Skip to main content

Addressing your COVID-19 concerns

CVS Health is actively monitoring the global COVID-19 pandemic including guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). Below is information about policies and procedures that CVS Health has implemented that focus on the health and safety of our colleagues, customers, members and patients. 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.

 

General questions

  • 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.
  • Medicare members with pharmacy benefits administered through CVS Caremark may continue to get early refills following Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requirements through the end of the Public Health Emergency.
  • Through existing care management programs, Aetna supports high risk impactable members including those with risk factors for COVID-19. Care managers will walk members through what they can do to protect themselves and stay up to date on their care plans, where to get information on the virus, where to go to get tested and how to get vaccinated.
  • 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 is waiving charges for home delivery of prescription medications.5 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.
  • For Medicare Advantage membership, Aetna is waiving all cost shares for COVID-19 screening, testing and provider visits to diagnose COVID-19, including provider office visits, telehealth visits, urgent care visits and emergency room visits until further notice.
  • For Individual Aetna Medicare Advantage members, in-network telehealth visits for primary care are covered at no cost share through the end of the Public Health Emergency. Retiree members should check to see their plan coverage.

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

 

  • Opened Crisis Response Lines for all Aetna (Commercial, Medicare, Medicaid) and Caremark members who may be experiencing anxiety related to COVID-19.
  • Expanded 24x7 access to the Aetna Nurse Medical Line for all Aetna and Caremark members.
  • Provided Aetna plan sponsors with a Resources for Living toolkit with materials specifically developed for members experiencing anxiety related to COVID-19.

Members can use Teladoc® or their provider may be able to offer them services over the phone or through a telemedicine platform where you have a real-time visual connection. Members can check availability by accessing Aetna online DocFind directory, contacting their provider or visiting the  Coronavirus resource page on Aetna.com.

 

MinuteClinic offers two telemedicine options, including E-Clinic visits and MinuteClinic video visits. For more details, visit www.minuteclinic.com. These visits are covered by most Aetna commercial and Medicare plans.

 

Protecting yourself

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.

 

CVS actions

As the pandemic 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 CDC, to boost awareness of CVS Health’s emergency preparedness efforts and capabilities.

We are closely monitoring the global manufacturing environment and working with our suppliers to ensure we can continue filling prescriptions for our pharmacy patients and plan members at CVS Health. We are actively managing our supply to ensure our ability to continue to fill prescriptions in our retail, mail and specialty pharmacies.

 

We’re also balancing the growing interest in off-label use of certain prescription medications to treat COVID-19 pneumonia with the ongoing needs of patients and members who are prescribed these drugs to help manage chronic conditions such as lupus, HIV, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. Our goal is to limit stockpiling of medication that could result in future shortages and gaps in care.

 

Our retail pharmacies are following dispensing guidelines regarding the use of these medications for COVID-19 that have been established in certain states. In states with no guidelines, our pharmacies are limiting the dispensing for COVID-19 treatment to a 10-day supply with no refills.

 

With client consent, our PBM CVS Caremark is setting appropriate coverage limits on the quantity of these medications for potential use in treating COVID-19. Plan members who already take these medications for approved uses will be able to bypass the new quantity limits.

 

Additional resources

 

COVID-19 policy changes

 

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.

 

5Free 1- to 2-day Rx shipping applies to orders from March 9, 2020, until further notice.

We’re here to support you Find out how

CDC info

Get the latest updates on every aspect of the pandemic.

 

Visit the CDC

State resources

Get vaccine news, testing info and updated case counts.

 

Find state resources

CVS Health

Access trusted resources about COVID-19, including vaccine updates.

 

Visit CVS Health

Legal notices

Aetna is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Aetna group of companies, including Aetna Life Insurance Company and its affiliates (Aetna).

Health benefits and health insurance plans contain exclusions and limitations.