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Are you covered?

Quote with BCBS 

Quote with Ambetter

Quote with Cigna

Thomas Miller, an expert on health care policy at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. "Looking over the horizon, we are going to be doing a lot of things differently," he said.

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For contractors and how they can keep working

Building and Construction Tradesmen and Tradeswomen, and
other trades including but not limited to plumbers, electricians, exterminators,
cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and governmental properties, security
staff, operating engineers, HVAC, painting, moving and relocation services, and
other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the
safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and
Essential Businesses and Operations; more from Gov Pritzker

How the medical insurance can help?

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.

Important: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as a cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider immediately.

Ambetter Illini Care

Does my insurance cover COVID-19 testing: Yes, when medically necessary diagnostic testing or medical screening services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider, your Ambetter plan will cover the cost of medically necessary COVID-19 tests and the associated physician’s visit. Your plan’s copayment, coinsurance and/or deductible cost-sharing requirements will be waived for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing and/or medical screening services.

Is prior authorization needed: No, our Ambetter plans will not require prior authorization, prior certification, prior notification and/or step therapy protocols for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing and medical screening services, when medically necessary services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider.

Ant Out-of-pocket I will be responsible: No, your Ambetter plan will cover medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing and/or medical screening services at no charge to you, when such services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider. Your plan’s copayment, coinsurance and/or deductible cost-sharing requirements will be waived for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing and/or medical screening services along with the associated physician’s visit.

Read more here: https://ambetter.illinicare.com/coronavirus.html

BCBS latest news related to COVID-19

Anthem’s affiliated health plans waive member costs for COVID-19 testing, while supporting telehealth and 90-day maintenance medication supply

INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Amid the growing concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 in communities across the country, Anthem, Inc., announced today its efforts to eliminate the burden of additional costs for members in its affiliated health plans by providing coverage of the coronavirus screening test at no out-of-pocket-cost. The companies also confirm that prior authorization is not required for diagnostic services related to COVID-19 testing.

“We are committed to keeping healthcare affordable for the consumers we serve. While the CDC continues to advise that the risk for the virus remains low, we are mindful of our responsibility to our health plan consumers and communities to ensure access to care,” said Anthem President and CEO Gail K. Boudreaux. “These actions today should reduce barriers to seeing a doctor, getting tested and maintaining adherence to medications for long-term health issues.”

Testing similar to what is offered now from the Centers for Disease Control will soon be offered more broadly. Anthem’s waiver of copays, coinsurance and deductibles and prior authorization will extend to this focused test used to diagnose COVID-19 for all of Anthem’s affiliated health plan fully-insured, individual, Medicaid and Medicare members when medically necessary.

Anthem also recommends members use telehealth when possible, as it can help prevent them from spreading a virus further within a physical clinical setting. Anthem’s telehealth provider, LiveHealth Online, is a safe and effective way for members to see a doctor to receive health guidance related to COVID-19 from their homes via smart phone, tablet or computer-enabled web cam. LiveHealth Online is offered as a health plan benefit to many individual, employer-sponsored and Medicaid and Medicare members. It is also available as a cost effective option to all consumers.

As there is a heightened awareness of COVID-19 and more cases are diagnosed in the United States, LiveHealth Online is increasing physician availability to handle a potential increase in patients, while maintaining reasonable wait times.

Anthem is also encouraging its health plan members who have a pharmacy plan that includes a 90-day benefit, to talk to their doctor about whether changing from a 30-day supply to a 90-day supply of any prescription medicines they take on a regular basis is appropriate. Members filling 90-day prescriptions can obtain their medications through our home delivery pharmacy and, in some circumstances, select retail pharmacies. Preparing with a longer supply could help to avoid any potential issues with localized shortages. Members can call the pharmacy services number on the back of their health plan ID card to learn more.

UnitedHealth Group Reinforces Actions Taken to Provide Members and Patients with COVID-19 Support and Resources

Actions to Support Members, Patients and the Community

  • Individuals who feel like they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should immediately contact their primary care provider for guidance. Advance telephone calls are highly recommended to ensure safe and proper patient handling.
  • As previously communicated, UnitedHealthcare has waived all member cost sharing, including copays, coinsurance and deductibles, for COVID-19 diagnostic testing provided at approved locations in accordance with CDC guidelines for all commercial insured, Medicaid and Medicare members. UnitedHealthcare is also supporting self-insured customers choosing to implement similar actions.
  • Optum’s Emotional-Support Help Line is available to support anyone who may be experiencing anxiety or stress following the recent developments around COVID-19. The free service can be reached at (866) 342-6892, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is open to all.  In addition, emotional-support resources and information are available online at www.liveandworkwell.com.
  • OptumCare clinicians across the country are well-prepared and providing compassionate care to COVID-19 patients of the more than 18 million people we serve through our primary care practices, urgent care centers, and in patient homes and nursing homes.
  • To limit the spread of COVID-19, OptumCare clinicians have been trained on the CDC safety and clinical care protocols enabling patients to get the appropriate care, ensure the safety and well-being of the team, and protect others from exposure.  
  • Eligible UnitedHealthcare and OptumRx members needing help obtaining an early prescription refill can call the customer care number located on the back of their medical ID card for assistance.
  • Health plan members are encouraged to use UnitedHealthcare’s Virtual Visit* capability, available through the UnitedHealthcare app, to help answer any general questions or concerns they might have.
  • UnitedHealth Group is utilizing its advanced analytics capabilities to enhance situational awareness and continuously adapt and evolve support services for members, patients and employees. 

AETNA related to COVID-19

Ethan Slavin, a spokesperson for Aetna, gave a similar response: He said the company will waive associated costs for members who get tested “at any authorized location.”

Optimized Process
What you can do?

Lessons From People Whose Lives Depend On It

Andrea Amelse knows hand-washing.

For the past eight years, she's been washing her hands pretty much every time she passes a sink. When she's near a bottle of antibacterial gel, she uses it. She makes a point of avoiding people with contagious illnesses, even though it can be uncomfortable to ask to work from home or miss a date with friends. And she makes sure she gets plenty of sleep, not always easy at age 25.

Amelse was diagnosed in 2012 with lupus, an autoimmune disease that makes her vulnerable to infections. She's since developed pulmonary arterial hypertension, a condition that requires intravenous therapy via a central line to her heart. Both illnesses place her at heightened risk for viral and bacterial illnesses. So, she has adapted as a matter of survival, taking to heart long-standing axioms on what constitutes good hygiene.

As the highly contagious new coronavirus continues its spread through the U.S., the general public could learn a thing or two from Amelse and the millions of other Americans with weakened immune systems who already live by rules of infection control. Whether it's people who had recent organ transplants, people undergoing chemotherapy or people with chronic diseases, America has a broad community of immunosuppressed residents who long ago adopted the lifestyle changes public officials now tout as a means of avoiding contagion: Wash your hands, and wash them often. Don't touch your face. Avoid that handshake. Keep your distance from people who cough and sneeze.

Amelse doesn't follow the advice perfectly ? of course she touches her face sometimes. "You do these things unknowingly, so forcing yourself to break these habits can be challenging," she said. But the incentive to keep getting better is there. "If you get a cold and you give me that same cold, you might get it for a week. I'll get it for a month."

Even with her dedication, COVID-19 is proving a daunting prospect to face. And she has a stake in Americans adopting these habits because, while the disease is relatively minor for many people who get it, it can be life-threatening for people with preexisting conditions.

Amelse works at a health literacy startup in Minneapolis that helps patients with complicated diseases learn about their illness. She knows a lot about health and how to prevent infection. Still, the threat of COVID-19 is unnerving, for her and her doctors.

With a virus so new, official guidance on what people at heightened risk should do to steer clear of COVID-19 is limited. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently said the virus seems to hit hardest in people 60 and older with underlying health concerns. There is also concern for younger people with limited immune systems or complex diseases.

Health officials are asking those at risk to stockpile two-week supplies of essential groceries and medicines in case they need to shelter at home; to avoid crowds and heavily trafficked areas; to defer nonessential travel; and to track what's going on in their community, so they know how strictly to follow this advice.

Infection control always follows a similar set of principles, said Dr. Jay Fishman, director of the Transplant Infectious Disease and Compromised Host Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School. The most important things for people to do right now are the things he always recommends to his organ transplant and cancer patients. Again, think hand-washing and avoiding spaces where sick people congregate.

Still, the recommendations aren't one-size-fits-all. Some people are born with stronger immune systems, and immune deficits exist on a spectrum, said Fishman. How strict people need to be to prevent illness can vary depending on how susceptible they are.

Recommendations also need to take into account what people can and will do, he said. Children, for example, are among the greatest germ vectors of all time, but Fishman doesn't ask his patients with grandchildren to stay away from their young family members. "We did the transplant so you can see your grandchildren," he might tell them.

Similarly, avoiding crowds and staying away from sick people is easy for some but can be all but impossible if you work in food service, for example. Find ways to avoid the risks and reduce them where possible.

Though there isn't great research on how well transplant patients and others manage to prevent infection, Fishman said many of his patients don't get sick any more frequently than the general population, despite their vulnerabilities. But when they do, the illnesses tend to last longer, be more severe and put people at higher risk for additional infections. He counsels patients to be vigilant, but also to live their lives and not be ruled by fear.

Dr. Deborah Adey, a transplant nephrologist for UCSF Health, echoed Fishman, saying she likes to find ways to help her patients carry on with their lives. A patient recently asked if it was OK to fly to Salt Lake City, and she suggested they drive instead.

Gauging the risks can be tough. Amelse was relieved when a major health conference she was scheduled to attend recently in Florida was canceled at the last minute. She wasn't sure it was safe to travel, but it also was unclear how to categorize an important work trip: Was this essential? Nonessential?

Adey conducts follow-up appointments via teleconferencing where possible, to keep her patients out of medical facilities. Hospitals are, by design, places for the sick, and people with compromised immune systems are generally advised to avoid them and the viruses and bacteria potentially inside.

That matches advice from officials in California and other states, asking people to stay out of emergency rooms unless absolutely necessary. They are asking people, when possible, to call ahead to their doctors and stay home unless an illness is serious.

And, similar to what public officials are advising the general population, Adey does not recommend that her patients wear face masks when out in public or even at the clinic. "The only people I would recommend is if they've got a lot of close contact with the general public, and they can't afford to be off work."

While much has been made of the hoarding sprees for face masks, the empty hand sanitizer shelves are equally frustrating for Amelse. Every 48 hours, she has to mix and administer drugs she places in an IV that goes into her heart. Everything must be sanitized, and she typically gets monthly shipments of antibacterial wipes and sanitizer. If suppliers run out, she's worried she'll have to go to a hospital to have the drugs administered ? exactly where her doctors don't want her to be.

Officials are desperately working on a vaccine for the coronavirus for use in as little as 12 to 18 months. But many vaccines are made from live viruses and can't be given to some immunosuppressed people.

Given the risk COVID-19 poses for people with compromised immune systems, the government needs to stress how important it is for everyone to follow good hygiene protocols, said Fishman. "The worst thing we can do is downplay it."

And for those just getting up to speed on preventing infections, Amelse has advice: "Viruses don't pick and choose; they will latch on anywhere," she said. Even if it's not a serious illness for you, "there are people in your life that you can infect. You have the obligation and the responsibility to take care of your loved ones."

This KHN story first published on California Healthline, a service of the California Health Care Foundation.

GEICO

Amid ongoing concern about the coronavirus COVID-19, GEICO's top priority is the health, safety, and well-being of our policyholders........We understand that there may be instances where customers find themselves facing financial difficulties. GEICO is here to help and we encourage customers who may be impacted to reach out to discuss how we might be of assistance.

Grange Insurance

From March 18 to April 6, we’re suspending cancellations of policies due to nonpayment of premium. We also will not issue late pay notices or charge late fees during this time.

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