To ensure costs don’t deter members from seeking testing, diagnosis and treatment for COVID-19, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield will waive out-of-pocket costs for its fully insured employer groups, individual market qualified health plans and Medicare Advantage members for the next 60 days.
The waiver includes testing or treatment at a hospital.
“We want people to get the medical care they need to fight this insidious virus,” Christopher C. Booth, president and chief executive officer of Excellus BCBS, said in a news release. “These are our neighbors and friends who are sick and hurting. This is why Excellus BCBS is here.”
Excellus BCBS said it also will work with self-funded customers who want to implement a similar approach, so that these members’ needs can also be met.
Waiver of out-of-pocket costs is the latest step taken by Excellus BCBS in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Other steps include:
» Waived copays for medically necessary office, urgent care, emergency room visits and lab tests related to COVID-19, both in- and out-of-network;
» Expanded telehealth services to all members;
» Waived all member cost-share responsibility for telehealth services, regardless of the nature of the medical issue;
» Chose not to pass along to patients the impact of an $8 million reduction (1 percent) in New York State Medicaid payments for medical services;
» Suspended reviews of surgeries or admissions at hospitals, and pre-authorization inpatient rehabilitation admissions, home care services and skilled nursing facility admissions following a hospital stay;
» Provided a 24/7 Nurse Line where members can contact an Excellus BCBS registered nurse by phone anytime.
» Will be helping members navigate health insurance options, such as the Essential Plan, Medicaid, Child Health Plus, COBRA and Medicare products, for those facing unemployment.