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Understanding insurance, pharmacy implications of the coronavirus

Posted at 6:36 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 19:38:11-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — With coronavirus concerns growing, it is important to know what your insurance may cover or not cover so you don't break the bank while determining what your best course action is to prevent the virus.

Edwin Garcia, an insurance broker in Omaha who specializes in healthcare policies, said most insurance companies are now covering coronavirus testing including co-insurance costs.

"Anything that has to do with the testing," Garcia said. "They want to get the right diagnosis from you."

However, Garcia said to not expect any and all medications to be covered during this pandemic.

"It's not something where they will provide you extra stuff if you're worried," Garcia said.

"Make sure you have an adequate supply, at least a two week supply, of your medication. If you don't, contact your pharmacy for your supply," said Marty Feltner, a pharmacist at Kohll's RX in Omaha.

He said face masks and hand sanitizer are still in high demand, but they're starting to receive calls from customers worried about medication shortages.

"We're starting to now get phone calls of people asking if they have enough medication for the next week or two," Feltner said.

Currently pharmacists can refill up to 90 days worth of medicine for certain medications. If people are in need of medication and insurance is causing issues, Feltner said there are ways around the problem.

"If the insurance denies the claim, we can always call the insurance company and get an override for that patient," Feltner said.

Feltner also said if a customer requires prescription medication, they should work with their local pharmacist to make sure they have valid refills.

"We will help that patient get an adequate supply of their medication just to prevent any disruption in their supply because the main thing is we want to treat their disease state," Feltner said.

3 News Now reached out to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska They told us they are offering diagnostic testing for the virus at no cost, offering free telehealth for members and are working with area pharmacists to make sure members can get proper amounts of medication.

Watch reporter Phil Bergman's story in the above video.