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How feds will receive COVID care under 2021 health plans

Federal health insurance providers have been tasked with and encouraged to implement certain provisions in their 2021 plan offerings that will help federal employees stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"OPM has taken multiple steps to protect the health and well-being of federal employees and retirees during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Lori Bodenheimer, OPM's director of health care and insurance.

"FEHB companies must waive the cost-sharing and pre-licensing requirements for any COVID-19 antibody detection and diagnostic tests as part of the Coronavirus Response Act first, then to coronavirus relief and financial security or the law CARES ".

Although the Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved the vaccine for group use, the legislation also requires that all federal insurance plans cover this vaccine without cost sharing within 15 days of FDA approval.

In addition to the required changes that insurers must make to deal with and prepare for COVID needs, OPM has also encouraged these providers to make changes as part of the 2021 price negotiations.

"We have also strongly encouraged all of our providers to waive pre-authorization and cost-sharing requirements for telehealth services or other telecare services associated with the treatment of COVID-19, and providers have responded well to this," he said. Bodenheimer.

And while COVID has proven to be a major concern for Federal Health Insurance through 2020 through 2021, the pandemic may have at least one beneficial effect on insurance rates, and Bodenheimer says fewer people are attending appointments or following certain treatments during a pandemic. It is the case where their increase ultimately led to lower costs for service providers.

  • FEHB's open season of 2021 plans runs from November 9 to December 14 of this year.