Thursday, April 18, 2024

Optima Health relaxes treatment payments for coronavirus

(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unspalsh)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unspalsh)

As more people are getting tested for the coronavirus (COVID-19), Optima Health is making the treatment more affordable for members.

Optima Health announced it would waive member cost-sharing for the treatment of the coronavirus. From April 1 to June 7, Optima Healthcare will provide this waiver for its fully-insured, Commercial, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid plans.

The goal in expanding the benefit is to allow members greater affordability and reliable care during this pandemic, according to a news release from Optima.

“We continue to remove barriers to healthcare for members during this pandemic; no one should have to choose between receiving care for COVID-19 and their financial well-being,” said Dennis Matheis, president of Optima Health Plan and executive vice president of Sentara Healthcare, in a news release.

The new waiver comes in addition to Optima’s previous announcement to waive member cost-sharing for virus testing, visits related to testing and telehealth visits.

Optima Health will provide the following services at no cost to members:

  • Coronavirus treatment
  • Coronavirus diagnostic testing and testing-related visits
  • All telehealth visits
  • Phone visits for participating and in-network health care providers

Optima Health also recently relaxed its pharmacy benefits so members could have better access to prescriptions. Optima has changed the following benefits:

  • Members can now fill prescriptions earlier than normal without penalty.
  • Members can now contact their provider to evaluate and replace 30-day supplies of medications with 90-day supplies.
  • Members should consider, depending on their plan, home delivery options for prescriptions to comply with social distancing guidelines.

“We encourage everyone to diligently follow the recommended steps to stay healthy and send a special thank you to all health care providers who are on the front lines of our fight against this virus,” Matheis said.

There is also now a new web-based, interactive questionnaire that Optima is using to screen patients. The questionnaire helps people decide if they should seek medical attention based on their risk of exposure for the coronavirus. Patients can access the tool online.

For more information, visit Optima Health online.

As of Sunday, James City County has 117 cases, Newport News has 51, Hampton has 40, York County has 20, Williamsburg has 12 and Poquoson has 3, according to the Virginia Department of Health’s website.

There are 2,637 positive cases and 51 deaths statewide. At least eight people from the Peninsula Health District and one person from the Hampton Heath District have died from the coronavirus.

The Peninsula Health District covers Newport News, Poquoson, Williamsburg, James City County and York County. The Hampton Health District covers Hampton.



Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at

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