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CVS Health announces cost-sharing and co-pay waivers for COVID-19-related treatment for Aetna members

March 25, 2020 | Pharmacy

Additional steps include changes to help members access appropriate care and resources for members dealing with anxiety

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced it is waiving cost-sharing and co-pays for inpatient hospital admissions related to COVID-19 for Aetna’s commercially insured members, part of several additional steps to help members access the care that they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These announcements build on previous efforts focused on eliminating out-of-pocket costs and cost-sharing for diagnostic testing and telemedicine visits and on expanding patient access to medications.

“The additional steps we’re announcing today are consistent with our commitment to delivering timely and seamless access to care as we navigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Karen S. Lynch, President, Aetna Business Unit and Executive Vice President, CVS Health. “We are doing everything we can to make sure our members have simple and affordable access to the treatment they need as we face the pandemic together.”

Treatment waivers

Aetna, a CVS Health company, will waive member cost-sharing for inpatient admissions for treatment of COVID-19 or health complications associated with COVID-19. This policy applies to all Aetna-insured commercial plan sponsors and is effective immediately for any such admission through June 1, 2020.

Enabling expedited access to treatment

In states like New York and Washington with the strongest prevalence of COVID-19 cases, hospitals no longer need advance approval from Aetna for members requiring hospitalization for COVID-19. This change allows for expedited access to the necessary treatment.

Additionally, Aetna is working closely with partner hospitals to help transfer and discharge members with issues unrelated to COVID-19 from hospitals to safe and clinically appropriate care settings where they can continue to have their needs addressed. This will help hospitals and emergency rooms make room for more patients, especially those suffering from COVID-19.

Mitigating increased mental health risks

With increased anxiety over the COVID-19 pandemic, Resources For Living® (RFL), Aetna’s employee assistance program, is offering support and resources to individuals and organizations who have been impacted by COVID-19 whether or not they have RFL included as part of their benefits.

  • Individuals and organizations who don’t have RFL can contact the service at 1-833-327-AETNA (1-833-327-2386).

  • Employers may contact the specialized support line at 1-800-243-5240.

  • Members and plan sponsors who do have RFL should call their designated RFL number available in program materials.

For individuals and organizations that don’t have RFL, measures include:

  • In-the-moment phone support to help callers cope with the emotional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Community resource referrals, including support services in the local area.

  • Management consultation to help organizations respond to the needs of their employees, even if they are not RFL customers.

The company is providing the latest information on its response and steps consumers should take to stay healthy through its frequently-updated COVID-19 resource center.

Anyone presenting symptoms compatible with COVID-19 should contact their health care provider immediately.

About CVS Health

CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company in the world. We're evolving based on changing consumer needs and meeting people where they are, whether that's in the community at one of our nearly 10,000 local touchpoints, in the home, or in the palm of their hand. Our newest offerings — from HealthHUB® locations that are redefining what a pharmacy can be, to innovative programs that help manage chronic conditions — are designed to create a higher-quality, simpler and more affordable experience. Learn more about how we're transforming health at