Aetna International said it will extend the access to its virtual healthcare services, vHealth, for a period of 90 days to ensure that all its UAE members have continuous access to professional medical advice and healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement comes at a time when governments and healthcare authorities across the globe are recommending social distancing in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.
Launched in 2018 for Aetna International members and in line with the Dubai Health Authority’s vision of ‘Doctor for Every Citizen’, vHealth offers members confidential medical consultations with experienced doctors over the ‘phone, without having to travel to a clinic or hospital. Members can speak to a doctor about any aspect of their health.
With the extension of virtual health services, now all members in the UAE will benefit from confidential medical advice over the ‘phone.
“The health, safety and well-being of Aetna International members is paramount. We know that many people will be concerned about visiting a doctor or hospital waiting room during this period, so we are giving all our members access to vHealth for any health condition,” said Aetna International president Richard di Benedetto.
Additionally, any Aetna International member who undergoes diagnostic testing for COVID-19, as referred by a physician in an approved medical facility, will be reimbursed in full for the cost of the test and consultation. Members can apply for reimbursement following the standard claims process and will be able to make one claim per calendar month related to diagnostic testing for COVID-19. Members should continue to follow the guidance issued by the DHA and contact their local health care provider or a vHealth provider if they have any concerns.
Aetna International has also confirmed that existing health benefits are not affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Any medical advice and subsequent treatment will be covered by Aetna International, as it would any other eligible medical condition, in accordance with a member’s plan.
Commenting on diagnostic testing for COVID-19, Mr di Benedetto said, “We recognise that each government or health authority may have slightly different advice regarding diagnostic testing, so members are advised to follow the guidance issued by their local health authority and to contact their local healthcare or vHealth provider if they have any concerns.”