We’re in this together: Supporting our members, customers, providers and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic

By Regence
April 06, 2020
Doctor  talking to patient in hospital.

Easing the way for you, the people and families we proudly serve.

As our communities, nation and world continue to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, Regence salutes the health care professionals who are working tirelessly and selflessly on the front lines to help people and families. We are working hard to collaborate with providers and our customers to ensure we ease our members’ access to the care they need. Regence Health Plans have served our communities for more than 103 years, through good times and bad, and we are confident that stability will allow us to weather this current crisis as well.

Easing access to care for our members

Our members are our top priority, and we want to make sure they get the health care they need. We have eliminated member costs – deductible, copays, coinsurance – for COVID-19 testing and related office visits, and recently also expanded this to cover recognized treatment for COVID-19 through June 30, 2020. This all comes with no pre-authorization. We want to make sure people and their families don’t face barriers to care, financial or otherwise.

We have also eased our prescription-refill policies so members have enough needed medications on hand; expanded access to providers through virtual options; and we’re working with our most vulnerable, high-risk members by having nurses in our care management program reach out to offer reassurance and check on what supports they might need.

As always, we encourage our members who think they have COVID-19 symptoms, such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath, to call their doctor or urgent care center first for guidance.

Expanded access to care through telehealth

To help our members get the care they need from the safety of their homes, they can reach providers through telephone, video, text and other options during the public health state of emergency. This protects our providers, too, allowing them to maintain safe social distancing but enable our members to be in touch through a variety of options and for care that ranges from routine preventive services, COVID-19 related concerns and even behavioral and mental health support.

Standing by our customers

We know many of our customers are facing unprecedented challenges during this time when businesses have been forced to close or have slowed significantly. Regence is listening to and collaborating with our customers to help them find outside resources to help, or in some cases offer relief ourselves. This includes solutions such as allowing grace periods and pointing them to leave-of-absence policies so they can continue to help maintain health insurance for their employees. Regence is also working with our customers to help them understand the full array of federal and state financial resources that are available for whatever needs they might have to keep their businesses going.

Collaborating with our providers

We want to make sure we are doing what we can to help doctors, specialists and other providers care for their patients. In addition to increasing member access to virtual visits to help alleviate pressure on in-person providers, Regence has taken other measures to help providers during this crisis. Those include expediting provider payments of claims, removing barriers to quickly discharge our members to alternate settings to accommodate care of critical patients, easing pre-authorization requirements for specific services and speeding up credentialing to help meet emerging demands for health care providers.

We also, as part of our expanded telehealth option, are paying our providers the same rate for a virtual visit as what they are paid for traditional in-person visits. We recognize the importance of safety and maintaining social distancing and we want to encourage the right protocols while enabling access to care and allowing our providers to continue serving their patients.

Protecting our own employees

Just like our customers, we are mindful of the need to keep our business going. Our North Star is to be there for people and their families for the long term, from COVID-19 today to cancer and other complex health care needs tomorrow.

home office cropped
A Regence employee shares her home office setup.

We, too, are working from home to ensure we stay healthy and continue to remain agile so you see no disruption in what you have come to expect from us for more than a century. You can rely on our experience and long-term financial stability and know all parts of our business are engaged and ready to serve employees, customers, members and our community.

Supporting our communities

Regence values its partnerships with nonprofit organizations throughout the communities we serve, and we are committed to helping those organizations, especially during these unsettling times. We have reached out to our community partners to offer support to those suffering during this crisis and made donations to local food banks to help those with food insecurity during economic hardship.

As a health care company, we know that being hungry is a key social determinant of health, and we want to do what we can to help.

We also know that in this new normal as people are in their homes, they have a variety of jobs – employee, parent, teacher and caregiver. This causes new stresses and strains, and we are partnering with Archangels in pledging our support to caregivers – those in the home, our providers, and the many other service workers in our communities, from delivery drivers to grocery store stockers to postal workers who are keeping essential functions going.

We’re proud to support you all. We’re in this together.

Find out other ways Regence is easing the way for you, the people and families we proudly serve:

Community Partners: Regence supports the Oregon Food Bank as food insecurity grows in the wake of COVID-19

Front-Line Health Care Professionals: Regence’s Nancy Kime featured in Lewiston Tribune’s Made By Us campaign

Caregivers: Regence teams up with Archangels to support caregivers, provides additional resources

Valuable Video Tips on Safe Social Distancing: COVID-19: How to engage in healthy social connection while socially distancing