The curve has flattened, but COVID-19 is here to stay – at least for the foreseeable future.
It means that painstaking decision-making and incremental shifts will continue, too, as new data on outbreaks and contract tracing becomes available. Individuals, businesses, and healthcare benefits providers have been adjusting to policies and protocols these past few months in response to these pressing questions:
Is COVID-19 diagnostic testing covered?
Are co-pays waived for telemedicine?
Thankfully, answers have by and large been what policyholders want to hear.
Since the pandemic started in the United States, health insurers have demonstrated flexibility and goodwill that’s continued even as outbreaks level off. Many insurers, recognizing the widespread job loss leaving a growing number of Americans without employer-sponsored health coverage, are paying larger-than-usual portions of claims for COVID patients. Aetna has waived co-pays for all COVID-related diagnostic testing and cost-sharing at in-network facilities. Cigna has taken things even further, eliminating cost-sharing for primary care, specialty care, behavioral health care, and in-office and telehealth for both COVID and non-COVID patients. These are just a fraction of the exceptions that providers are extending and tweaking almost daily based on new data.
And the capacity for rapid change doesn’t end with policy specifics. Zooming out a bit, the healthcare landscape as a whole is expected to experience seismic shifts in coming months. Most providers have taken profit hits in 2020, the result of a dramatic downturn in elective procedures. Those losses threaten to worsen as millions of unemployed Americans move to governmental insurance coverage that actually costs healthcare systems money. This reality could spell serious shifts in policy structuring and costs moving forward.
In sum, nothing about healthcare is set in stone in 2020. Which brings us to the million-dollar question:
HOW CAN SMALL BUSINESSES BE EXPECTED TO KEEP UP WITH FAST AND FURIOUS CHANGES IN HEALTHCARE, LET ALONE COMMUNICATE THESE CHANGES TO EMPLOYEES?
Our shaky economy means business owners’ time is more valuable and fragmented than before. In an age when deconstructing healthcare coverage can feel like a full-time job in and of itself, how can employers be sure that their employees know what’s available to them and what they’ll ultimately owe? This question highlights one of the greatest benefits of Health & Benefits Partners:
When you lean on Health & Benefits Partners for your small business health benefits, you don’t need to worry about staying on top of things, because we do it for you.
And this service doesn’t end when an employee’s tenure with your company reaches its finish line. If you’ve had to lay off or furlough employees these past few months (or anticipate staffing cuts in the months ahead), Health & Benefits Partners helps them navigate COBRA and/or government programs such as Medicare. It’s an offering that brings peace of mind to many business owners forced to make tough staffing decisions, and to the individuals and families on the receiving end.
Call Health & Benefits Partners at 215-240-1263 to learn how we can take healthcare specifics off your plate and connect your employees to the best insurance and the latest changes in their policies.