Health Benefits during COVID-19
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Caregiver Continuous Health Coverage
Continuous Coverage was temporary and ended February 28, 2021. Learn more.
If you are interested in getting health insurance for you and your family because of COVID-19, you can apply for other coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder’s (wahealthplanfinder.org) special enrollment period. Learn how through Washington Healthplanfinder’s Coronavirus FAQs page.
Independent Providers (IPs) may qualify for lower-cost monthly premiums through tax credits.
Other immediate insurance options are:
- If you are an agency provider (AP), you might be eligible for employer-paid leave through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Ask your employer to find out more.
- IPs who qualify for coverage through SEIU 775 Benefits Group can apply today.
- Caregivers and their families may qualify for coverage through Apple Health (Medicaid). If you qualify, you can enroll at any time.
Caregivers with coverage through SEIU 775 Benefits Group should utilize virtual care instead of going to the doctor’s office, unless it is a true health emergency like a broken bone or suspected heart attack. This includes urgent or emergency room care.
Members have a choice of phone, chat, video, e-visits or in-person visits for essential care. This allows patients to stay home and still get great care and helps address the community spread of COVID-19.
All plans offer a 24/7 nurse advice line:
- KPWA: 1-800-297-6877 or 206-630-2244.
- KPNW (Clark and Cowlitz counties): 1-800-813-2000 (TTY 711).
- Aetna: 1-800-556-1555 (TTY:711).
All plans offer e-visits to get online care and advice for all care, including for colds, coughs and flus; screening for coronavirus; and treatment for your symptoms if needed. E-visit costs are covered completely or with a co-pay, depending on your medical carrier. You can request an e-visit by contacting your doctor, also called a primary care provider (PCP), or by visiting the websites below.
For caregivers with KPWA and KPNW plans:
For caregivers with Aetna plans:
- Aetna Virtual Access. This is a new benefit for caregivers covered through SEIU 775 Benefits Group. Aetna members can access free virtual care through their designated PCP. Other virtual care services are subject to a co-pay.
- Telemedicine Video Visits from MinuteClinic are available to caregivers in Washington, Oregon and Idaho (not available in MT). Visits can be made using a laptop or a smart phone. MinuteClinic visits are subject to the same copay as an office visit. If you have questions, please visit the MinuteClinic Video Visits FAQs.
The Free COVID-19 Testing Act ensures that anyone with coverage through SEIU 775 Benefits Group, private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP, Tricare, the VA or IHS is eligible for COVID-19 diagnostic testing without a co-pay.
In order to protect your household and clients, if you have symptoms you should get a test. Knowing that you have COVID-19 will enable you to isolate and reduce the spread to others. If you have coverage through SEIU 775 Benefits Group, you can get tested for COVID-19 at no cost. Please contact your doctor for more information on testing.
There are also more than 25 public labs in the state, which can process COVID-19 testing. Here is information about public lab testing, by region:
- King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap Counties. If you are in King County, you can access free testing regardless of immigration status.
- The Tri-Cities and Spokane and Yakima Counties.
For caregivers with coverage through SEIU 775 Benefits Group:
- Kaiser Permanente is waiving member cost share for inpatient and outpatient services to treat COVID-19.
- Caregivers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 will not need to pay co-payments or other cost sharing related to the medical care and treatment of COVID-19.
- This applies but is not limited to office visits, virtual care, the emergency department, urgent care and hospitalization.
- It also applies to inpatient pharmacy and transportation costs associated with the treatment of a COVID-19 diagnosis.
- Aetna is waiving member cost share for inpatient and outpatient services to treat COVID-19.
If you are feeling stressed and anxious about COVID-19, it is important to cope with these feelings for both for your emotional and physical health. There are many free tools available to help you and your family with anything from day-to-day stresses to other challenges like anxiety or depression. Visit the self-care page today to find out about all the free resources available to you.
For caregivers with KPWA and KPNW plans:
- Kaiser Permanente remains committed to helping you thrive. If you need support with essentials like housing, childcare or food, Thrive Local Connections can help connect you to resources in your community. Call 1-800-443-6328 (TTY 711), Monday through Friday between 8am and 5pm.
- Kaiser Permanente has teamed up with ClassPass to offer you access to free or low-cost fitness programs. Through this partnership you have access to unlimited on-demand video workouts, livestreams of top-rated fitness classes, and reduced rates for in-person gym classes. Visit kp.org/exercise to get started!
Caregivers with Delta Dental will receive direct communication from their dentists regarding temporary closures or the need to reschedule routine dental appointments.
Willamette Dental is focused on patients with dental emergencies, on tele-dentistry when appropriate, and 24/7 on-call services on a short-term basis. Willamette will not return to its normal scheduling for appointments until further notice. Patients with scheduled appointments are being contacted regarding this change.
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law. This new law allows caregivers who have been terminated, had an involuntary termination of employment, or experienced a reduction in hours to stay on or rejoin the COBRA plan through SEIU 775 Benefits Group from April 2021 through the end of September 2021 at no cost.
To be eligible, participants had to be enrolled in coverage through SEIU 775 Benefits Group and involuntarily lost coverage in the last 18 months (November 2019-March 2021).
COBRA, Appeals and Enrollment Timeline Extensions
In February 2021, the United States Department of Labor provided new guidance on certain paused time limits related to employee benefit plans.
The pause began March 1, 2020 and lasts until 60 days after the federal government declares the COVID-19 emergency over. During that time period, the following time limits will not be enforced:
- 60-day period for individuals to notify the plan of a COBRA qualifying event. Examples of qualified life events include the birth or adoption of a child, or the loss of healthcare coverage through a spouse.
- 60-day period to elect COBRA continuation coverage after receiving a COBRA election notice.
- Date for making COBRA premium payments.
- 30-day (or 60-day, as applicable) period to request special enrollment after a special enrollment event.
- The limit to request an external review of your appeal (Eligibility/Enrollment or Medical appeal).
If you are affected by these timelines or have additional questions, please reach out to the Customer Service team at 1-877-606-6705, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Pacific time, Monday to Friday.
*COBRA refers to your right to elect and pay for continued coverage after loss of coverage.
If you are looking for COVID-19-related training updates, please visit the COVID-19 Updates page. If you are looking for COVID-19-related resources, please visit the COVID-19 Resources page. These pages have the latest, most accurate information.
If you have additional questions, please call 1-877-606-6705, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Pacific time, Monday to Friday.