Features, Health and Safety, New York

MagnaCare Reaches Out to Labor During Coronavirus Crisis

April 16, 2020

By Silver Krieger

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part Q&A with MagnaCare President of Labor and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Michelle Zettergren where she talks about the company and how it is responding to clients and business partners during the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis. 

MagnaCare’s Michelle Zettergren.

LP: Can you talk about MagnaCare and what the company does?

MZ: We are a health plan enablement organization. What that means is that we enable self-funded employers and health Funds to administer health benefits for their members. We provide full administrative services. We offer a competitive proprietary provider network in the tri-state market and we provide medical management services and workers’ compensation through our casualty network and products.

LP: How is MagnaCare communicating with its clients and business partners?

MZ: We are sending out email communications to our clients on a weekly basis, sometimes even a few times a week. We have updated all our webpages so they have links to the COVID-19 communications. We include on the website all the information we sent via email. We make this information available so all our clients and business partners can send it to their members. 

Beyond constant communication, information, and working with them to quickly implement cost-saving measures – we happened to have a limited supply of hand sanitizers available at our office which we arranged to send to clients with members working on the front lines during this crisis. That donation was greatly appreciated. If I could’ve gotten more, I would have, but we donated everything we had on hand. It’s a small thing, but it’s important. We have folks in the grocery stores, Teamsters who are doing deliveries, healthcare workers who are providing care, these are members on the front lines providing needed services for everyone.

LP: What types of topics are you covering?

MZ: Topics such as information on prevention and containment of the coronavirus, COVID-19 testing, and some of the changing hospital and health care policies that would be affecting Funds’ members. Examples are cancellation of elective surgeries, where to go for COVID-19 testing, and how to access virtual care from providers. We developed information anticipating calls our Labor Funds would be receiving from their membership. Things are changing on a daily basis. We are also communicating state and federal regulations and guidelines that have been developed that may have an impact on clients’ benefit plans. We’ve gotten very positive feedback on our communications – that they are clear, relevant, and very helpful. I’m very proud of our team – they are doing a great job getting this information out. 

LP: What are clients calling about? What are their issues?

MZ: A lot of questions revolve around new mandatory and voluntary regulations issued by the state during this crisis, and what it means for their health plans. Since our clients are self-funded, the voluntary changes need to be contemplated as to whether a Fund wants to enact them, and if so, there is a process that needs to be followed including Trustee approval, and integration with stop loss if applicable. Another area that’s evolving is how and where care is now delivered. For example, States have been coordinating the set-up of new field hospitals across the tri-state such as the one in Central Park or the USNS Comfort hospital ship. Providers have also moved pretty much overnight to virtual or tele-health for routine and non-emergency care. How these services will be accessed and billed are examples of areas that are developing daily. For many of our clients, their contracts were silent on how to cover these kinds of services, so we’ve been working really closely with our groups guiding them on how they want to add coverage to their plans and how to share information to their members on how to access these services. 

Look for Part Two of LaborPress’ Q&A with MagnaCare’s Michelle Zettergren tomorrow. 

For more information about MagnaCare visit https://www.magnacare.com/who-we-serve/taft-hartley-funds/

April 16, 2020

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