Health Benefits during COVID-19
Other COVID-19 links: Top COVID-19 Questions | PPE | COVID-19 Information in Other Languages | Training & Deadlines | Other Resources | COVID-19 CE Webinar
Caregiver Continuous Health Coverage
For a limited time, if you work fewer than the required 80 hours per month due to COVID-19, you can still get continuous health insurance if you have health coverage through SEIU 775 Benefits Group. Learn more.
If you are interested in getting health insurance for you and your family because of COVID-19, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange is offering a special enrollment period. The special enrollment period ends May 8.
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.
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.
More than 25 labs in the state are now able to process COVID-19 testing. In order to protect your household and clients, if you have symptoms you should seek out a test. Knowing that you have COVID-19 will enable you to isolate and reduce the spread to others.
Information about testing, by region:
For caregivers with KPWA and KPNW plans:
- 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.
For caregivers with Aetna plans:
- Aetna is waiving member cost share for inpatient and outpatient services to treat COVID-19.
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 will have a choice of phone, chat, video, e-visits, or in-person visits for essential care. This will allow patients to stay home and still get great care and will help 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.
- KPWA Online Care.
- KPNW (Clark and Cowlitz counties) E-visits.
- Aetna Virtual Access. This is a new, short-term benefit (90 days) for caregivers covered through SEIU 775 Benefits Group in response to the need to increase virtual access. No co-pays apply to Aetna virtual care (despite what the website says).
- Telemedicine Video Visits from MinuteClinic are available in the following states, CA, ID, OR, and WA (not available in MT). Visits can be made using a laptop or a smart phone. If you have questions, please visit the MinuteClinic Video Visits FAQs.
- Members can also ask healthcare providers if they offer virtual-care appointments.
Beginning Wednesday, March 18, some Kaiser Permanente medical facilities and all CareClinic at Bartell Drug locations will temporarily discontinue in-person patient care. Care providers will be redeployed to serve the critical needs of patients. Patients with urgent and essential care needs will continue to receive in person care at the following locations: Bellevue, Capitol Hill (Seattle), Everett, Federal Way, Olympia, Riverfront (Spokane), Silverdale, and Tacoma.
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.
The United States Department of Labor recently announced a “pause” in certain time limits related to employee benefit plans. The “pause” is from March 1, 2020 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:
- 30- day (or 60-day for dependents) time limit to request special enrollment after a qualifying life event. Examples of qualified life events include the birth or adoption of a child, or the loss of healthcare coverage through a spouse.
- 4-month limit to request an external review of your appeal (Eligibility/Enrollment or Medical appeal).
In addition, there is now special guidance on how COBRA* deadlines work during the COVID-19 outbreak. A reminder that you will be required to pay any monthly premiums for each month of retroactive coverage. However, the following time limits will not be enforced:
- 60-day period to elect COBRA continuation coverage after you experience a qualifying event.
- 45-day period before your first COBRA premium payment is due.
- 30-day grace period to make a monthly COBRA premium payment.
If you are affected by these timelines or have additional questions, please reach out to a Benefit Specialist at 1-866-770-1917, option 2
*COBRA refers to your right to elect and pay for continued coverage after loss of coverage. For a temporary loss of hours due to COVID-19, please refer to the Continuous Coverage page.
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.