MADISON, Wis.—March 13, 2020—WPS Health Solutions continues to monitor the rapidly evolving situation with novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The safety of our employees, customers, agents, and vendors, and the continuity of client services remain our top priorities.
Due to the rising threat of COVID-19, WPS is increasing its response level to help to protect its workforce and the ability to maintain business operations.
“WPS employees play a critical role in the U.S. health care system. We know that this system is going to be stressed. Therefore, our role will be essential in keeping the claims and payments flowing through the health care networks. We need our employees to stay healthy to help the U.S. respond to this pandemic.”Mike Hamerlik, President and CEO, WPS Health Solutions
This week, WPS implemented a “social distancing” strategy to minimize the risk of illness. Employees who have the ability and necessary equipment to work remotely have begun working from home until the situation improves. The company is deploying additional equipment so more employees can work from home. At present, more than 50% of the nearly 4,000 employees are at home working with a goal to get to near 80% in the next few days.
At this time, WPS does not anticipate closing any offices. Enhanced cleaning efforts have been underway to clean and disinfect common areas in WPS facilities and social distancing is being used to maintain facility wellness.
“Our actions will create a safer environment through social distancing for those employees who cannot yet or will not be able to work from home due to job duties. Our response at work, at home, and in our communities is essential to protect the health of our most vulnerable populations, so we have asked employees to exercise social distancing in their personal activities as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Hamerlik said.
WPS has a crisis response team meeting daily to assess developments and implement additional steps to keep operations running smoothly while also striving to maintain a healthy workforce.
WPS is updating employees about the company’s response plans through emails and its intranet site. For the last several weeks, WPS has been educating employees about the virus and encouraging them to take preventive measures, such as proper handwashing techniques.
“Thanks to our proactive measures over the past couple of weeks, we believe we are well-positioned to maintain normal operations while keeping our employees safe,” Hamerlik said.
WPS Health Insurance and Arise Health Plan will waive prior authorization requirements, and cover with no out-of-pocket cost, COVID-19 diagnostic testing for all fully insured policyholders. For senior customers, Medicare will cover the cost of the test at 100%.