Date: May 20, 2020
Magazine:
May/June 2020

We are all facing unprecedented challenges and obstacles related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. First and foremost, I want to assure you that Western Growers Assurance Trust (WGAT) is here for you. Regardless of the hurdles this pandemic has created for all of us, WGAT will continue to ride the storm and support the agricultural community as we have throughout our 60 years of service. After all, our WGAT members are not just our clients; they are members and part of the Western Growers family.

As such, WGAT is a business that provides services that are considered essential, so we will continue business operations as normal and support you when you need us. Like many other essential businesses, WGAT has transitioned 80% of its work force to remote work accommodations. Throughout our years in business, we have made significant investments in our technology. Our proprietary and innovative technology has enabled us to make this remote transition seamless and ensure we can continue to provide our members exceptional service.

During this crisis, we have made some changes to your benefits to enhance your access to care. The changes include:

•   Waiving cost sharing requirements for COVID-19 testing and screening and for the associated office visits. Office visits include telehealth, hospital, emergency department, urgent care and provider office visits. WGAT is waiving copays, deductibles, and coinsurance for these services. WGAT will not require prior authorization for medically necessary COVID-19 testing or screening, including a related hospital, office, telehealth, emergency room, or urgent care visit.

•   Waiving all copays regardless of diagnosis for doctor visits exclusively through our telehealth partner Doctor on Demand. This, of course, includes telehealth visits for COVID-19 screening.

•   Expanding telehealth services by making all telemedicine programs “in network.” If the claim pertains to COVID-19 screening, copays and deductibles are waived; if it is any other type of claim, they are subject to copays and deductibles.

•   Suspending prescription fill/refill limitations and refill waiting periods to allow enrollees to order a 90-day supply.

•   Waiving charges for prescription home delivery.

•   Streamlining drug access processes, such as step therapy and prior authorization. WGAT will continue to monitor the situation and will keep you updated on any changes that may occur. Our goal is to ensure all members have access to quality pharmacy benefits.

We’re Available to Answer Your Questions

Our members should expect the same level of excellence from WGAT. Our customer service team is on hand and ready to assist you, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. P.T. at 800.777.7898. If you are unable to call during business hours, our automated system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and offers quick and convenient access to frequently requested information.

For additional communications updates from WGAT, you can visit our COVID-19 resources page here: http://www.wgat.com/covid-19-response. Our resources also include a prepared a document, where you can find all the relevant information regarding the $2.2 trillion economic stimulus package and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). It will take you through recent federal legislative and regulatory changes that can potentially impact your business as well as your employees. Be sure to bookmark our resource page and check back frequently for the latest information.

We’ll continue to actively monitor this pandemic in the coming days and weeks to ensure our team is prepared and ready to support you in any way possible. You can rest assured WGAT remains steadfast and focused on making sure we’re listening to our members and meeting your needs. I’ve never been more proud of the hard work and dedication shown by our team. Please know that we consider it a privilege to be able to serve our members and continue our operations, without interruption, through this trying time. Stay safe, and stay healthy.

In addition to serving as executive vice president of Western Growers Assurance Trust, David Zanze is the president of Pinnacle Claims Management, Inc.

WG Staff Contact

David Zanze
Executive Vice President, WGAT; President, Pinnacle Claims Management, Inc.

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Western Growers members care deeply for the food they grow, the land they sustain, the people they employ, and the community in which they live. 

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