cover COVID-19 testing and screening services for Medicare members and are waiving all associated member cost share amounts for COVID-19 testing and screening. To ensure that our members receive the care they need as quickly as possible, WellCare will not require prior authorization, prior certification, prior notification or step therapy protocols for these services.

This coverage extension follows the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) guidance that coronavirus tests will be fully covered without cost-sharing for Medicare and Medicaid plans, a decision that WellCare fully supports for our members covered under these programs. We also support the administration’s guidance to provide more flexibility to Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. The specific guidance includes:

  • Waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 tests
  • Waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatments in doctor’s offices or emergency rooms and services delivered via telehealth
  • Removing prior authorization requirements
  • Waiving prescription refill limits
  • Relaxing restrictions on home or mail delivery of prescription drugs
  • Expanding access for certain telehealth services

WellCare has been working in close partnership with state, local and federal authorities to serve and protect patients during the COVID-19 outbreak, including ensuring that its members and providers have the most up-to-date information to protect themselves and their families from the virus. We remain committed to protecting our communities during the outbreak.

Agents can use Wellcare’s PURL (Agent Personal URL) to send their personal link to their clients to self-enroll in their non-dual MAPD plans.

Temporary Telephonic Enrollment Option

While more is being done to understand how coronavirus (COVID-19) is transmitted and treated, we are committed to keeping agents, their families, and our communities healthy and safe. Additionally, we are working hard to innovate and provide opportunities to help beneficiaries secure the Medicare plan that fits their needs. We are excited to introduce a temporary way to enroll members into WellCare plans without agents and members being face-to-face.

Telephonic Enrollment Benefits:

  • Is a compliant way to capture the Scope of Appointment and complete an enrollment application without face-to-face contact
  • Ensures that both beneficiary and agent are maintaining social distancing guidelines
  • Allows those that we serve to make healthcare decisions while staying safe
  • Allows agents to continue to serve as a trusted advisor in their communities

Telephonic Enrollment Steps:

Before the Application:

  • Call the Appointment Verification Line (AVL) to capture agreement and a Scope of Appointment (SOA). Calling the AVL does require the beneficiary to be on the line. At the end of the call, you will be provided with an AVL code; be sure to record it, as it is required to conduct the telephonic enrollment process. The AVL code will ensure the agent is credited for the sale and remains the agent of record (AOR).
  • National AVL: 877-780-3920
  • PDP AVL: 877-297-3625
  • The AVL is available 7:00 AM - Midnight, ET.
  • If the member has Medicaid or LIS, be sure to call the SPOP line to verify eligibility.
  • SPOP: 866-211-0544
  • Complete a thorough and compliant sales presentation, including discussing plan premiums, preventive services, hospital, ER, ambulance, supplemental, and Part D drug coverage (if applicable).
  • Gain confirmation that the beneficiary is ready to enroll.

Have the Following Items Ready:

  • AVL Code
  • Plan name
  • Plan effective date
  • Beneficiary’s date of birth
  • Special Election Period (SEP) being used on application
  • Medicare Beneficiary ID# (MBI) (from Medicare’s red, white, blue card)
  • Part A effective date
  • Part B effective date

Taking the Application by Phone:

  1. With the beneficiary on the line, initiate a 3-way call to 844-914-0020.
  2. Remain on the line with the beneficiary and call center representative. You, the agent, will remain the point of contact for any plan or benefit related questions. Note: In most instances, the call center representative is non-licensed and is not permitted to answer any benefit questions.
  3. Field agent will remain the agent of record (AOR) for the sale.
  4. Enrollment is processed and submitted by the call center representative.

Telephonic Enrollment Important Notes:

  • The call center will retain a recording of the enrollment
  • The agent will remain agent of record (AOR). If the call center representative is not able to enter the agent’s PID, AOR changes will be made at the corporate level. "

Events and Other

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that a special enrollment period applies for beneficiaries who were eligible for — but unable to make — an election because they were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to CMS, this includes both enrollment and disenrollment elections. Individuals will be considered “affected” and eligible for this SEP if they:

  • Reside, or resided at the start of the incident period, in an area for which FEMA has declared an emergency or a major disaster and has designated affected counties as being eligible to apply for individual or public level assistance;
  • Had another valid election period at the time of the incident period; and
  • Did not make an election during that other valid election period.

This SEP began on March 1 and continues through June 30, 2020. This SEP is available nationwide to residents of all states, tribes, territories, and the District of Columbia. Beneficiaries will not be expected to provide proof that they were affected by the pandemic-related emergency.

Agents should not use this SEP as a marketing opportunity, but rather be able to inform concerned clients of their options should they qualify for the SEP.

On April 21, CMS issued new guidance to all Medicare Advantage Organizations, Part D Sponsors, and Medicare-Medicaid Plans regarding Information Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 - COVID-19. You can find that memo here.

One particular note for insurance agents and their clients regarding relaxation of involuntary disenrollments can be found on page 4 of that document.

New in this guidance: Clients who are temporarily absent from their plan’s service area or lose their special needs status as a result of COVID-19 will not be involuntarily disenrolled, per relaxed policy enforcement by CMS.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Passed into Law

Congress passed a $2 trillion economic stimulus package by an overwhelming vote in the Senate and the House. President Trump is expected to sign the bill immediately.

Individuals and Businesses: The CARES Act functions largely as an economic stimulus by providing cash payments to individuals below a certain income, providing extra unemployment benefits and allowing self-employed individuals to apply for unemployment. For businesses, aid is provided through emergency grants, forgivable loans and relief for existing loans. These provisions are intended to assist employers to help them stay in business, keep employees on their payroll, and allow them to continue to support employees through employee benefits and health insurance.

Healthcare: The CARES Act also includes $100 billion for hospitals and $150 billion for state and local governments to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill expands coverage beyond what was in last week’s Families First bill by requiring health insurers to pay for coronavirus testing beyond those that are FDA-approved, including lab and state-developed tests as well as other tests approved by HHS.

Accessibility for telehealth is also expanded. High-deductible health plans with HSAs may now allow pre-deductible coverage for telehealth and other remote services, as well as allowing the use of HSAs for the purchase of over-the-counter medications without a prescription.

Very limited action was also taken to address surprise medical bills. Under the CARES Act, all health insurance plans would reimburse a COVID-19 test provider at the in-network rate put in place prior to the pandemic. If the provider is out of network, the health plan is to fully reimburse the provider based on the provider’s own “cash price,” which must be made publically available while the public health emergency is still declared. Providers that do not post their test price publically could be fined up to $300 a day.

This action taken by Congress follows the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and several pieces of emergency guidance released by the Trump Administration. We are expecting more action from Congress and the Administration to address other aspects of the coronavirus pandemic. Be sure to regularly check your email, NAHU’s social media channels and website for any updates. Should either the CDC or WHO guidance change, NAHU will act accordingly and immediately update you.

NJAHU Conference

“Due to the closing of the Atlantic City casinos and current bans against gathering, The New Jersey Association of Health Underwriters Annual Conference will not take place April 27-29, 2020, at Harrah’s, as scheduled. We are developing an alternative plan and will keep you updated. Thank you.”

Small Business Administration

“Here’s a link to guidance from the SBA to help do your part in keeping your clients and the community healthy.

SBA Offers Daily Disaster Loan Training Webinars for Small Business

The U.S. Small Business Administration Eastern Pennsylvania District Office and the Chester Delaware Counties SCORE Chapter will hold webinar training on the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program for small businesses and private non-profits due to COVID-19.

The webinar will provide you with answers and help you understand: 1) who is eligible for an SBA Disaster (EIDL) loan, 2) what you need to have in hand before filing your application, and 3) Q&A time devoted to answer your specific questions.

Due to the high volume of questions we are receiving, the webinar will be held daily. If the session is full, please join a session at another day.

  • Schedule begins Tuesday, March 24, and continues daily through Friday, April 3. Webinars are offered Monday through Friday.
  • Each webinar starts at 12PM and concludes at 1:30PM.
  • Log in information: https://score.zoom.us/j/723846010
  • Call our SBA District Office at 610-382-3062 with any questions about the training.”

NAHU Headquarters

“As a part of the continued effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in our region, NAHU will operate virtually under a mandatory telework policy from March 16 to March 31. Our entire staff will continue to provide you with the services you receive now. Please be patient if you are calling the office or emailing staff as they may require additional time to get your message and respond.

Fast Facts:

  • HHS and CMS issued guidance recommending providers limit all “nonessential” elective medical and surgical procedures, including dental procedures. HHS, CMS, DOL, and OSHA have made several resources available for consumers, beneficiaries, business owners, medical personnel, and more.
  • In the midst of COVID-19, several states decided to create new SEPs. Colorado, Connecticut, Washington, Maryland, and Massachusetts announced that they are reopening their health insurance exchanges in an effort to boost coverage and expand treatment for the uninsured.
  • NAHU submitted comments to CMS this week in regard to the Contract Year 2021 and 2022 Medicare Advantage and Part D Proposed Rule. The proposed rule dealt with look-alike plans, ESRD beneficiaries, training and testing requirements, beneficiary contact and more.
  • NAHU submitted a list of suggestions to the Administration on Tuesday, utilizing member input to convey what the DOL, IRS, HHS and CMS should do during this time in order to best protect employers and employees amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • President Trump announced late last week that the Administration will cover uninsured patients’ COVID-19 treatment by directly reimbursing providers for their costs, using funds from the $100 billion in provider relief included in the CARES Act. Additionally, CDC, HHS and DOL released new guidance.

States:

  • COVID-19 has impacted states’ continuing-education and licensing requirements. Review this list to see if and how your state may currently be impacted. NAHU continues to provide superior online learning through the Online Learning Institute.
  • CMS has approved 46 Section 1135 Medicaid waivers for states and the District of Columbia.
  • So far, 26 states have postponed their legislative session due to COVID-19.
  • The National Conference of State Legislators has released a daily updated list of state legislation introduced in response to COVID-19.”

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Passed

On March 18, 2020 the Senate passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and President Trump is expected to sign the bill shortly. The Act includes several provisions to protect American workers and assist employers in providing emergency paid sick leave, as well as paid family leave in the case of school closures, for working families impacted by COVID-19.

The FFCRA requires employers with up to 500 employees to provide paid sick leave and paid family leave while providing a refundable payroll tax credit to employers to cover 100 percent of the cost of wages. There is also a refundable income tax credit made available for self-employed individuals. Employers with less than 50 employees must apply for a hardship exemption in order to qualify.

Employers must offer two weeks (10 days) of paid sick leave for COVID-19-related reasons (existing leave offered can count toward the 10 days). If the sick leave is for an employee who is sick or seeking a diagnosis, the benefit must replace all of the employee’s wages up to a maximum benefit of $511 per day. If an employee is caring for another individual who is sick, the benefit must replace at least two-thirds of the employee’s wages up to a maximum benefit of $200 per day. The paid sick leave credit offsets 100% of employer costs for providing mandated paid sick leave. The credit also offsets, uncapped, the employer contribution for health insurance premiums for the employee for the period of leave.

Employers must offer 12 weeks of paid family leave for employees who have been employed for at least 30 days with a minor child in the event of the closure of the child’s school or place of care. The first 10 days are unpaid, but the employee can overlap this with the 10 days of paid sick leave. This benefit must replace at least two-thirds of the employee’s wages up to a maximum of $200 per day. The paid family leave credit offsets 100 percent of employer costs for providing mandated paid family leave. The credit also offsets, uncapped, the employer contribution for health insurance premiums for the employee for the period of leave.

Under FFCRA, self-employed individuals are provided similar credits as refundable income tax credits in an amount of what self-employed workers would have received if they had been an employee receiving paid leave benefits pursuant to the mandates. For a given day that a self-employed worker could not work, they can claim a “rough justice” tax credit in the amount of their average daily self-employment income for the year.

This action taken by Congress follows several pieces of emergency guidance released by the Trump Administration. We are expecting more action from Congress and the Administration to address other aspects of the coronavirus pandemic. Be sure to regularly check your email, NAHU’s social media channels and website for any updates. Should CDC or WHO guidance change, NAHU will act accordingly and immediately update you. You can find links to pertinent information from WHO, CDC the Department of Labor and CMS on our website. We also encourage you to contact insurance carriers, check plan documents and state law, and consider the needs of your clients as coverage decisions are being made.

Medicare and Telehealth Benefits

“Medicare has temporarily expanded its coverage of telehealth services to respond to COVID-19.

Medicare beneficiaries can temporarily use telehealth services for common office visits, mental health counseling and preventive health screenings. This will help ensure Medicare beneficiaries are able to visit with their doctor from their home, without having to go to a doctor’s office or hospital, which puts themselves and others at risk.

If you have an existing healthcare appointment, or think you need to see your doctor, please call them first to see if your appointment can be conducted over a smartphone with video capability or any device using video technology, like a tablet or a laptop. For some appointments, a simple check-in over the phone without video capabilities may suffice.”

Social Security

“I want you to hear directly from me how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our services. The first thing you should know is that we continue to pay benefits. Be aware that scammers may try and trick you into thinking the pandemic is stopping your Social Security payments but that is not true. Don’t be fooled.

For more information, please visit ssa.gov/news/press/releases

Medicare.gov

“Protect yourself from fraud.

Scammers may use COVID-19 as an opportunity to steal your identity and commit Medicare fraud. In some cases, they might tell you they’ll send you a Coronavirus test, masks, or other items in exchange for your Medicare number or personal information. Be wary of unsolicited requests for your Medicare number or other personal information.

It’s important to always guard your Medicare card like a credit card and check your Medicare claims summary forms for errors. Only give your Medicare number to participating Medicare pharmacists, primary and specialty care doctors or people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf. Remember, Medicare will never call you to ask for or check your Medicare number.”

New SEPs for Health Exchanges and Under-65 Individual Health Insurance

“In the midst of COVID-19, several states decided to create new SEPs. Colorado, Connecticut, Washington, Maryland, and Massachusetts announced that they are reopening their health insurance exchanges in an effort to boost coverage and expand treatment for the uninsured.”

New York Unemployment Information

While your business is something we rely on and appreciate, we understand that your primary focus should be to continue to support yourselves and your families. That said, information on unemployment in New York can be found here. There is also a reference guide from the NY Dept. of Labor to help with any questions.

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