What you need to know about the coronavirus (COVID-19)

The CVS Health Enterprise Response and Resiliency and Infectious Disease Response teams are actively monitoring the rapidly evolving international coronavirus outbreak, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 12.

Below is information about the virus – including guidance from the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) — tips for staying healthy and a few procedures that CVS Health has implemented that focus on the health and safety of our colleagues, customers and patients. Please note: Due to the fluidity of the situation, we are continuously updating these FAQs.

For more information about the virus, please visit the CDC and/or WHO websites dedicated to this issue.

The content below is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Visit our COVID-19 resource center for more information.

CVS Health actions

Colleagues, members, clients, customers and patients

What plans does CVS Health have regarding potential pharmaceutical supply shortages?

We are closely monitoring the global manufacturing environment. At this time, we do not see any disruptions to the supply chain, as a result of COVID-19, that will affect our ability to fill prescriptions.

What is CVS Health doing to prepare for a potential increase of COVID-19 in the U.S?

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, CVS Health is taking steps to address the outbreak and protect member access to medication. The latest steps we are taking will help ensure patients have options available to them when it comes to filling prescriptions. Steps we are taking include:

  • Waiving charges for CVS Pharmacy home delivery of medications.

  • Encouraging members to refill their maintenance medications with a 90-day supply or up to the plan maximum.

  • 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.

What is CVS Health doing to help employees manage the challenges posed by this pandemic?

  • In recognition of the essential role CVS Health employees are playing as the country faces the COVID-19 pandemic, the company is awarding bonuses to employees who are required to be at CVS facilities to assist patients and customers in this time of unprecedented need. Bonuses will range from $150 to $500 and will be awarded to pharmacists and certain other health care professionals on the frontlines, store associates and managers, and other site-based hourly employees.

  • CVS Health is also embarking on the most ambitious hiring drive in the company's history, with plans to immediately fill 50,000 full-time, part-time and temporary roles across the country. Roles include store associates, home delivery drivers, distribution center employees and member/customer service professionals. The company will utilize a technology-enabled hiring process that includes virtual job fairs, virtual interviews and virtual job tryouts. Many roles will be filled by existing CVS Health clients who have had to furlough workers, including Hilton and Marriott.

  • CVS Health will launch a new offering to help employees with both child and elder or adult dependent care needs. Working with the Bright Horizons network of national in-home and center-based daycare providers, employees will be able to take advantage of up to 25 fully covered days of backup care. This benefit will begin in early April for both full- and part-time employees.

  • Full-time CVS Health employees have always had access to paid sick leave. Effective March 22, CVS Health has made 24 hours of paid sick leave available to part-time employees for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. This paid sick leave is in addition to the 14-day paid leave the company is providing for any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 or needs to be quarantined as a result of potential exposure.

  • Employee safety has been a focus for CVS Health from the start, and the company has been prioritizing distribution of protective gear to the hardest-hit areas.

  • In addition to the measures announced today, CVS Health employees have several resources available to help address financial hardships in times of crisis. This includes access to the Employee Relief Fund, which provides short-term, immediate financial relief in the form of tax-exempt grants.

  • More information on steps CVS Health has already taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic including waiving charges for home delivery of prescription medications and making diagnostic testing and Aetna-covered telemedicine visits available with no co-pay is available at the company's frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.

How will CVS Health educate members about the COVID-19 outbreak?

CVS Health is implementing the following programs to educate members about COVID-19 and help address any associated anxiety and stress:

  • Opening Crisis Response Lines for all Aetna (Commercial, Medicare, Medicaid) and Caremark members who may be experiencing anxiety related to COVID-19.

  • Expanding 24x7 access to the Aetna Nurse Medical Line for all Aetna and Caremark members.

  • Providing Aetna plan sponsors with a Resources for Living toolkit with materials specifically developed for members experiencing anxiety related to COVID-19.

Will Aetna make available enhanced payment terms or other financial assistance to providers?

  • We realize this is a challenging time for health systems, hospitals systems, medical groups, dental providers and caregivers. We thank them for all they are doing on the front lines to assist patients impacted by COVID-19.

  • Our focus is on our members and participating providers. For our members, we are waiving cost-sharing to encourage testing and use of alternative care such as telemedicine. For our providers, we are working to minimize disruption of critical operations, including utilization management and claims processing.

  • We continue to assess additional ways to support our providers but have not made decisions about enhanced payment terms or other financial assistance. Should Aetna decide to offer a program, we will provide details regarding our approach.

What can people do to help prevent the spread of coronavirus?

According to the CDC, there are some important actions people can take to stay healthy and help prevent the spread of the coronavirus:

  • Wash your hands often

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

  • When you sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects

  • Drink plenty of fluids

  • Aim for eight hours of sleep each night

  • Eat a well-balanced diet

What else is CVS Health doing to support Aetna members, Caremark clients and CVS Pharmacy customers?

Effective immediately:

  • Aetna is waiving member cost sharing for diagnostic testing related to COVID-19. This policy covers the cost of a physician-ordered test and office, clinic or emergency room physician visit that results in the administration of or order for a COVID-19 test. The test can be done by any approved laboratory. This member cost-sharing waiver applies to all Commercial, Medicare and Medicaid lines of business. The policy aligns with the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which requires all health plans to provide coverage of COVID-19 testing without cost share. The requirement also applies to self-insured plans.

    • We’ve also expanded the health screening benefit included in our supplemental health plans (Accident Plan, Critical Illness Plan, Hospital Indemnity Plan) to include COVID-19 testing.

  • For the next 90 days, until June 4, 2020, Aetna will waive member cost sharing for any covered telemedicine visits – regardless of diagnosis.Available in select states for select conditions. Other restrictions apply. To receive these services, you will be connected to a trusted third-party provider. Members should use telemedicine as their first line of defense in order to limit potential exposure in physician offices. For all Aetna plans offering Teladoc® coverage or a different virtual care optionPlease refer to your specific plan design, or call the number on the back of your ID card, to confirm benefits if you are a member of one of the following: Banner|Aetna, Sutter Health | Aetna, Texas Health Aetna, Innovation Health, Allina Health | Aetna, cost sharing will be waived for those virtual visits. Cost sharing will also be waived for real-time virtual visits offered by in-network providers (live videoconferencing and telephone-only telemedicine services) for all Commercial plan designs. Members may use telemedicine services for any reason, not just COVID-19 diagnosis. Self-insured plan sponsors will be able to opt-out of this program at their discretion.Disclaimer: Regulations regarding telehealth services and care package availability for Aetna Medicaid members varies by state and, in some cases, are changing in light of the current situation. Aetna Medicaid members with questions about their benefits are encouraged to call the member services phone number on the back of their ID cards.

    • Until further notice, Aetna will offer zero co-pay telemedicine visits for any reason to all Individual and Group Medicare Advantage members. Aetna Medicare Advantage members should use telemedicine as their first line of defense to limit potential exposure in physician offices. Cost sharing will be waived for all Teladoc® virtual visits. Cost sharing will also be waived for real-time virtual visits offered by in-network providers (live video conferencing or telephone-only telemedicine services). Medicare Advantage members may use telemedicine for any reason, not just COVID-19 diagnosis.Available in select states for select conditions. Other restrictions apply. To receive these services, you will be connected to a trusted third-party provider.

      NOTE: Virtual health care providers, including Teladoc®, are experiencing unprecedented volumes and customers may experience longer than usual wait times. CVS Health and Aetna are partnering with our virtual health care providers to closely monitor and address wait times and capacity. When seeking virtual care, members are encouraged to schedule their visits and to postpone elective care at this time.

  • Aetna is offering 90-day maintenance medication prescriptions for insured and Medicare members. It is also working with state governments to make the same option available to Medicaid members where allowable. Self-funded plan sponsors will also be able to offer this option.

  • Aetna is also waiving early refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications for all members with pharmacy benefits administered through CVS Caremark.

  • Through Aetna’s Healing Better program, members who are diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive a care package, mailed direct to their home, containing useful information and resources to help recover, as well as personal and household cleaning supplies to help keep others in the home protected from potential exposure.

  • Through existing care management programs, Aetna will proactively reach out to members most at-risk for COVID-19. Care managers will walk members through what they can do to protect themselves, where to get information on the virus, and where to go to get tested.

  • Aetna is also offering its Medicare Advantage brief virtual check-in and remote evaluation benefits to all Aetna Commercial members and waiving the co-pay. These offerings will empower members with questions or concerns that are unrelated to a recent office visit and do not need immediate in-person follow-up to engage with providers without the concern of sitting in a physician’s office and risking potential exposure to COVID-19.

  • In addition, Caremark is working with all clients to waive early refill limits on most 30-day prescription maintenance medications. Most Caremark clients already offer a 90-day benefit for maintenance medications and offer free home delivery from CVS Caremark Mail Service Pharmacy.

  • CVS Pharmacy will waive charges for home delivery of prescription medications.Free 1- to 2-day Rx shipping applies to orders from March 9, 2020, to May 1, 2020 With the CDC encouraging people at higher risk for COVID-19 complications to stay at home as much as possible, this is a convenient option to avoid coming to the pharmacy for refills or new prescriptions.

Cost-sharing and co-pay waivers announcement (March 25)

Will Aetna cover the cost of COVID-19 treatment for members?

Aetna 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. Self-insured plan sponsors will be able to opt-out of this program at their discretion.

Does this apply for Medicare members?

Consistent with the current CMS guidelines, if Medicare members are admitted to an in-network hospital for COVID-19 treatment, members will pay the usual co-pays for inpatient hospital admissions as defined by their plan benefits.

Does this apply for Medicaid members?

Regulations regarding cost-sharing for Medicaid beneficiaries vary by state and continue to evolve in light of the current situation. We have suspended cost-sharing requirements, including premiums and copays, for adults and children covered by Medicaid and CHIP, in those states where permitted to do so by the appropriate regulators.

When does this change take effect?

This change is effective immediately and will apply to any such admission between now and June 1, 2020.

What about for treatment required prior to March 25, 2020? Will cost sharing be waived for those members as well?

All claims received for Aetna-insured members going forward will be processed based on this new policy. If in-patient treatment was required for a member with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis prior to this announcement it will be processed in accordance with this new policy. In the event a claim has already been processed prior to this policy going into effect, members should contact Customer Service to so the claim can be reprocessed accordingly.

How many hospitals are considered in-network?

More than 6,000 hospitals are part of our network.

How does this change impact the business going forward? Are premium spikes expected?

Similar to other COVID-19 waivers previously announced, Aetna-insured plan sponsors can expect the following:

  • Current premiums will not change as a result of COVID-19 or the changes we’ve made to cost sharing policies.

  • We can identify and isolate the direct costs associated with COVID-19, as well as any cost sharing waiver policies that we implement. These costs can be considered separately from “normal” plan costs.

  • We will use sound actuarial principles to set future rates. This may include making adjustments to experience from the COVID-19 outbreak and/or utilizing actuarial and economic models to anticipate future utilization in the wake of the outbreak.

Treatment Prior Authorization

Why is Aetna liberalizing prior authorizations now?

Removing the need for prior authorizations for those members requiring in-patient treatment for COVID-19 allows for delivery of timely and seamless access to care.

What segments does this liberalization apply?

All segments – Commercial, Medicare and Medicaid, where applicable by state regulation.

In what states do prior authorization liberalizations apply?

We are constantly evaluating the needs based on rising instances of COVID-19 to determine when and how we apply this policy. We’ve made this available in states with highest prevalence of confirmed cases as well as where it’s required by state mandate or gubernatorial suspensions of elective procedures.

Aetna Dental

What is considered a dental emergency?

Aetna will allow your dentist to determine what constitutes an emergency and Aetna will cover emergency care for both PPO and DMO members with no referral required.

Where can I go for emergency and urgent dental services?

You should call your dentist’s office to find out how they are handling emergencies and follow their instructions. If you are having trouble reaching your dentist directly, you can contact Aetna member services and our team will assist you with finding a dental provider.

What if a member’s only option for emergency care is an out-of-network dentist?

Aetna will pay all out-of-network emergency claims as in-network during this time for both DMO and PPO members.

What options are there for members who are losing coverage soon and cannot schedule a cleaning before that termination date?

Aetna will grant an extension once dental offices reopen. More details will be communicated in the coming weeks.

What is Aetna’s policy on telehealth (tele-dentistry) services for dental members?

During this time many dentists are offering tele-dentistry services to facilitate emergency oral evaluations of their patients using telephone and video-conferencing capabilities.  We encourage members to contact their current dentist to see if such services are offered.

If they are being offered, Aetna’s policy has always been that any oral evaluation covered under our dental plans will be reimbursed no matter whether it is performed via tele-dentistry or in a traditional practice setting. Aetna will cover all emergency exams at 100% during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

Caremark

How can I continue to access my medications through CVS Caremark or CVS Specialty?

Despite the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, our goal is to ensure members have timely, safe access to their medications.

  • We are working with clients to waive early refill limits on most 30-day prescription maintenance medications and encourage plan members to take advantage of 90-day benefits where applicable.

  • Understanding that it may be harder for members to visit their health care providers during the COVID-19 outbreak, we are working with clients to extend previously approved prior authorizations for most medications set to expire before June 30. For example, if a current prior authorization is set to expire on May 15, the expiration date will be extended to August 15. This will not only provide members peace of mind, but also help to reduce the volume of phone calls and other administrative burdens on physicians’ offices and pharmacies.

  • Members can access free home delivery of prescriptions from CVS Caremark Mail Service Pharmacy. We are also encouraging clients to work with their account teams to take advantage of these tools to help improve member access.

  • CVS Specialty patients can have their medications delivered to their homes with no delivery charge. Patients with chronic and complex conditions also can get support for their unique needs from our specially trained nurses and clinical pharmacists, using secure messaging online or through our CVS Specialty app.

How is CVS Caremark helping protect supply of medicines potentially useful for COVID-19 treatment?

We are working with clients to implement new measures to balance the burgeoning interest in off-label use of certain medicines to treat COVID-19 pneumonia with the ongoing needs of members who use these drugs for chronic conditions. With client consent, we are setting appropriate limits on the quantity of these medicines — hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, one protease inhibitor and albuterol inhalers — for potential use in treating COVID-19. Members who already take these medicines for approved uses, including treatment of lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV and asthma, will be able to bypass the new quantity limits.

If I opt into having my medications delivered through CVS Caremark, CVS Specialty or CVS Pharmacy, does the delivery require a signature?

Our national delivery partners are also working to implement new policies for deliveries requiring signatures, including for shipped medications, which can help our members adhere to recommended social distancing practices and avoid potential exposure to the virus.

For example, in lieu of obtaining actual signatures, UPS will now enter a code and the name of the recipient so that the member does not have to physically sign via the UPS hand-held device, which can help minimize contact.

Am I at risk for COVID-19 from shipped packages or products?

We are still learning about the novel Coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and how it spreads. At this time, the WHO and CDC have stated that the likelihood of novel Coronavirus contaminating cardboard or other shipping containers is low. Our shipping carriers follow CDC guidelines to protect their employees and recipients of our orders, and this includes best practices for cleaning, social distancing and sanitizing. Our shipping suppliers have largely relaxed the requirement for a physical signature for orders that would normally require one. We are sourcing additional personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks for our staff, and training staff on its proper and effective use. We regularly sanitize the bins that transport orders throughout pharmacy processes. For more information, please check the CDC website.

How is CVS Caremark ensuring business continuity?

We have robust business processes in place to help preserve the capacity of our CVS Caremark mail service pharmacies and ensure service continuity.

  • Our mail service operations are organized into two main functions that occur in separate physical facilities: receiving orders and processing/filling orders.

  • Regional Order Creation Centers (ROCCs) exist to intake new orders that are mailed to CVS Caremark, scanning and electronically imaging these prescriptions. ROCCs, which are located strategically across the country, enable us to electronically transmit prescriptions to the most appropriate mail service pharmacy for dispensing.

  • We have implemented robust and flexible business continuity plans within our CVS Specialty pharmacies to ensure continuous service to patients – including accelerating shipment of existing orders and building a backup model to ensure service is not disrupted if we need to temporarily close one of our facilities.

What happens if a CVS Caremark or CVS Specialty facility is closed due to COVID-19 exposure?

To ensure continuity of care and avoid disruption in patient service, if a facility is ultimately closed due to potential exposure to someone with COVID-19, prescriptions will be transferred and filled at another operational site.

How is Accordant continuing to assist members?

We have taken important steps to ensure Accordant members continue to have access to important care as well as information about COVID-19.

Since early February, Accordant has been regularly educating and providing guidance to members to help them throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes information about social distancing, infection prevention, helping to address medication refills and coordinating with doctors and care teams on patient care and concerns related to the virus, among many other issues.

Is Coram still providing infusion care to patients and what steps are they taking to protect patients?

Coram is continuing to provide nursing care to patients requiring infusion care in the home and our ambulatory infusion suites (AIS). Coram also has put into place a number of proactive measures and preventive health precautions to help ensure continuity of care for patients while protecting both patients and our Coram providers.

  • We are proactively contacting all patients who visit our ambulatory infusion suites before their scheduled visits to screen for possible infection or exposure to COVID-19 and are rescheduling those potentially impacted for home visits when appropriate.

  • We have increased the frequency of cleaning services at all infusion suites and have also enacted a patient screening process prior to all home visits

  • Coram in-home care providers are also up-to-date and utilizing infection protocols and proactive prevention techniques, including personal protection equipment, to minimize exposure and community-based transmission of COVID-19.

  • For those residing in an area with travel restrictions or a curfew, we are working with local officials and law enforcement and have documentation to ensure we are still able to deliver medications and care to our patients.

  • Coram providers are also now using video conferencing technology to train, educate and assess your members requiring infusion care in inpatient or home settings when Coram providers are not able to enter a facility and/or when a face-to-face visit is not required.

MinuteClinic

What is MinuteClinic doing to protect patients from COVID-19?

The safety of our patients, providers and colleagues is our number one concern, right now. As a temporary measure, MinuteClinic is taking the following actions to help support efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities:

  • MinuteClinic is no longer accepting walk-in patients, all patients must make an appointment on-line on the MinuteClinic web site or the CVS Pharmacy app.

  • Patients making an appointment will be pre-screened outside of the clinic, to determine if it is the right site of care for their symptoms. If the pre-screen identifies the patient to be at risk for COVID-19 they will receive guidance on how to access care in a different health care setting.

  • Patients with scheduled appointments at their local MinuteClinic, are required to wait in their personal vehicle or outside the store until the MinuteClinic provider texts or calls them in for their scheduled visit.

What should patients do if they suspect they may have COVID-19?

At this time, we are not able to test for the COVID-19 virus inside MinuteClinic.

People with symptoms of a respiratory illness, including a high fever, cough and shortness of breath who have recently traveled to an affected area, or have been in close contact with someone who meets these criteria, should not schedule a visit at MinuteClinic. These patients should consult with their primary care provider or local health department about testing.

If someone suspects they may have COVID-19, telemedicine services are an effective option for screening. Telemedicine and Virtual Care services enable patients to talk with a health care provider and have a basic screening to determine their risk for COVID-19, without having to leave home.

We recommend patients check to see if their health insurance plan offers a telemedicine benefit. If their insurance plan does not offer this benefit, or if they don’t have health insurance, MinuteClinic Video Visits are an affordable cash-pay option and are available in 40 states and Washington, DC.

If a patient develops emergency warning signs for COVID-19 they should seek out medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:This list is not all inclusive.

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

  • New confusion or inability to arouse

  • Bluish lips or face

* This list is not all inclusive.

What will happen if patients come into the clinic without making an appointment first?

The safety of our patients, providers and colleagues is our number one concern, right now. As a temporary measure, we are only accepting scheduled visits at our MinuteClinic locations for the time being.

If a patient arrives at the clinic without an appointment, there will be signage that let them know we are not accepting walk-in patients for the time being and directing them to make an appointment at minuteclinic.com. The sign-in kiosk will be disabled.

There will also be information posted on-line with this information.

Patients can make an appointment using their mobile device but are required to do so outside of the store or while waiting in their personal vehicle.

Why can’t patients wait for their appointment in the store?

Our goal is to provide safe, high-quality care and to ensure our patients and providers are protected.
In line with CDC and State Health Department guidance for infection control and prevention, and in the interest of keeping our providers, store colleagues and patients safe during this time, Minute Clinic has developed a temporary COVID-19 waiting room protocol.

Patients with scheduled appointments at their local MinuteClinic, are required to wait in their personal vehicle or outside the store. The MinuteClinic provider will call or text the patient on the number provided when setting up the appointment, when it is time for their scheduled visit.

Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

What happens if a patient comes to MinuteClinic and might have COVID-19?

Our goal is to provide safe, high-quality care and to ensure our patients and providers are protected. At this time, we are not able to test for the COVID-19 virus inside MinuteClinic.

Patients making an appointment will be pre-screened outside of the clinic, to determine if it is the right site of care for their symptoms. If the pre-screen identifies the patient to be at risk for COVID-19 they will receive guidance on how to access care in a different health care setting, such as their primary care physician or local health department.

If you have a suspected case of COVID-19 in the clinic, how will you help keep the store and clinic safe for other customers?

Our goal is to provide safe, high-quality care and to help protect our patients and providers. In alignment with CDC and CMS recommendations, and in the interest of keeping our providers, store colleagues and patients safe during this time, Minute Clinic has developed a temporary COVID-19 waiting room protocol. The purpose of this protocol is to further enhance our infection control procedures for patients prior to them being seen in the clinic.

If one of our providers does see a patient who meets the criteria for COVID-19 risk, we take the appropriate precautions to protect our providers, other patients and customers.  During the exam the provider will wear protective gear (e.g., appropriate masks, gloves, gown and goggles) and will provide the patient with a mask.

After the visit, the provider will disinfect the clinic exam room following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) health care precautions for communicable infections, which includes the thorough disinfection of all clinic surfaces (including the sign-in kiosk). The provider may also close the disinfected clinic for a two-hour period if needed and move to another room in the clinic to continue patient care.

Near the sign-in kiosk, we have masks available, as well as signage to encourage patients who are displaying lower-respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) to don masks while they wait for their appointment in their personal vehicle. We also have hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes available near the sign-in kiosk and encourage patient use.

Why are the MinuteClinics in Louisiana currently closed?

Due to the current impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state of Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Health has mandated that all non-emergency health care services must be postponed until further notice. As a result of this guidance, MinuteClinic is required to temporarily close our six locations in the state.

Telemedicine

Is the no-cost telemedicine benefit limited to COVID-19 related care?

No, members with a telemedicine benefit can take advantage of this no-cost telemedicine benefit for any reason, include general medical, behavioral health and dermatology visits.Disclaimer: Regulations regarding telehealth services and care package availability for Aetna Medicaid members varies by state and, in some cases, are changing in light of the current situation. Aetna Medicaid members with questions about their benefits are encouraged to call the member services phone number on the back of their ID cards.

Does the no-cost telemedicine benefit apply to behavioral health as well?

Yes, the no-cost benefit applies to telemedicine visits for behavioral health.Disclaimer: Regulations regarding telehealth services and care package availability for Aetna Medicaid members varies by state and, in some cases, are changing in light of the current situation. Aetna Medicaid members with questions about their benefits are encouraged to call the member services phone number on the back of their ID cards.

Does the no-cost telemedicine benefit apply to non-participating providers?

No, this no-cost benefit only applies to real-time virtual care delivered by an in-network provider. Non-participating provider coverage is based on the member’s benefit/plan design for out-of-network benefits.Disclaimer: Regulations regarding telehealth services and care package availability for Aetna Medicaid members varies by state and, in some cases, are changing in light of the current situation. Aetna Medicaid members with questions about their benefits are encouraged to call the member services phone number on the back of their ID cards.

Can providers use video chat platforms such as Skype® and FaceTime® to complete telemedicine visits?

Yes. Providers can temporarily use non-public facing synchronous video chat platforms, such as Skype® and FaceTime®, to complete telemedicine visits as long as these platforms are allowed in their states and they are able to meet the standard of care via a telehealth encounter. Health care providers should not, however, use public-facing video applications, such as Facebook Live®, Twitch® or TikTok®. For more information, refer to the temporary Federal guidelines concerning use of these platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic.Disclaimer: Regulations regarding telehealth services and care package availability for Aetna Medicaid members varies by state and, in some cases, are changing in light of the current situation. Aetna Medicaid members with questions about their benefits are encouraged to call the member services phone number on the back of their ID cards.

How is Aetna’s 90-day waiver for member out-of-pocket fees for all telemedicine services compliant with a High Deductible Health Plan?

  • Both the state and federal government are strongly encouraging the use of telemedicine to help contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus and to protect critical healthcare providers. We continue to see new directives issued to encourage or mandate the use of telemedicine as an alternative to traditional face-to-face encounters for COVID-19-related advice and other less acute health needs.

  • To encourage this critical change in behavior, Aetna implemented a temporary 90-day waiver of member cost sharing for telemedicine services. Although recent IRS liberalizations addressing COVID-19 testing and treatment for high-deductible health plans did not explicitly address the broader use of telemedicine, we believe this action is in the spirit of those liberalizations and fully consistent with other directives of the federal government. This is a modest, time-limited initiative to advance the goals of those directives.Disclaimer: Regulations regarding telehealth services and care package availability for Aetna Medicaid members varies by state and, in some cases, are changing in light of the current situation. Aetna Medicaid members with questions about their benefits are encouraged to call the member services phone number on the back of their ID cards.

Can you describe the process during a MinuteClinic Video Visit if COVID-19 is suspected?

If a patient requests a MinuteClinic Video Visit and is concerned about COVID-19, or if a Video Visit patient presents with symptoms of a lower-respiratory tract illness (e.g., fever, cough and/or shortness of breath), we follow CDC-recommended screening protocol to ask about their recent travel history (e.g., timeframe and location), potential community exposure, and other relevant risk factors to determine their risk of exposure to COVID-19.

If it is determined the patient may be at risk for COVID-19, the Video Visit provider will connect with the local health department to determine the appropriate next steps and will connect the patient with the health department if testing for the virus is recommended.Disclaimer: Regulations regarding telehealth services and care package availability for Aetna Medicaid members varies by state and, in some cases, are changing in light of the current situation. Aetna Medicaid members with questions about their benefits are encouraged to call the member services phone number on the back of their ID cards.

Why is Aetna still charging for MinuteClinic Video Visits when most insurers are offering them at no copay?

Telemedicine and Virtual Care services enable patients to talk with a health care provider and have a basic screening to determine their risk for COVID-19, without having to leave home.

Unfortunately, at this time MinuteClinic Video Visits are not covered by insurance. While we are working to change this as quickly as possible, at this time we recommend patients check to see if their health insurance plan offers a telemedicine benefit.

If their insurance plan does not offer this benefit, or if they don’t have health insurance, in alignment with CDC and CMS recommendations, and in the interest of keeping our providers and patients safe during this pandemic, Minute Clinic has developed a temporary COVID-19 waiting room protocol. The purpose of this protocol is to further enhance our infection control procedures for patients prior to them being seen in the clinic.Disclaimer: Regulations regarding telehealth services and care package availability for Aetna Medicaid members varies by state and, in some cases, are changing in light of the current situation. Aetna Medicaid members with questions about their benefits are encouraged to call the member services phone number on the back of their ID cards.

Can a member who has Teladoc benefits register another adult dependent (such as a spouse or child) for Teladoc®?

No. Due to HIPAA restrictions, adult members can only register dependents who are minors (below the age of 18). Adult dependents must register themselves for Teladoc®.Disclaimer: Regulations regarding telehealth services and care package availability for Aetna Medicaid members varies by state and, in some cases, are changing in light of the current situation. Aetna Medicaid members with questions about their benefits are encouraged to call the member services phone number on the back of their ID cards.

Facilities

What is CVS doing to ensure its locations employ cleaning best practices to minimize exposure risk?

CVS follows CDC general cleaning guidance, which includes frequently cleaning all commonly touched surfaces, using disposable wipes to disinfect these surfaces, and using Personal Protective Equipment while cleaning, including wearing nitrile gloves and safety goggles/glasses when using bleach/water solutions. This applies to all locations, including our stores.

What cleaning practices does CVS undertake when there is a confirmed case or an exposure situation?

A deep cleaning will be performed, which consists of wiping down all horizontal and high contact touch points using Shockwave disinfectant cleaner and Steramist spray.

General questions

What is COVID-19?

The CDC and WHO are actively monitoring the novel coronavirus strain that causes a respiratory illness called COVID-19. On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the situation a pandemic. Visit the CDC Traveler’s Health website for travel notices and precautions.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.

Who is at a higher risk for COVID-19?

Older adults, as well as people with underlying chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease, seem to be at higher risk for developing serious complications with COVID-19.

What is the impact of COVID-19 infection during pregnancy?

Currently, there is limited information about risk of COVID-19 to pregnant women. During pregnancy, women experience immunologic and physiologic changes that might increase their risk for severe illness with COVID-19. Because of this, pregnant women are considered an at-risk population for adverse outcomes. Prevention efforts are especially important.

Can COVID-19 be passed in the uterus or at the time of delivery from pregnant mother to baby?

Although studies to date are small, no infants born to mothers with COVID-19 have tested positive for the virus while at the time of delivery. To date, the virus has not been found in amniotic fluid or breastmilk of women who have the infection.

Can a newborn baby get infected with COVID-19?

Yes, a small number of cases have been described of infants only a few days old being infected with COVID-19.

How is COVID-19 spread?

Human coronaviruses are usually spread from an infected person to others through the air by coughing and sneezing and through close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

For more information about the transmission of COVID-19, please see the CDC website.

What is the official name for the disease caused by the new coronavirus?

The World Health Organization announced the official name for the disease caused by the new coronavirus on February 11, 2020. The new name is COVID-19, short for “coronavirus disease 2019.”

Protecting yourself

How can you protect yourself or others from COVID-19?

  • Although there are currently no vaccines available to protect against human coronavirus infection, you may be able to reduce your risk of infection by washing your hands often, avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

  • If you have cold-like symptoms, as a courtesy to your co-workers and others, please remain at home while you are sick:

    • Along these lines, CVS Pharmacy is waiving chargesFree 1- to 2-day Rx shipping applies to orders from March 9, 2020, to May 1, 2020. for home delivery of prescription medications. With the CDC encouraging people at higher risk for COVID-19 complications to stay at home as much as possible, this is a convenient option to avoid coming to the pharmacy for refills or new prescriptions.

    • Additionally, through Aetna, CVS Health is offering 90-day maintenance medication prescriptions for insured and Medicare members, and is working with state governments to make the same option available to Medicaid members when allowable.

    • Aetna is also waiving early refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications for all members with pharmacy benefits administered through CVS Caremark.

  • If you share a workstation or equipment with others, please wipe it down with disinfectant wipes after use. Surfaces in any area occupied by an individual who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 should be washed with 70 percent ethyl alcohol chlorine solution.

For information about disinfecting your work station, equipment, or home, visit the CDC's Clean and Disinfect website.

For information about hand washing, see the CDC’s Clean Hands Save Lives website.

If I am pregnant, what should I do to protect myself and unborn baby (fetus) from coronavirus?

There are not separate prevention recommendations for pregnant women. The CDC provides general recommendations for infection prevention in the management of COVID-19.
 

What should you do if you suspect you or someone else has contracted COVID-19?

Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own. Although there are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses, you can take the following actions to help relieve symptoms if you are mildly sick:

  • Take pain and fever medications. Ask your pharmacist how they may interact with any medications you currently take.

    Caution: The CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend not giving aspirin to children.

  • Use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough.

  • Drink plenty of liquids.

  • Stay home and rest.

What breastfeeding precautions should women with COVID-19 infections take?

The CDC recommends that during temporary mother-infant separation, women who intend to breastfeed should be encouraged to express their breast milk to establish and maintain the milk supply. Expressed breast milk should be fed to the newborn by a healthy caregiver.

For women and infants who are not separated, the CDC recommends that if a woman and newborn do room-in and the woman wishes to feed at the breast, she should put on a facemask and practice hand washing before each feeding.

Does getting the flu or pneumonia vaccine reduce an individual’s risk of developing COVID-19?

No, but since there is no treatment for COVID-19, getting available immunizations for other lung infections, like flu, pneumonia and whooping cough is important. This is especially important for those who have weakened immune systems or who may have a more serious illness. Additionally, while COVID-19 is circulating, these immunizations will help decrease the burden on health care delivery systems.

Am I at risk for COVID-19 from shipped packages or products?

We are still learning about COVID-19 and how it spreads. At this time, please follow CDC guidance regarding packages provided on the CDC website.

Testing for COVID-19

Who should be tested for COVID-19?

The CDC recommends that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, returning from a CDC-designated “Level 2” or “Level 3” advisory area, or who has been in contact with someone who is suspected or confirmed of having the coronavirus within the last 14 days, should be tested.

How can I access COVID-19 testing?

Patients who have concerns that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 or may have symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their health care provider to determine the need for a test. The tests will likely be nasal or pharyngeal swabs that are then sent to a laboratory.

Will Aetna cover the cost of COVID-19 testing for members?

Aetna is waiving member cost-sharing for diagnostic testing related to COVID-19. This policy covers the cost of a physician-ordered test and the office, clinic or emergency room visit that results in the administration of or order for a COVID-19 test. The test can be done by any approved laboratory. This member cost-sharing waiver applies to all Commercial, Medicare and Medicaid lines of business. The policy also aligns with new Families First Coronavirus Response Act requiring all health plans to provide coverage of COVID-19 testing without cost share. The requirement also applies to self-insured.

I asked for a COVID-19 test, but my doctor said I don’t need one. What are my options?

Your doctor is in the best position to advise if testing is needed based on your symptoms. With tests in limited supply, providers are using a strict set of guidelines to determine when testing is appropriate.

If your symptoms change, contact your doctor again.

Accessing testing at CVS locations

As announced on March 13, 2020, we’ve been working with the federal government and other partners to help facilitate increased frequency and efficiency of COVID-19 testing as part of our multifaceted response to the pandemic. Public-private partners are a powerful resource, especially in times of need, and all parties have been focused on expanding access to testing as soon as possible.

On Thursday, March 19, 2020, in close coordination with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Public Health Service, and Governor Charlie Baker’s administration, CVS opened a COVID-19 testing site for a limited population in the parking lot of a CVS Pharmacy in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. It’s important to understand that this is our first site, which means there will likely be issues that arise. Those issues will be promptly addressed and will be used to inform and guide the opening of other sites – in CVS Pharmacy parking lots and elsewhere. The goal of the first test site is to serve as a model for testing.

When does the first testing location begin, and when will CVS be ready to expand to more locations?

CVS began testing at its first location on Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Massachusetts. Based on the learnings, we will be reviewing the possibility of expanding to additional locations.

How are locations being selected?

Locations are being selected in close coordination with the administration and other companies involved and will be based on the number of tests available and geographic need.

Who can get a test in Shrewsbury?

The site is for first responders and health care workers only, and they must exhibit at least ONE of the following symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Sore throat
  • Fever (99.4 or higher)

Is an appointment required to get tested in Shrewsbury?

Yes, first responders and health care workers who meet the criteria above for testing must first make an appointment by calling 401-374-6777 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.

How many CVS locations will offer testing, and what are the hours of operation?

At this time, we don’t expect a large number of locations to offer testing.

How long will testing be offered?

Testing duration will be reassessed on an ongoing basis.

How many locations will CVS Pharmacy offer testing at?

CVS Pharmacy began a testing program at one pharmacy in Shrewsbury, MA, beginning March 19, 2020, and is in the process of discussing with federal and state governments the potential of additional sites. This program is focused on working with first responders in the community (e.g., local fire and police departments, EMTs, and local hospitals).

How many testing sites will CVS Health ultimately provide?

It’s too soon to provide a definitive number.

Will the tests be offered in the stores?

No, the tests will be conducted in a designated area of the CVS Pharmacy parking lot. 

Will the stores where testing will be held remain open during testing?

No, the stores will be closed during testing.

Who will be administering the tests?

A nasopharyngeal swab test will be administered by CVS Health personnel who’ve undergone the necessary training.

How does the process work?

The process CVS Pharmacy will follow is one put in place by the federal government and follows a playbook developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is the same for all retailers.

CVS Pharmacy testing will initially focus on a critical population: first responders and health care workers. State officials have identified a group of brave women and men who are on the frontlines of the pandemic and have potentially been exposed to COVID-19. The sooner they are tested, the sooner they can continue to help others, in particular the most vulnerable members of our communities.

What role will FEMA play?

FEMA will provide the supplies and protocols needed to conduct the test. CVS Pharmacy will provide the trained staff to collect the specimens and will contribute equipment such as tents, computers, refrigeration and storage.

How many people are involved at each testing site?

We expect to have up to approximately 20 colleagues per shift working the testing sites.

How will you determine which colleagues will be required to work the testing sites?

We are asking for staff members from across CVS Health to step forward to assist with the testing. No health professional will be mandated to participate.

How long will the process take per patient?

The goal is to process 12 patients per hour.

How long will it take to get the results?

According to what we know from the government, the labs results are expected to take approximately 48 hours. 

What are you doing to ensure the safety of the people taking the tests?

Personnel conducting the test will be using personal protective equipment (PPE), which will be refreshed in accordance to the guidelines established by the federal government.

How were sites selected?

CVS Pharmacy worked with the state and federal government’s task force to identify stores with parking lots that could accommodate the flow of traffic and the space required for testing.

Will the tests be offered in the stores, MinuteClinics or HealthHUB locations?

No, there will be no testing inside any CVS Pharmacy store, MinuteClinic or HealthHUB locations.

Will walk-up testing be allowed for those who don’t have cars?

Not currently.

Can anyone drive up and get a test?

We understand there will be significant interest from Massachusetts residents in visiting the site and possibly being tested. The site does not, and will not, administer tests on a walk-up or drive-up basis.

Which CVS Pharmacy locations will offer the testing in the parking lots?

We will share more information on store locations as it becomes available.

Aetna Medicare Advantage

Note: “Medicare Advantage (MA)” includes Individual MA-only (MA) and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plans, Joint Venture MA plans, Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (DSNP), Medicare-Medicaid Plans (MMP), and Group MA and MAPD plans. We sell Medicare Advantage products under the names Aetna Medicare, Innovation Health, Allina Health, and Aetna Better Health.

Telehealth

What is telehealth?

Telehealth is the term Medicare uses for telemedicine. Telemedicine refers to real-time virtual care. This can include:

  • Live-video conferencing with providers

  • Telephone-only consultations with providers

  • Services provided by vendors like Teladoc®

Medicare Advantage members should use telemedicine as their first line of defense to limit potential exposure to COVID-19 in physician offices.

How is Aetna covering telehealth services for their Medicare members?

We’ve expanded coverage of telehealth and are offering all telehealth visits with our network providers at no cost to members (copays are waived) until further notice. Medicare Advantage members should use telemedicine as their first line of defense to limit potential exposure to COVID-19 in physician offices. 

Medicare Advantage members may use telemedicine for any reason, not just COVID-19 diagnosis. This means members can continue to receive clinical care from their providers, for example, discuss their diabetes care plan or schedule a sick visit, without having to leave their home and risk exposure to COVID-19.Disclaimer: Regulations regarding telehealth services and care package availability for Aetna Medicaid members varies by state and, in some cases, are changing in light of the current situation. Aetna Medicaid members with questions about their benefits are encouraged to call the member services phone number on the back of their ID cards.

How can our Medicare Advantage members access telehealth services?

Members should contact their doctor to see which telehealth services they may be able to offer their patients and how to schedule them.

Can our Medicare Advantage members use Teladoc?

We are working with Teladoc to be able to provide all of our members with access. At this time, it is not available to everyone.

Some Group members have access to Teladoc (it’s not yet available to individual Medicare Advantage members). Members can call the member services phone number on the back of their ID card to see if Teladoc is available with their plan.

If Teladoc is available for a member, they can call 1-855-TELADOC (855-835-2362) or visit https://member.teladoc.com/aetna for help. It’s available 24/7 to help.Disclaimer: Regulations regarding telehealth services and care package availability for Aetna Medicaid members varies by state and, in some cases, are changing in light of the current situation. Aetna Medicaid members with questions about their benefits are encouraged to call the member services phone number on the back of their ID cards.

For Group Medicare Advantage members with the Teladoc benefit, is the copay waived?

Yes, along with all telehealth services, we have waived copays until further notice.Regulations regarding telehealth services and care package availability for Aetna Medicaid members varies by state and, in some cases, are changing in light of the current situation. Aetna Medicaid members with questions about their benefits are encouraged to call the member services phone number on the back of their ID cards.

For Aetna Group Medicare Advantage members without the Teladoc benefit, will members be able to access Teladoc?

Not yet. Our Group Medicare Advantage plan members who don’t currently have this benefit cannot currently access Teladoc.Disclaimer: Regulations regarding telehealth services and care package availability for Aetna.

Does CVS MinuteClinic offer virtual visits to Medicare members?

No. Right now this service is not available.

Prescription refills

How do Medicare Advantage members get their medications if they are in self-isolation or quarantined?

We recommend using mail-order – it’s available for most maintenance medications (medication members take regularly for things like high blood pressure, asthma or diabetes). There’s no delivery fee and members can have up to a 90-day supply delivered directly to their home.

To get started with mail-order, members can either call the phone number on their ID card or visit Aetna Medicare.

In addition to mail-order, most home delivery fees have been waived for prescriptions purchased from a CVS retail pharmacy. Through May 1st, 2020, charges for standard 1-2 day delivery fees are waived. Same-day delivery cost is $7.99.

What is CVS Pharmacy® doing to help our Medicare Advantage members with Part D benefits in response to COVID-19?

CVS Pharmacy has waived most home-delivery fees for prescriptions purchased from them. Through May 1, 2020, charges for standard 1- to 2-day delivery fees are waived. Same-day delivery cost is $7.99.

Can Medicare Advantage members request early refills on their prescriptions?

Yes, all Medicare members with prescription drug coverage (MAPD and PDP) may request early refills on maintenance medications, if needed.

  • If the drug is on a non-specialty tier, we’re waiving early refill limits up to a 90-day supply.

  • If the drug is on a specialty tier, we’re waiving early refill limits for a 30-day supply.

  • All prescriptions must comply with state dispensing requirements and have enough refills to be filled. To get an early refill, the pharmacy will need to do an override (they should follow standard message codes to complete this action). They can always call the pharmacy help desk for assistance.

Should Medicare Advantage members call their plan to request an early refill?

No, members can contact their pharmacy directly for assistance.

Can Medicare Advantage members with Part D benefits use out-of-network pharmacies?

Yes, however, members will have to pay for their prescription and submit a claim form to get reimbursed. Therefore, we strongly recommend that members use network pharmacies. Members with specific network issues should call the phone number on their ID card.

Are there any dangers regarding medications manufactured in China?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not indicated there are any concerns with drugs manufactured in China. The FDA protects public health by promoting supply chain integrity and working to ensure medicines imported to the U.S. meet legal and regulatory requirements. Imported drugs must meet FDA’s standards for quality, safety and effectiveness.

Should Medicare Advantage members be worried about a risk of shortages in their medications?

We are closely monitoring drug supply and currently do not see any disruptions to the supply chain as a result of COVID-19 that would affect our ability to fill prescriptions. As always, we encourage you to fill your prescriptions in a timely manner.

COVID-19 testing

Will Medicare Advantage members have to pay for COVID-19 testing?

If a doctor requests testing related to COVID-19 for a Medicare member, the test will be fully covered, with no copay or cost share.

The Healing Better program

Does the Healing Better program include all Medicare Advantage members?

Yes. All members discharged from the hospital with a with COVID-19 diagnosis will get a care package from us. It has info to help answer member questions and remind them of the resources we offer to help them recover. The package may also include personal and household cleaning supplies to help keep others in the home protected from potential virus exposure.

Resources For Living® program

How do plan sponsors get a Resources For Living toolkit?

The toolkit is an online resource with helpful info about the coronavirus and tips for staying healthy. It also includes a recorded webinar to help members cope with coronavirus fears. Access the toolkit.

Is there a Medicare version of the Resources For Living toolkit for plan sponsors?

No. There isn’t a separate Medicare version.

Other

What’s the phone number for the Crisis Response Line (Aetna Resources For Living)?

The phone number is 1-866-370-4842 (TTY: 711) for Medicare members.

What’s the phone number for the Aetna 24-hour Nurse Line?

The phone number is 1-800-556-1555 (TTY: 711).

SilverScript Individual Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (PDP)

How do I get my medications if I am in self-isolation or quarantined?

We recommend using mail-order – it’s available for most maintenance medications (medication you take regularly for things like high blood pressure). There’s no delivery fee, and you can have up to a 90-day supply delivered directly to your home. 

To get started with mail-order, you can either call the phone number on your ID card or visit Silverscript.com

In addition to mail-order, most home delivery fees have been waived for prescriptions purchased from a CVS retail pharmacy. Through May 1, 2020, charges for standard 1- to 2-day delivery fees are waived. Same-day delivery cost is $7.99.

Can I receive an early refill on maintenance medications?

Yes, you may request early refills on maintenance medications.

  • If the drug is on a non-specialty tier, we’re waiving early refill limits up to a 90-day supply.

  • If the drug is on a specialty tier, we’re waiving early refill limits for a 30-day supply.

  • All prescriptions must comply with state dispensing requirements and have enough refills to be filled. To get an early refill, the pharmacy will need to do an override (they should follow standard message codes to complete this action). They can always call the pharmacy help desk for assistance.

Should I call my plan to request an early refill?

No, please contact your pharmacy directly for assistance.

Can I use out-of-network pharmacies?

Yes, however, you’ll have to pay for the prescription at the point of sale and submit a claim form to get reimbursed. We therefore strongly recommend that you use network pharmacies whenever possible for the best member experience and ease of payment process. Call the phone number on your ID card if you need help.

What should I do if local pharmacies start closing?

Public health and safety are important so most pharmacies will remain open. If your pharmacy closes unexpectedly, please call your prescribing doctor and let them know the prescription needs to be sent to a different pharmacy.

You also have the option to use mail-order. It’s available for most maintenance medications (medication you take regularly for things like high blood pressure). There’s no delivery fee, and you can have up to a 90-day supply delivered directly to your home. To get started with mail-order, you can either call the phone number on your ID card or visit Silverscript.com.

Are there any dangers regarding medications manufactured in China?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not indicated there are any concerns with drugs manufactured in China. The FDA protects public health by promoting supply chain integrity and working to ensure medicines imported to the U.S. meet legal and regulatory requirements. Imported drugs must meet FDA’s standards for quality, safety and effectiveness.

I’ve heard there’s a risk of shortages in my medication. Should I be worried?

We are closely monitoring drug supply and currently do not see any disruptions to the supply chain as a result of COVID-19 that would affect our ability to fill prescriptions. As always, we encourage you to fill your prescriptions in a timely manner.

What if my doctor’s office closes and is unable to assist with things like getting a prescription, finding a new drug or completing a prior authorization?

Many doctors are offering telehealth services. Telehealth allows providers to assist patients virtually or over the phone. If your doctor doesn’t offer telehealth, try calling the local hospital to see if telehealth is available.

What if my governor hasn’t declared a state of emergency?

As of March 17, 2020, all states and territories in the United States have declared emergency. We have updated our policies in all 50 states in response to emergency declarations.

Workplace adjustments and COVID-19

Accelerated hiring 

Why is CVS Health accelerating plans to hire 50,000 workers?

CVS Health is a critical resource for health care, prescriptions and other supplies in communities across the country, and we’ll continue to be here for customers, members and patients in these trying times.

We’re looking to fill more than 50,000 full-time, part-time and temporary jobs across the country to meet the surge in demand for health care and other services and help manage capacity for our existing colleagues as we help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What roles are you seeking to fill?

Roles include frontline store associates, warehouse workers and member/customer service professionals. Additionally, we are looking to hire many Pharmacy and Clinical roles, like Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians, Nurses, and others with healthcare training to support our patients’ increasing needs.

Are these 50,000 jobs incremental positions on top of your 300,000 workforce?

Approximately 47,000 positions are existing open full-time and part-time requisitions across the company (inclusive of CVS and Aetna systems). We are also recruiting to fill temporary roles that are due to a combination of increased demand and to provide coverage for our colleagues who are unable to work at this time, due to illness, family situations, or any number of other reasons.  It is critical for us to provide healthcare support to our customers, patients, and members during this pandemic.

What is the breakdown among these part-time and full-time positions?

Fifty-five percent of the open positions are part-time; 45 percent are full-time (this is approximated as these numbers change daily).

Are there specific geographies you are focused on?

The 50,000 jobs span across the country. In markets where we have large groups of stores, distribution centers and call centers, there are more openings.

Over what time frame do you expect to begin hiring based on past experience?

We’re hiring immediately and are adapting our processes to manage through a complex operating environment. Through a technology-enabled hiring process that includes virtual job fairs, virtual interviews and virtual job tryouts, we can rapidly add to our workforce of retail and customer service positions, while creating opportunities for American workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For some roles, we may be able to make a hiring decision in just one to two business days, depending on the availability and number of candidates who apply.

For certain professional and executive roles, our time to fill can be longer, but this may depend on the number of qualified candidates in our pipeline.

Given that we are experience unprecedented volumes of interest, we ask those who apply for patience as we make every attempt to get to them.

What benefits, if any, could these workers receive?

Opportunities for full-time colleagues include competitive pay, paid training, and a generous benefits package including vacation, 10 paid holidays, health/dental/vision insurance, employee discounted stock purchase program, 401K with company match, career advancement opportunities, and a 20-30 percent employee discount at CVS retail stores.

We also are offering new benefits to further support the well-being of all our colleagues and to help them navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These benefits include a dependent-care assistance program for children and adults, additional paid sick time for part-time colleagues, in addition to continued pay up to 14 days for colleagues who are quarantined.

Why does partnering with existing clients makes sense for CVS Health?

At a time when the hospitality and travel industries are facing their most significant challenge, we are proud to be part of a community of leading companies lending a hand in these unprecedented times. These companies who have had to furlough groups of their employees have a ready and well-trained workforce, and we can see them helping us address the urgent and significant health care demands of our communities during this crisis.

What companies is CVS partnering with to place within its workforce?

We are working with clients across the travel, hospitality, retail and restaurant industries to help place its furloughed workers in roles across our company. Current partners include American Airlines, Estefan Enterprises, The Gap, Hilton, Hyatt, and Marriott. We are also working to bring on additional partners. 

By working with these companies and their well-trained workforce, we can scale up our temporary workforce to handle increased volume in our stores, distribution centers and call centers.

How are you managing displaced workers who do not work for these partners but are applying to these positions?

We know many people have been impacted by the sudden downturn, as jobs in areas like travel, hospitality and retail are being displaced due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We want those people to know that we welcome them to CVS and know they can contribute to our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.

CVS Health is here for our customers, members and patients. We’re hiring people today who reflect our values and who want to work together as a team and community to battle this healthcare crisis.

Where can job seekers go for more information?

All job seekers can go to cvs.jobs/2020 to apply.

Additional resources

What support is Aetna providing to the community regarding Coronavirus?

Aetna Resources For Living (RFL) is offering support and resources to individuals and organizations who have been impacted by Coronavirus. Through this liberalization, those in need of support can access RFL services whether or not they have it as part of their benefits.

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

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

What is included with RFL liberalized services?

Support to individuals and organizations that don’t have RFL includes:

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

  • Informational brochures about dealing with a crisis

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

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

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

    • Group support services may be available telephonically or onsite where appropriate on a fee-for-service basis to help managers and employees manage the disruption and distress of this situation.

Where can I get more information?

You can find more information on COVID-19 at these links:

The information contained in this FAQ is subject to change at the discretion of CVS at any time, for any reason and without advanced notice.

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