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COVID-19 General Guidance Updates 

Last updated: September 28, 2020

The health of our members and the safety of those who deliver care are our top priorities. Optum is taking action and providing resources to support our members and providers during this challenging time. We are working to help people access health care to the fullest extent possible as we come together to address this national emergency. We’re adopting measures that will reduce administrative burden for physicians and facilities, helping members more easily access the care they need under their benefit plan, and adjusting programs and services, as needed, to protect members and help limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus in communities.

Providers are encouraged to confirm member benefits and coverage provided by their health plan at the time of service due to the rapidly changing situation.

  • Optum will review claims that may be impacted by cost-sharing waivers and reprocess them automatically. The provider will not need to request a claim adjustment or appeal.
  • Due to the rapidly changing environment around patient cost-sharing waivers, providers may want to allow their claim to be fully processed before collecting any patient cost-sharing responsibility.

CARES Act Relief Funds

On March 27, 2020, the President signed the bipartisan CARES Act that provides $100 billion in relief funds to hospitals and other healthcare providers on the front lines of the coronavirus response. This funding will be used to support healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19 and to ensure uninsured Americans can get testing and treatment for COVID-19.  Because payment amounts and eligibility are determined in accordance with the CARES Act, please visit: for additional information or any questions you may have.

Timely Filing Waiver (UnitedHealthcare Membership) - The following provisions apply unless superseded by State, Federal, or Medicaid mandates

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, Optum is extending the timely filing requirement for members covered through UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and commercial plans.

Commercial Membership

  • UnitedHealthcare is following the IRS/DOL regulation related to the national emergency declared by the President. This regulation pauses the timely filing requirements time clock for claims that would have exceeded the filing limitation during the national emergency period that began on March 1, 2020.*
  • Timely filing requirements have been extended an additional 60 days following the last day of the national emergency period.* This regulatory guidance has been issued by the IRS and the U.S. Department of Labor (Employee Benefits Security Administration).

*The national emergency, as declared by President Trump, is distinct from the national public health emergency declared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Medicare Advantage and Medicaid Membership

  • Claims with a 2020 service date submitted on or after January 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020 will not be denied for failure to meet timely filing deadlines.
  • As of July 1, 2020, UnitedHealthcare is following standard timely filing requirements

We’re listening.

We are monitoring the inquires we’re receiving on an ongoing basis and working hard to answer your questions. We will be making frequent updates to this page. Please be sure to check back often for the latest information. 


The benefits described within this website describe federal requirements and Optum and UnitedHealthcare national policy. Additional benefits may be available in some states and under some plans.