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Anthem provides $2.5 billion in COVID-19 support for consumers, providers and communities

The funds will help increase coverage and adapt policies for providers and consumers.

Mallory Hackett, Associate Editor

Anthem has pledged $2.5 billion to assist consumers, caregivers and communities in their recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds will go towards "increasing access and coverage, adapting tools and policies to assist consumers and care providers, and leveraging data and advanced analytics to provide innovative solutions," Anthem said in a statement.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT FOR PROVIDERS?

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A portion of Anthem's funds will go toward supporting providers' telehealth services, quality-based programs and personal protection equipment.

For in-network dental providers, Anthem will provide $10 of PPE credit per patient, per visit, from June 15 until the end of August. There will be additional funding for primary care and multispecialty facilities that are dealing with financial pressure due to the pandemic, Anthem said.

Anthem is also suspending prior authorization requirements for COVID-19-related treatments.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT FOR CONSUMERS?

Anthem members that are enrolled in select individual plans and those fully insured by their employers will receive a one-month premium credit ranging from 10% to 15%.

Members in stand-alone and group dental plans will also get 50% credit. Qualifying members can expect the credit to hit in July, Anthem said.

Anthem will continue to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 related treatment for their members until the end of 2020. Expanded telehealth coverage will also continue without cost-sharing until September 30.

In an effort to provide care to the most vulnerable groups, Anthem said it is working with state officials to accelerate funds to caregivers working with those who have chronic conditions, behavioral health and other special healthcare needs.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT FOR COMMUNITIES?

In addition to supporting care providers and patients, the Anthem Foundation has committed $50 million to community-based organizations.

Its donations include $2 million to local Boys and Girls Clubs, $1.8 million to Feeding America, $1 million to the American Red Cross, $1 million contributed Rapid Response Loan Fund established by the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, more than $1.4 million of PPE to be distributed across the country, $430,000 to United Way and $250,000 to Americares and Direct Relief.

The Anthem Foundation has also promised to match donations made by associates.

Finally, the newly-created Anthem Medical Associate Volunteer Program, allows employees with professional medical training to take paid leave to serve communities in need.

THE LARGER TREND

In April, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, along with the Departments of Labor and the Treasury, expanded coverage for COVID-19 related treatment.

That followed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which required private health issuers and employer group health plans to cover COVID-19 testing and treatment.

ON THE RECORD

"At Anthem, we understand the important role we play in supporting recovery and care as we navigate the ongoing impacts of COVID-19," said Gail K. Boudreaux, president and CEO of Anthem. "Consumers, care providers and our local communities are all feeling the impact of the pandemic and the current social unrest."

Twitter: @HackettMallory
Email the writer: mhackett@himss.org