Helping Our Health Care Community on the Front Lines of COVID-19

Independence has launched a range of clinical and business initiatives since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to address the key needs of the health care community on the front lines of fighting the coronavirus. Refer to this page for important updates as we navigate this unprecedented situation together.

Delivering care

Providing greater access. To ensure you can continue to deliver high-quality care to your patients, we are:

  • Offering COVID-19 vaccine coverage and reimbursement. The federal government is currently covering the cost of manufacturing the vaccines. Independence will waive members’ cost-sharing (such as copays, deductibles, and coinsurance) for vaccine administration and providers will be reimbursed for the vaccine administration cost. For Medicare Advantage members, the cost of the vaccine and its administration will be covered by Original Medicare so long as the health care provider administering the vaccine participates in the Medicare program.
  • Continuing members’ access to primary care and specialists through telemedicine for COVID-19-related diagnoses. These visits, when they meet the established criteria, are eligible for reimbursement at in-office rates.
  • Covering COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing for commercial and Medicare Advantage members at physician offices, urgent care centers, emergency rooms, drive-thru testing sites, pharmacies, and by home health agencies in accordance with all federal and state mandates during the public health emergency.
  • Waiving commercial members’ cost* for in-network, acute in-patient treatment of COVID-19 through October 31, 2021. Independence will reimburse health care providers at contracted rates including the member cost-share amount. Cost-sharing will be applied to post-acute care (e.g. skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and long-term acute care facilities), outpatient treatment, prescription drugs, ambulance transportation to a post-acute setting, and out-of-network care.
    *Self-funded groups may have opted out of this coverage.
  • Waiving Medicare Advantage members’ cost for in-network and out-of-network acute in-patient treatment of COVID 19 for the duration of the public health emergency. Please note that as of January 1, 2021, these existing waivers are covered for Independence Medicare Advantage members through their new 2021 plans regardless of the duration of the public health emergency.
  • Waiving requirements that commercial and Medicare Advantage members must be homebound to receive COVID-19 testing at home by a visiting nurse through the public health emergency.
  • Waiving costs for consumer grade pulse oximetry devices that are prescribed by a doctor for use in the home setting through October 31, 2021. For Medicare Advantage members this will be effective through the public health emergency.

Our Provider News Center is continually updated to provide reliable information on COVID-19 care and coverage. Visit the site.

Support for your business

Helping with administrative processes. To make it easier for you to care for your patients, we are:

  • Having individual and group conversations with many provider offices in our network to understand their challenges, communicate our ongoing efforts around COVID-19, and answer questions.

Working together

Working with the health care community and public health officials. Throughout the pandemic, we have been collaborating on several efforts:

  • Working with lab vendors to enhance regional access to testing.
  • Launching a coalition of regional home care providers to develop common COVID-19 protocols and a shared capacity database.

Staying informed

Check back often. As we continue to make changes to our normal business practices, we will keep you informed through this site and the Provider News Center.

Have a question about COVID-19? Ask us.

1 Please note: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act mandate that member cost sharing (deductible, co-pays and coinsurance) is waived both in and out-of-network for the testing and diagnosis of COVID-19 through the public health emergency. The waiver of member cost sharing for both in and out of network will continue through the public emergency, which has been extended through October 18, 2021, unless otherwise modified by the federal government. For High Deductible Health Plans, in-network cost sharing waivers detailed were in effect through December 31, 2020 unless prohibited by law.

2 If a member has coverage through an employer, benefits and coverages may vary.