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CVS Health response to the COVID-19 outbreak

March 17, 2020 | Pharmacy

Company-wide COVID-19 preparation

Through the work of the CVS Health Enterprise Response & Resiliency Team and Infectious Disease Response Team, we continue to actively monitor the current international and domestic environment for coronavirus-related risks and prepare accordingly. Specifically, these teams are:

  • Collaborating with partners across the Enterprise to help bolster business unit preparation and continuity, with a focus on meeting the needs of the consumers and other customers we serve, if and when warranted.

  • Developing travel, Work from Home, and other HR-related guidance to help employees stay safe and healthy.

  • Working with external public health organizations and other stakeholders, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to boost awareness of CVS Health’s emergency preparedness efforts and capabilities.

Insurance coverage

Effective March 6, 2020, a number of COVID-19 resources are available to Aetna members, including:

  • Waived co-pays for all diagnostic testing related to COVID-19 for Commercial, Medicare and Medicaid members

  • For the next 90 days, we are offering zero-dollar co-pay telemedicine visits for any reason, helping members limit potential exposure in physician offices.

Additional resources are available to Aetna members as well as more information.

Medication access

On March 9, 2020, CVS Health announced additional COVID-19 resources to increase patient access to medications.

  • Beginning immediately, CVS Pharmacy will waive charges for home delivery of prescription medications, which will help patients avoid visiting their local CVS Pharmacy for refills or new prescriptions.

  • Aetna will offer 90-day maintenance medication prescriptions for insured and Medicare members.

  • CVS Caremark is working with all PBM clients to waive early refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications.

Read more about how CVS Health is working to ensure medication access for patients.

Product supply

We are working with our suppliers to meet customer demand for products being sought in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak. This demand may cause temporary shortages for certain products at some store locations and we re-supply those stores as quickly as possible.

Medication supply

We are closely monitoring the global manufacturing environment. We do not see any disruptions to the supply chain that will affect our ability to fill prescriptions for plan members, now and into the near future. We always encourage members to refill maintenance medications in a timely manner.

In addition to CVS Health’s monitoring, the Food and Drug Administration is closely monitoring medications that are made in China or rely solely on active pharmaceutical ingredients from China. The agency also said it has reminded more than 180 manufacturers to notify the FDA of any potential supply chain disruptions.


CVS Health and MinuteClinic are collaborating closely with local health departments related to COVID-19. At this time, there is not a point-of-care test available for COVID-19 in ambulatory care settings such as MinuteClinic. When we see a patient who is presenting with symptoms of a lower-respiratory tract illness (e.g., coughing, shortness of breath), we ask about their recent travel history (e.g., timeframe and location) and evaluate relevant risk factors to determine their risk of exposure to COVID-19. These visits may also include recommending further consultation with a physician to determine if a higher level of care is required.

At this time, there is not a point-of-care test available for COVID-19 in ambulatory care settings such as MinuteClinic.

Video visits

MinuteClinic offers patients the opportunity to request a Video Visit in 40 states and Washington, D.C. Virtual care options such as video visits can be an effective way to evaluate and treat viruses from the comfort of one’s home, while minimizing exposure to other potentially contagious viruses.

Workforce planning

We are actively monitoring the current environment for COVID-19 related risks and we continue to implement plans and processes to help keep our employees safe and healthy. For example, effective March 3 and until further notice, we cancelled non-essential domestic and international business travel, as well as group meetings of 20 people or more. In addition, any employees returning from a CDC-designated Level 2 or Level 3 advisory area must observe a mandatory 14-day work from home period.

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve, we are taking additional actions to help reduce the spread of the virus. To support public health guidance from medical experts about “social distancing,” effective March 12 and until further notice, we are giving our employees the option to work from home if their role enables them to do so. Reducing the number of people in the office will also help make the work environment safer for employees whose roles require them to be in an office or facility. Managers of office-based colleagues unable to work from home will remain in the office to support their teams. We are committed to extending resources, when possible, to enable more office-based employees to work from home. We will also support employees in locations such as stores, mail service pharmacies, call centers and distribution centers with guidance and resources to help protect their health while at work.