UPMC Health Plan
Pittsburgh (August 21, 2020) – As families grapple with the challenges of preparing their children for the new school year—whether remote or in school—UPMC Health Plan is providing parents with increased flexibility to meet the physical and emotional health care needs of their children.
New Access for In-Network Virtual Well-Visits
An annual rite of passage in preparing for the new school year is ensuring that children have completed medical and dental visits, and that they are current on their immunizations. While concerns about COVID-19 are understandable, the continuation of well-visits is essential to protect children’s health by enabling pediatricians to identify any physical, behavioral, developmental or dental concerns early and ensure that these issues are addressed.
UPMC Health Plan encourages parents to resume routine well-visits for their children’s’ annual physicals and checkups, and is working with the pediatricians in its network to ensure that they are prepared to provide well-visits during the pandemic in three ways: i) in-person visits, ii) virtual well-visits, and iii) split visits, with the first visit being a virtual well-visit and the second visit being an in-person visit, primarily for flu shots and immunizations. By providing this flexibility, UPMC Health Plan is ensuring that children are receiving continued care with their existing providers.
UPMC Health Plan encourages members to reach out to their providers to discuss the availability of virtual well-visits at each site. For individuals enrolled in UPMC Health Plan’s fully-insured commercial group coverage, UPMC for Kids, UPMC for You, and individual ACA Marketplace plans, virtual pediatric well-visits are being offered through December 31, 2020. Well-visits are always no cost for individuals enrolled in UPMC Health Plan’s fully-insured commercial group coverage, UPMC for Kids, UPMC for You, and individual ACA Marketplace plans.
UPMC Children’s AnywhereCare for Acute Sick Visits
When kids do become ill, parents who are uncomfortable with in-person sick visits are still able to use telehealth services, like UPMC AnywhereCare, for children of all ages. With UPMC Children’s AnywhereCare, children ages 0-17 can have Virtual Urgent Care visits 24/7 from the comfort of their own home with UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh providers over live video. Providers can screen children who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and provide treatment for non-COVID related conditions commonly treated by a pediatrician or urgent care provider. Following each Children’s AnywhereCare visit, health care professionals are able to send prescriptions directly to the pharmacy so that treatment can begin immediately.
As a demonstration of its commitment to remove financial barriers that could decrease the chances of parents utilizing health care resources, UPMC Health Plan is waiving copays, deductibles and cost-sharing for pediatric in-network telehealth services, including through UPMC Children’s AnywhereCare, and behavioral health services via telephonic counseling, and virtual counseling through September 30, 2020. These waivers apply to individuals enrolled in UPMC Health Plan’s fully-insured commercial group coverage, UPMC for You, UPMC for Kids, individual ACA Marketplace plans, and through self-insured employer group plans that opt into this coverage.
Pediatric and Adolescent Behavioral Health
While many steps are being taken to protect people’s physical health during the COVID-19 pandemic, UPMC Health Plan is applying the same rigor in preparing parents to avoid behavioral health challenges for their children as the UPMC system did in helping parents avoid physical health challenges. UPMC Health Plan is providing support to parents as they build resilience within their children to cope with the stresses of the pandemic. Teaching children the cognitive behavioral techniques that they need to excel will enhance their strength to overcome common psychological responses youth have, including stress reactions (insomnia, anxiety, fear), health risk behaviors (increased use of alcohol), reduced functioning (social isolation, reduced academic performance) and increased risk of mental health conditions (depression and anxiety).
UPMC Health Plan and its network of behavioral health providers are able to meet the unique emotional and behavioral health needs of children and adolescents wherever they are, and whenever they need us. Just as with physical health, we provide access to behavioral health counseling and support with no copays, deductibles and cost-sharing through telephonic counseling, and virtual counseling visits. As our society reopens, social distancing will remain a part of our lives for some time. Access to virtual behavioral health care options—prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up—will be increasingly important, particularly for children and adolescents.
Community Care, the behavioral health managed care organization of UPMC Health Plan, also provides links to resources for parents seeking novel ways to attend to their children’s emotional health as schools adopt remote learning in the new school year. The links are available at https://members.ccbh.com/covid-19-information/for-families.
The UPMC Healthy Families program is a family‐centered health coaching program designed to empower parents/guardians to shape the health of their families through healthy habits and skills. Parents/guardians can choose from 3 flexible coaching options to meet the needs of their families including single session coaching, a flexible multi-session tailored program, or a 9-week coaching program focusing on habits and skills for the family. The Healthy Families Coaching Program is available for families enrolled in UPMC Health Plan’s fully-insured commercial group coverage, UPMC for Kids, UPMC for You, and individual ACA Marketplace plans.
About UPMC Insurance Services
Serving more than 3.9 million members, UPMC Insurance Services is owned and operated by UPMC, a world-renowned health care provider and insurer based in Pittsburgh, Pa. UPMC Insurance Services includes commercial products from UPMC Health Plan for groups as well as individuals. Commercial products also include workers' compensation and employee assistance from nationally known Workpartners. Government products include Medicare Advantage (UPMC for Life); special needs plans for those eligible for Medicare and Medical Assistance (UPMC for Life CompleteCare and UPMC Community HealthChoices); Medical Assistance (UPMC for You); and Children's Health Insurance Program (UPMC for Kids). Community Care Behavioral Health, one of the nation's largest managed care behavioral health organizations, offers a full range of services to Commercial and Medical Assistance members. For more information, visit www.upmchealthplan.com.