COVID-19 resource center

Coronavirus is here, and we stand ready to help

At CVS Health, we work every day to help people on their path to better health. Never has it been more important for us to deliver on our purpose to you, our valued customers, patients, members and employees. We encourage you to use this resource center to better manage your health and wellbeing.

Larry Merlo, President and Chief Executive Officer of CVS Health, shares a personal message.

The health and safety of our patients, customers and colleagues is CVS Health’s top priority as we face the impact of COVID-19 together.

Important news

CVS Health expands rapid COVID-19 drive-through testing sites into Massachusetts. On April 7, CVS Health announced the launch of a new rapid testing site in Lowell, Massachusetts in conjunction with federal and state officials.

CVS Health announces actions to support health care providers and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 6, CVS Health announced several steps to support Aetna-contracted health providers and their patients in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CVS Health to provide ‘pop up’ pharmacy support for temporary COVID-19 medical monitoring facility at New Orleans Convention Center. On April 6, in coordination with local and state health officials, CVS Health announced  the establishment a temporary CVS Pharmacy to support the medical monitoring facility inside the New Orleans Convention Center.

CVS Health announces opening of rapid COVID-19 drive-through testing sites in Georgia and Rhode Island. On April 6, CVS Health announced it is joining forces with federal and state officials to announce the opening of rapid COVID-19 drive-through testing sites in Georgia and Rhode Island.

Medication access

The CDC encourages people to stay at home as much as possible. CVS Health provides convenient options to avoid visiting the pharmacy for refills or new prescriptions.

Read more about how CVS Health is working to ensure medication access for patients.

Questions about COVID-19

CVS Health’s top medical professionals explain what you need to know about Coronavirus in this brief video.

What plans does CVS Health have regarding potential pharmaceutical supply shortages? 
We are closely monitoring the global manufacturing environment. At this time, we do not see any disruptions to the supply chain, as a result of COVID-19, that will affect our ability to fill prescriptions.

What is COVID-19?
The CDC and WHO are actively monitoring the outbreak of a new coronavirus strain called COVID-19, which causes respiratory illness. As of March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization has declared the situation a pandemic.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death. People with heart and lung disease or weakened immune systems, as well as infants and older adults, are at higher risk for upper and lower respiratory tract illness.

How is COVID-19 spread?
Human coronaviruses are usually spread from an infected person to others through the air by coughing and sneezing and through close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands.

If you are presenting COVID-19 symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Photo of someone washing their hands.

    Insurance coverage

    Effective March 6, 2020, a number of COVID-19 resources are available toAetna members, including:

    • Waived co-pays for all diagnostic testing related to COVID-19 for Commercial, Medicare and Medicaid members

    • For the next 90 days, until June 4, 2020, Aetna will offer zero co-pay telemedicine visits – for any reason.

    Read more about additional resources and more information available to Aetna members.

    Community support

    Aetna Resources For Living (RFL) is offering support and resources to individuals and organizations who have been impacted by COVID-19. Through this liberalization, those in need of support can access RFL services whether or not it is part of their benefits.

    • Individuals and organizations who don’t have RFL can contact RFL at 1-833-327-AETNA (1-833-327-2386)

    • Members and Plan Sponsors who do have RFL should call their designated RFL number available in program materials

    Support to individuals and organizations that don’t have RFL includes:

    • In-the-moment phone support to help callers cope with the emotional impact of the event

    • Informational brochures about dealing with a crisis

    • Community resource referrals including local support services in the local area

    • Management consultation to help organizations respond to the needs of their employees, even if they’re not RFL customers

      • Employers may contact our specialized support line at 1-800-243-5240

      • Onsite services are available on a fee-for-service basis for companies to help their employees recover from the impact of these events on the workplace

    Medication access

    On March 9, 2020, CVS Health announced additional COVID-19 resources to increase patient access to medications.

    • Beginning immediately, CVS Pharmacy will waive charges for home delivery of prescription medications, which will help patients avoid visiting their local CVS Pharmacy for refills or new prescriptions.

    • Aetna will offer 90-day maintenance medication prescriptions for insured and Medicare members.

    • CVS Caremark is working with all PBM clients to waive early refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications.

    Read more about how CVS Health is working to ensure medication access for patients.
     

    Product supply

    We are working with our suppliers to meet customer demand for products being sought in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak. This demand may cause temporary shortages for certain products at some store locations and we re-supply those stores as quickly as possible.

    Medication supply

    We are closely monitoring the global manufacturing environment. We do not see any disruptions to the supply chain that will affect our ability to fill prescriptions for plan members, now and into the near future. We always encourage members to refill maintenance medications in a timely manner.

    In addition to CVS Health’s monitoring, the Food and Drug Administration is closely monitoring medications that are made in China or rely solely on active pharmaceutical ingredients from China. The agency also said it has reminded more than 180 manufacturers to notify the FDA of any potential supply chain disruptions.

    MinuteClinic

    During this time when access to routine health care is being disrupted, we continue to be focused on our goal to provide our patients with affordable, high-quality care in a safe environment.

    CVS Health and MinuteClinic are collaborating closely with local health departments related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

    At this time, we are not able to test for the COVID-19 virus inside MinuteClinic.

    Additional steps to protect patients

    In order to support efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, and in line with CDC and State Health Department guidance for infection control and prevention, MinuteClinic is making the following temporary changes to help keep our patients, customers and colleagues safe during this time:

    • We are no longer accepting walk-in patients, all patients must make an appointment on-line on the MinuteClinic website or the CVS Pharmacy app.

    • Patients making an appointment will be pre-screened outside of the clinic to determine if it is the right site of care for their symptoms. If the pre-screen identifies the patient to be at risk for COVID-19 they will receive guidance on how to access care in a different health care setting.

    • Patients with scheduled appointments at their local MinuteClinic, are required to wait in their personal vehicle or outside the store until the MinuteClinic provider texts or calls them in for their scheduled visit.

    People who suspect they may have COVID-19, should consult with their primary care provider or local health department about testing, and follow CDC guidance.

    Health services

    Although we are currently not able to test for COVID-19, MinuteClinic providers continue to be available to support the routine health needs of our patients at all of our locations. Our providers can still evaluate, diagnose and treat common injuries, illnesses and skin conditions, provide vaccines and help manage chronic conditions.

    Video visits

    If someone suspects they may have COVID-19, telemedicine services are an effective option for screening. Telemedicine and Virtual Care services enable patients to talk with a health care provider and have a basic screening to determine their risk for COVID-19, without having to leave home.

    We recommend patients check to see if their health insurance plan offers a telemedicine benefit. If their insurance plan does not offer this benefit, or if they don’t have health insurance, MinuteClinic Video Visits are an affordable cash-pay option and are available in 40 states and Washington, DC.

    Learn more about Video Visits at MinuteClinic.

    At CVS Caremark, our top priority is providing our members timely, safe access to their medications. Towards that end, we are working side-by-side with our pharmacy benefit management clients – employers, health plans, government agencies and other payors – to maintain continuous service throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Steps we have taken

    • We have eased early refill restrictions on 30-day prescription maintenance medications and are reminding members of plan options such as free home delivery of 90-day supplies from CVS Caremark Mail Service Pharmacy.

    • Understanding that it may be harder for members to visit their health care providers during the COVID-19 outbreak, we are extending previously-approved prior authorizations for most medications set to expire before June 30. For example, if a current prior authorization is set to expire on May 15, the expiration date will be extended to August 15. This will not only provide our members peace of mind, but also help to reduce the volume of phone calls and other administrative burdens on physicians’ offices and pharmacies.

    Securing the drug supply chain

    We are committed to filling prescriptions for plan members in a timely way.

    • We continue to closely monitor the global manufacturing environment. At this time, we do not see any disruptions to the supply chain, as a result of COVID-19, that will affect our ability to fill prescriptions.

    • We will continue to use analytics to monitor usage trends so that we can anticipate, and adjust to, future needs well in advance.

    • We are working with clients to implement new measures to balance the burgeoning interest in off-label use of certain medicines to treat COVID-19 pneumonia with the ongoing needs of members who use these drugs for chronic conditions. With client consent, we are setting appropriate limits on the quantity of these medicines — hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, one protease inhibitor and albuterol inhalers — for potential use in treating COVID-19. Members who already take these medicines for approved uses, including treatment of lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV and asthma, will be able to bypass the new quantity limits.

    Ensuring business as usual

    We are minimizing the number of people in our CVS Caremark Mail Service Pharmacy and CVS Specialty pharmacy locations to enable greater social distancing in an effort to keep them safe.

    • We are encouraging colleagues whose roles enable virtual work to work from home, while making changes in scheduling and infrastructure to support social distancing for colleagues whose roles require them to work on-site.

    • We are working with government agencies and regulatory bodies to make it possible for our pharmacists to work remotely.

    At CVS Caremark, we will continue to provide the best possible service to help ensure that our members have timely, safe access to their medications

    CVS Health’s commitment to employees

    To help reduce the risk of exposure, we have eliminated non-essential business travel and large group meetings, transitioned many office-based employees to remote work, and taken steps to help protect the health of employees who continue to carry out important work on site at our facilities. We are committed to supporting our employees who may be required to undergo quarantine related to the virus.

    Looking ahead

    Through the work of the CVS Health Enterprise Response & Resiliency Team and Infectious Disease Response Team, we will continue to actively monitor the situation both at home and overseas for coronavirus-related risks. If you have additional questions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide valuable information.

    cvs heart

    “During this difficult time, we will continue to do everything we can to make caring for your health and wellbeing convenient and stress-free.”

    Troy Brennan, M.D., MPH, CVS Health Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer