Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)

 Medical Plan Updates: 4/13/2020


UnitedHealthcare (UHC)

  • Member cost sharing related to COVID-19 diagnosis and applicable treatment, incurring between February 4, 2020 and May 31, 2020, will be covered at no cost. Specifically, if a member receives treatment under a COVID-19 admission or diagnosis code, UHC will waive cost sharing for the following:
    • Office, Urgent Care, and Emergency Department Visits
    • Observation stays
    • Inpatient hospital episodes
    • Acute inpatient rehabilitation
    • Long-term acute care
    • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Members can access an online symptom checker and find local COVID-19 testing facilities by accessing their member account at
  • To streamline member access to critical supplies, from March 31, 2020 to May 31, 2020, UHC is modifying prior authorization requirements, reimbursement, and proof of delivery, for certain Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies.
  • UHC has pledged a $50 million investment to fight COVID-19 and help support those disproportionately affected by the outbreak, including health care workers, hard-hit states, seniors, and people experiencing food insecurity or homelessness.


Anthem Blue Cross (Anthem)

  • Anthem has partnered with the following leading community and health partners to provide new resources and initiatives to further assist with member support:
    • Aunt Bertha, a social care network, which helps connect individuals and families to free and reduced-cost social services in their communities.  Assistance includes, but is not limited to, food, transportation, health services, housing, and job training.
    • Psych Hub, a Mental Health Resources Hub, designed to help individuals navigate the stress resulting from COVID-19, including social isolation, job loss, and other COVID-19 related challenges.
  • Castlight Health, a healthcare navigation company, which helps members find local COVID-19 testing facilities.
  • Members who do not currently have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) website will be provided no cost access to all EAP online resources for 90 days.
    • Members can access the website using the password “EAP Can Help”



  • Cigna has introduced the Buoy for Cigna Symptom Checker, a free online tool that allows members to check their symptoms and risk for COVID-19 and provides real-time information to assess severity of symptoms and guide members to recommended steps for seeking care.
  • Cigna is conducting weekly podcasts titled, “Cigna COVID-19 Podcast Series”, designed to provide members information on a variety of key topics. Topics addressed vary week-to-week.
  • Cigna created an on-demand webinar, Managing Anxiety; Coronavirus Fears & Concerns, to help members to ease anxiety surrounding health, job, and family security and offer guidance on protecting emotional health.


 Kaiser Permanente (Kaiser)

  • Kaiser has partnered with the State of California, County of Los Angeles, and Dignity Health to open Los Angeles Surge Hospital, a temporary, state-funded facility, located at the former St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles. Set to open April 13, 2020, the hospital will act as a much needed community resource to help meet the needs of an expected surge of COVID-19 patients.
    • The State of California will fund the hospital and its operations.
    • The County of Los Angeles will coordinate intake and transfer requests from community hospitals across Los Angeles.
    • Kaiser and Dignity Health will provide management oversight at the facility and support the facility’s leadership team.
  • Starting this week, Kaiser will begin transferring non-COVID-19 patients to the USNS Mercy, a hospital ship currently providing inpatient care exclusively for non-COVID-19 patients that is fully staffed with U.S. Navy physicians, nurses, and medical staff.
    • All transferred patients have voluntarily agreed to relocate and receive medical care aboard the USNS Mercy.
    • Kaiser will not be deploying physicians, nurses, other health care staff, or providing equipment and/or supplies, as part of this patient transfer program.
    • Members will not be responsible for any additional costs due to the move to the USNS Mercy.
    • Visitors are not allowed onboard the hospital ship.
  • Members experiencing financial hardship and having difficulty paying for medical care, should contact Member Services at 1-800-464-4000 to learn about financial assistance and payment options.
  •  Kaiser provided the following guidelines for issuing work-related documentation as it relates to COVID-19.


Situation Documentation issued by Kaiser Permanente How to obtain documentation
An employee is symptomatic and cannot work due to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 A Work Status Form (WSF) is issued. WSF is issued once the member is evaluated by the provider and time off is recommended as part of treatment plan.


An employee is asymptomatic but at risk due to a pre-existing condition A Standard COVID-19 High Risk Patient Letter will be sent to the member.


A Work Status Form is not indicated as the individual is not symptomatic (unless the individual has specific limitations, in which case a WSF will be issued).


The letter will be issued if the medical condition is already documented or once the member is evaluated by the provider.


Members can request documentation through an e-visit or secure messaging at


Employee is asymptomatic but has had exposure and is required to self-isolate




Documentation involves employee attestation of exposure which can be made directly to the employer
Employee is asymptomatic but needs leave to care for a sick relative or has a family member who is high risk.





Documentation will need to be issued by the provider treating the patient in question, similar to other FMLA requests


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The Department of Human Resources (DHR) works closely with the County-sponsored medical plans available to our employees, and receives regular updates concerning the COVID-19 crisis.  Watch this page for weekly news, as well as any urgent updates on how to get treatment and new recommendations concerning social distancing, self-quarantine, and more.