GRAND RAPIDS—In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Priority Health announced that it will be expanding its existing $0 copay telehealth, also known as virtual care, to include all lines of business through April 30.
This means that essentially all of the company’s nearly one million members across commercial, individual, Medicaid and Medicare plans, will now have virtual access to medical professionals for non-emergency care, at no additional cost.
The insurer is encouraging members to utilize this new benefit amid the COVID-19 outbreak to mitigate further spread of the illness and to avoid overwhelming Michigan health care facilities.
Priority Health already offered free telehealth as part of their benefit to most members, anytime, but the company has now expanded the program to ensure even more members can receive the care they need, without worrying about cost, during this unprecedented situation. This new policy includes eligible HSA high deductible health plans. Self-funded employer groups are also included, unless they contact Priority Health to make other arrangements. This change applies to any primary care virtual visit for ailments such as cough, cold and flu, back pain, sprains and strains and more.
“In times of crisis we have a responsibility not only to our members, but to the larger communities we serve. Expanding our virtual care services to all members allows us to ensure people are getting the right care when they need it and that we are also doing our part to help support our health care partners and reduce traffic to these over-burdened facilities,” said Joan Budden, president and CEO of Priority Health. “We will continue to monitor this situation and work closely with physicians and legislators to ensure we are doing all that we can to keep our communities safe.”
Priority Health also recently announced it will fully cover the cost of physician-ordered COVID-19 testing and labs for all members. At this time, patients can only be tested for COVID-19 if a physician deems a test medically necessary. The insurer has also implemented a work-from-home policy for all eligible employees and is working directly with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s team in Lansing to ensure alignment on action steps.
To access virtual care, members can download the Priority Health app, available on the App Store or Google Play, and log in to their member account. They can also access their online member account on a desktop, laptop or other device. For more information on Priority Health and ongoing efforts surrounding COVID-19, go to priorityhealth.com.
Priority Health also announced expanded access to home medication deliveries for all its members. Members are now able to take advantage of free home delivery options offered by national retailer CVS, as well as their own local pharmacies that offer this service. These delivery options are not limited to certain drugs or a specific day’s supply. Priority Health members can also continue to use the company’s existing free mail order option offered through Express Scripts which provides 90-day prescriptions. Delivery is free, but member copay still applies for the cost of medications.
The average time for CVS to deliver medication to patients is 1-2 days through either UPS or FedEx. Priority Health members who would like to use this delivery service should contact CVS through CVS.com, the CVS mobile application, or by contacting their local CVS pharmacy directly.
This expanded home delivery service is available to members through April 17, and will be reevaluated as more information is gathered regarding COVID-19. Free mail order delivery via Express Scripts continues to be available year-round for previously eligible members.
For more information on what COVID-19 is, what the symptoms are and how to reduce your risk, visit https://www.priorityhealth.com/landing/about-covid-19.