Brand New Day, a Medicare Advantage prescription health plan available in 12 California counties, announced its new COVID-19 relief program that goes above and beyond the full compliance measures outlined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.  

Phase I:

· Making telephonic welfare check-ups on members with special attention to those at highest risk

· Making sure members have a safe home environment

· Ensuring that members have sufficient food and medications

· Contacting members to discuss the importance of prevention, understanding the symptoms and referring them to reliable community resources  

· Offering access to healthcare providers via Telehealth and Teladoc

· Delivering food to qualifying members’ homes 

· Addressing fears and loneliness

· Keeping members socially involved through its Wider Circle program

Phase II:

· Virtual group platforms —  These senior-friendly platforms, which can be accessed by phone or computer, allow members to share information, updates and resources, etc. with one another and are led by culturally sensitive, trained facilitators.

· Emergency Phone Tree — These neighborhood phone trees help send emergency information to members in a timely fashion.  

· Buddy Checks — These peer-to-peer calls allow neighbors to check on each other and report any issues to their local facilitator. Beyond important socializing, buddy checks give members a sense of purpose and help counter feelings of helplessness and anxiety.

“We have 80 staff members, many nurses, making welfare calls to our members,” said Jay B. Davis, Executive Vice President of Brand New Day, which is headquartered in Garden Grove, Calif.  “We believe we have an obligation to support our members the best we can in these turbulent times. 

“We started with our riskiest members, like those on dialysis, COPD and other pulmonary issues, server cardiac conditions, poorly controlled diabetes, undergoing cancer treatment and other high risk conditions,” explained Davis, who said that the company will soon post a list of COVID-19 testing sites on its website (BNDHMO.com) to help members and providers find testing sites.  “We are working from there to reach as many of our nearly 50,000 members as possible with the goal to effectively support as many as we can.”

Brand New Day also offers tablets to members who are living in nursing homes and some assisted living homes so they can communicate with family, friends and doctors.  In addition, the company’s staff are on hand to answer questions, make appointments, arrange for transportation to and from their doctor’s office, etc.   Brand New Day is also distributing packages of hand sanitizer, soap, thermometers, cough syrup and other essentials to members in need. 

Brand New Day offers the following mandated benefits in addition to its other COVID-19 related support:

· $0 copay for Telehealth visits

· $0 cost for necessary COVID-19 testing

· Waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications and encouraging members to use their 90-day mail-order benefit

Brand New Day offers a number of specialty plans in addition to its standard Medicare plan.  They include: 

·      Embrace Plan  — for members with heart disease, and/or diabetes

·      Bridges Plan —  for members with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients

·      SelectCare Plan —  for members who reside in long-term care (nursing homes) facilities

·      Harmony Plan — for members with mental illness including major depression, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder and paranoid disorder

The plans cover transportation to and from medical appointments; vision, and dental; 24-hour/day nurse and physician line; and health nurses and life coaches.

Brand New Day is the Medicare product name of Universal Care, Inc., a privately held California Knox-Keene Healthcare Service Plan licensed by the California Department of Managed Health Care and contracted with the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services as a Medicare Advantage contractor.  Universal Care, Inc. is owned and operated by an experienced group of managed care executives and physicians. Universal Care, Inc. was founded in 1983. For more information, visit BNDHMO.com or call (866) 255-4795.