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Excellus BCBS waiving COVID-19 costs for members

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.

Christopher Booth, president and CEO of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

Christopher Booth, president and CEO of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

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.

koklobzija@bridgetowermedia.com/(585) 653-4020

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