Return-to-office policies: Where 5 payers stand

Payers are adjusting their approaches to in-person work amid delta variant surges and recent COVID-19 vaccination approvals. 

Here's how five payers are handling returning to the office:

CVS Health, the parent company of Aetna, has issued widespread COVID-19 vaccination requirements for employees who interact with patients or fellow office workers.

Roles that require vaccination include office workers, pharmacists, nurses and care managers, and deadlines for vaccination range from Oct. 31 to Nov. 30 based on position. Requirements for other positions are still under deliberation. 

While Centene delayed its broad return to in-person work to Oct. 18, it has issued vaccination and transmission mitigation regulations for employees. 

The insurer is requiring new employees be vaccinated, effective Oct. 1. Employees who are not vaccinated must wear masks and present a negative COVID-19 test each week. 

Remote Cigna employees must be vaccinated before entering a worksite as of Sept. 7. Beginning Oct. 18, those who can only work onsite must either be vaccinatied or receive two negative COVID-19 tests per week.

Ninety percent of Cigna's employees shifted to remote work during the pandemic, and while in-person opportunities will be available throughout the fall, those who have been working remotely will continue to have the option to do so.

Humana is requiring employees working with co-workers, members or patients in person to get vaccinated. In an Aug. 19 announcement to staff, employees have 60 days to get vaccinated after FDA approval of the first vaccine, which happened Aug. 23.

The insurer also delayed a broad shift to in-person work until Oct. 18.

The nation's largest private insurer has postponed plans to officially bring employees back into workplaces, according to a UnitedHealthcare spokesperson. 

Currently, employees have the option to either work remotely or in person. For those returning to the office, safety protocols from earlier in the pandemic are still in place.

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