LifeWise Health Plan to waive costs related to COVID-19 treatment

Submitted by Premera Blue Cross

Premera Blue Cross, a leading health plan in the Pacific Northwest, today announced it is waiving consumer cost shares and deductibles for treatment related to COVID-19 for all fully insured, Medicare and individual market customers through Oct. 1.

Premera and LifeWise Health Plan of Washington customers will pay nothing out of pocket for treatment of COVID-19 or health complications associated with COVID-19, including in-patient and out-patient hospital admissions, urgent care and emergency room visits, medical transport when needed, and FDA-approved in-patient medications for both in and out of network providers. The company previously announced that it would waive cost shares for COVID-19 testing.

LifeWise Health Plan is the only insurance available from the health care exchange for individuals in San Juan County as of Jan. 1, 2020.

For group and individual customers, this includes any claims received since Jan. 1, related to COVID-19, which will be reprocessed to waive all cost shares and deductibles. For Medicare customers, claims received since Feb. 4, related to COVID-19, will be reprocessed to waive all cost shares and deductibles.

“We are deeply committed to our customers and communities in the Washington state and Alaska markets, and to protecting and supporting our customers and provider partners in the midst of this pandemic,” said Jeff Roe, CEO and President, Premera Blue Cross.

All Premera fully insured, Medicare and individual market customers are eligible under this policy. Premera will work with self-funded customers who want to implement a similar approach. Customers should check their benefit plans first.

This is the latest step Premera has taken to continue supporting its customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous actions include the following:

  • Waiving cost shares and deductibles for COVID-19 testing and related office visits and suspending prior authorization requirements on COVID-19 testing and treatment.
  • Increasing access to prescription medications by waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications as well as encouraging customers to access their 90-day mail order benefit.
  • Waiving all telehealth cost shares and deductibles for virtual health services from both virtual vendors and brick-and-mortar providers offering telehealth services, as well as rapidly expanding its telehealth offerings with 98point6 and Doctor on Demand to meet the increased demand for at-home virtual visits, at little to no cost.
  • Contributing $500,000 to community foundations and nonprofit organizations across Washington and Alaska to support our communities’ vulnerable populations, through Premera Social Impact, the corporate social giving arm of the company The group is also actively working with existing nonprofit partners to meet short- and long-term needs in response to COVID-19.

Learn more about Premera’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak for our customers.