LETTER FROM THE TRUSTEES:
With the ongoing news regarding the Coronavirus (now known as COVID-19), the Trust wanted to provide some brief information.
Since this is a constantly changing situation, it may help to check these reliable sources of information.
From the Office of the Governor:
In response to COVID-19, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a directive on March 3 requiring fully insured health plans in the state to waive any cost-sharing for the laboratory test related to COVID-19. In addition, Gov. Cuomo also is requiring fully insured health plans to scale up their provision, and payment for, telehealth services to assist patients.
Regarding the expansion of access to prescription drugs, this information was explained in Gov. Cuomo’s directive: With reports of prescription drug shortages due to supply chain issues, DFS is directing insurers to provide insurance coverage for off-formulary prescription drugs if there is not a formulary drug available to treat the insured, through a formulary exceptions process as required by law.
Although we are a self-funded plan, we have authorized telehealth services effective 3/1 and they are now covered by our plan. Additionally, we have reached out to Independent Health and approved insurance coverage for off-formulary prescription drugs if there is not a formulary drug available.
We have additionally made steps to cover both the testing and treatment of COVID-19 at no cost.
The Trustees would like to remind you that you have options to consider when seeking care.
Consider the following:
Call your primary care physician, they can decide if a visit is necessary.
After hours, call your PCP (primary care physician) – many have after hours answering services
If it isn’t urgent or life threatening, consider one of the many Urgent Medical services in the area.
Finally, if necessary, utilize one of our many area hospitals.
We understand that many people are concerned and would like to reassure you that the Trust is taking the necessary steps to ensure that our members continue to receive the quality care that we currently enjoy. Don’t forget, as of writing this email, there have been no recorded cases in Erie County.
The WTABT Trustees