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Coronavirus

Coronavirus Resource Hub

Resources for AllWays Health Partners members

AllWays Health Partners is committed to ensuring timely access to critical health care services for coronavirus (COVID-19) that our members may need during this public health emergency.
  • Timely access to testing, virtual urgent care, and treatment for coronavirus
    We have put in place coverage policies for COVID-19 testing and treatment, based on public health recommendations and industry guidelines that are informed by the best data and medical evidence available.

    To expedite access to critical health care services for COVID-19 in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, our coverage criteria, which may be updated in response to an evolving situation, includes:
    • Removing cost-sharing (copayments, deductibles, or coinsurance) for medically necessary outpatient and inpatient COVID-19 testing and treatment at in-network or out-of-network providers, urgent care centers, emergency departments, hospitals, and other facilities for the duration of the public health emergency.
    • Removing cost-sharing for telemedicine services to enable our members to seek care virtually, reducing the need to go to medical offices.
    • Allowing early refills for most prescription medications, in addition to the benefits and services that are already available through our FlexRx pharmacy benefit program.

    Note: Employers that are self-insured may have put in place different plan cost sharing for these services. Please visit the AllWays Health Partners member portal or call the customer service number on the back of your member ID card if you have questions about your plan.
     

    Frequently asked questions about coverage

    Do I have access to telemedicine services?
    AllWays Health Partners commercial members have access to Partners HealthCare On Demand telemedicine services for virtual urgent care. If you are an AllWays Health Partners member, you can log in to the member portal for instructions to get started. In addition, during the COVID-19 crisis, Partners HealthCare patients in Massachusetts can also access Partners On Demand. Click here to learn more about this service and how to access it. 

    In addition, we are offering free telemedicine resources to our provider partners to protect providers and patients from exposure while allowing for the continuation of care. Please contact your provider to learn more about the telemedicine options that they have available.

    Who do I contact with questions about my COVID-19-related health care and coverage?
    If you have questions about insurance coverage for COVID-19, please call the number on the back of your ID card for a prompt that will take you to a dedicated phone line. For medical questions about testing or treatment, we recommend that you contact your doctor or another health care professional.
     
    What are my options if I no longer have health insurance coverage through my employer?
    In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Massachusetts Health Connector has an extended enrollment period for uninsured residents through June 23. To seek enrollment in a new health plan, visit the Health Connector’s website or call the Health Connector Customer Service Center at 1-877-623-6765 by the following dates.
     
    Please note that individuals are encouraged to update their income information through the Health Connector website to see if they’re eligible for MassHealth benefits or additional support.
    Application Deadline Coverage Start Date
    Saturday, May 23 June 1
    Tuesday, June 23 July 1
  • Emergency care
    During the COVID-19 pandemic, health care emergencies may still require a trip to the emergency department. If you experience a health care emergency, you should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department right away. We join the medical community in asking you not to delay care or avoid the emergency department if you need critical health care services. 
  • Behavioral health information
    Costs for telemedicine with a behavioral health provider
    There will be no cost to you for telemedicine (including telephone) visits for standard/routine outpatient behavioral health.
     
    Referrals or prior authorization from primary care  provider
    You do not need to obtain a referral or prior authorization from your PCP for outpatient behavioral health services.
     
    How to find a provider for behavioral health
    If you do not currently have a behavioral health provider, you can find a provider on the Optum website at liveandworkwell.com. Optum is AllWays Health Partners’ behavioral health partner. Once you log in to the Optum secure member portal, click on Find a virtual visit provider, then enter the type of provider you are looking for, your zip code, and click search.  From this site, you will also be able to schedule a virtual visit with a provider.
     
    Access to outpatient behavioral health services using telemedicine
    To make it easier to receive appropriate behavioral health treatment during this time, we are encouraging providers and members to use secure video-enabled virtual visits (also known as telemedicine services). If you or your providers do not have access to video technology (computer or mobile), or the telemedicine platform is not working, you may be able to have your session by telephone.
     
    Resources available to support your mental health and well-being
    We recognize that these times are stressful, and we are taking action to make sure our members affected by COVID-19 have the support and resources they need.  Here are some of the programs available to you:
    • Optum’s Behavioral Health Help Line (866-342-6892) provides free emotional support by trained mental health specialists 24 hours a day, seven days a week during this crisis. This service is free of charge and open to anyone impacted by COVID-19.
    • Behavioral health information containing shelter-in-place tips from Optum:
    • Optum’s Member Portal (liveandworkwell.com) offers tips for managing stress and anxiety, mindfulness techniques, and trainings on helping you cope in difficult times.
    • Virtual Recovery Services for individuals seeking support for substance use disorders. WeConnect offers free daily online recovery support groups.
  • Be aware of coronavirus-related scams
    Many scammers and hackers are taking advantage of the challenges and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. There is a heightened risk of scams and price gouging during financial disruptions. This includes tricking people into sharing their personal data, buying fake vaccines or treatments for coronavirus, donating to fake charities/organizations, and more.
     
    You can avoid becoming a victim of these scams by being cautious about responding to calls, emails, or letters that use the coronavirus to scare or pressure you into sharing your personal information. To learn more about scams and what you can do to avoid them, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s page on coronavirus scams. The Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office also has a list of common COVID-19 scams and additional tips for avoiding them.
     
    If you aren’t sure if something is a scam, check with a trusted source like the U.S. Government, CDC or World Health Organization. You can contact AllWays Health Partners customer service at the number on the back of your member ID card to verify or ask questions about any communications using our name. For example, you should contact us before purchasing unsolicited AllWays Health Partners insurance policies or agreeing to changes to the terms of your current insurance policy. You can also send an email to customerservice@allwayshealth.org or start a Live Chat during regular business hours on the allwaysmember.org portal.
  • Information for MassHealth/My Care Family members
    AllWays Health Partners is here to help and ensure that My Care FamilySM members can receive critical health care services for COVID-19 during this public health emergency.

    Coverage updates
    My Care Family has made the following changes to coverage in response to the COVID-19 crisis based on public health and state guidelines.
    • Telemedicine services (including telephone and live video)
    • Early refills and up to a 90-day supply for maintenance prescriptions are covered as long as additional refills are available. Some prescriptions may not be included. Check with your pharmacy if you have questions.
    • Home visits for services when medically necessary and clinically appropriate.
    • Access to out-of-network providers for the initial COVID-19 test or treatment when no in-network providers are available.

    For questions about COVID-19-related health care and coverage
    If you have questions about your My Care Family coverage for COVID-19, please call the number on the back of your ID card for a prompt that will take you to a dedicated phone line. For medical questions about testing or treatment, we recommend that you contact your primary care provider (PCP) or another in-network health care professional.

    Symptom checker
    As a My Care Family member, you also have access to Buoy, a free web-based tool you can use to check your symptoms, figure out if you should be tested for coronavirus, and learn about care options available to you. Visit buoy.com/mass or mass.gov/online-health-tool to use it. Keep in mind that Buoy is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. To learn more about Buoy, see the Frequently Asked Questions document.
     
    Pediatric medical care
    Now more than ever, it’s important for you and your family to stay healthy and well. MassHealth and My Care Family encourage you to continue to contact your child’s health care provider and not to delay care.
    Many providers are offering access to telephone and virtual visits in response to COVID-19, and they can best assess your child’s needs and how to meet them.
     
    If you need assistance accessing the care you need for your child, please call My Care Family customer service at 1-800-462-5449 to be referred to our Care Management team.
     
    Pediatric behavioral health services
    Children may have difficulty coping during these challenging times. Behavioral health is an essential service that will remain available to My Care Family members. And My Care Family is working with providers to ensure they have the flexibility they need to continue meeting the needs of children and their families. Services that were generally received in the home, in most cases, are being provided through telemedicine.
     
    In addition, some providers are still caring for patients in homes. Before a provider visits your home, they should call ahead to ensure that nobody in your home is sick or has a known exposure to someone with COVID-19. If it is safe to come to your house, everyone is still encouraged to practice social distancing and keep at least 6-feet of distance between them if possible.
     
    For more information about your child’s home or community-based behavioral health care, please visit MassHealth where you can download a frequently asked questions document for families. If you need assistance accessing the care you need for your child, please call the My Care Family Customer Service Center at 1-800-462-5449 to be referred to the Care Management team.
     
    For information on behavioral health, please review the information for members in the section titled  ‘Behavioral health information’ above.
     
    Assistance with home internet and cellphone service
    We want to help ensure that members have access to internet and cellphone service to support telemedicine visits. All MassHealth members are eligible to receive a monthly discount on wireless phone or home internet service through the national Lifeline program. Visit the MassHealth website to learn more about the program and how to apply.

Information for employers and brokers

Learn what AllWays Health Partners is doing to support our employer customers who may be experiencing economic hardship, or changes to employment status within the workforce, due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Premium billing and enrollment
    AllWays Health Partners has created the following guidelines to support you during this challenging time:
    Options to help avoid coverage termination
    • Provide an opportunity to create reasonable premium payment plans. We will ask that you contact us if assistance is needed in setting up a payment plan; this contact information will be included in our notices of overdue premiums.
    • Buy-down options. You may change your coverage to a level that allows you to lower your monthly premium costs outside of your typical renewal period (once per plan year).
    Furloughs or decreased hours
    • Relaxing the working eligibility participation guidelines for up to 90 days for employees who are furloughed or experience decreased hours, and who are willing and able to pay premiums, provided all employees within a class are treated equally.
     
    COBRA coverage
    COBRA coverage is available if the business is still considered active with at least one covered employee. You must determine whether employees are considered active/working employees. If there are no employees remaining, COBRA is not an option.
  • Additional resources during this public health emergency
    Here are a few helpful resources on government support for small businesses at this time:

Information for providers

Providers in the AllWays Health Partners network can find answers to frequently asked questions at our COVID-19 Provider FAQ page on our provider resource center.

 

In our community

We’re dedicated to providing support during these challenging times by partnering with several local programs focused on caring for the health of our communities. Some examples include:

  • Boston Resiliency Fund
    We’re honored to join several Boston-based organizations to support the Boston Resiliency Fund. This fund was created by the City of Boston to distribute critical resources to front-line workers, health care providers, and Boston families impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Community Servings
    As part of AllWays Health Partners’ Your Care Circle program, we partner with Community Servings, an organization that delivers medically-tailored, nutritious meals to chronically ill members with complex conditions. During the pandemic, we expanded this partnership to support members who fall into high-risk categories for COVID-19, including those who have tested positive or are currently under quarantine – all at no cost to our members.
  • Community Support Webinar Series
    In addition, AllWays Health Partners is hosting a series of free webinars focused on helping our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each webinar is free and open for anyone to attend, so members are welcome to share with friends and family.
    Learn more about the series and sign up for the next upcoming webinar here.

Frequently asked questions about coronavirus

  • How is coronavirus spread?
    Coronavirus Disease 2019 (abbreviated as “COVID-19”) is a respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. It is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person in respiratory droplets produced when someone who is infected coughs, sneezes or talks. People who are infected often have symptoms of illness. However, some people who feel well and are without symptoms may be able to spread virus. Symptoms range from mild to severe and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. 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. Older adults and people with chronic medical conditions may be at greater risk.
  • Where can I get updates on coronavirus?
    Stories around the coronavirus disease are developing daily. The best source for credible news on COVID-19 is the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). You can check their website to find the latest updates and recommendations, including resources like:
    The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is also a helpful resource for more of the latest updates.
  • How can I prevent coronavirus?
    Because there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, the CDC recommends these everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of disease:
    • Practice social distancing and stay home as much as possible
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • If you do go outside:
      • Put distance between yourself and others (about 6 feet or more)
      • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
      • If you have contact with a frequently touched surface, wash your hands before you touch your face
      • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
      • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when out of your residence and around others
      • Please note that beginning on May 6, Massachusetts residents are required to wear face coverings in public places where social distancing is not possible. Visit Mass.gov to learn more about this mandate and what you can use for a mask.
    • In addition, if you’re home or outside:
      • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, and before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (such as a child or elderly person)
      • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
      • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
     
    If you share a residence with someone who is infected with COVID-19, visit the CDC website for extra steps to take when caring for someone at home.
  • What happens if I come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
    Massachusetts has created a first-in-the-nation contact tracing program, called the Community Tracing Collaborative, to reach out to contacts of confirmed positive COVID-19 patients. This team makes phone calls to notify and help protect others who may be exposed to the virus. You can participate by answering a phone call from a MA COVID Team member who will connect you with critical medical support and resources. Visit Mass.gov to learn more.
  • What should I do if I have symptoms?
    Symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to those of the flu and other upper respiratory infections. If you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should contact your doctor or another health care professional.
     
    To support you in better understanding symptoms and if you should be evaluated for COVID-19, Partners HealthCare has created the COVID-19 Screener that is available in your AllWays Health Partners member portal at allwaysmember.org. In addition, My Care Family members have access to Buoy, a free web-based tool you can use to check your symptoms on buoy.com/mass.

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