Minnesota’s health plans have agreed to waive costs for treatment of COVID-19.

Minnesota’s health plans have agreed to waive costs for treatment of COVID-19. Minnesotans with commercial insurance—including individuals, small businesses, and some large businesses—are now eligible for the following benefits:

  • Minnesotans will have no cost-sharing charges for COVID testing.
  • Minnesotans who are hospitalized will have no cost-sharing charges for in-network hospitalization.
  • Minnesotans will have expanded access to telemedicine services. This will help people stay home and access care if they need it.

Health plans that have committed to this framework:

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
  • HealthPartners
  • Hennepin Health
  • Medica
  • PreferredOne
  • UCare
  • Humana
  • Aetna

Below are statements from several of the health care companies.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota:

“Blue Cross wants our members to know we’re here to support them through this pandemic,” said Dr. Craig Samitt, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. “We want to remove barriers to health care and offer peace of mind during this uncertain time. Blue Cross is here to help. We’ll continue to support our members and our communities throughout the duration of this crisis.”

The cost waiver for COVID-19 related care is the latest commitment made by Blue Cross to help slow the spread of the coronavirus and ensure clarity and predictability of coverage for our members. Previously announced coverage changes include:

  • Waiving any copay, coinsurance or deductible costs for COVID-19 tests and related office visits
  • Increasing access to prescription medications by waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications and/or encouraging members to use 90-day mail order benefit
  • Pausing all prior authorization requirements for any care in the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
  • Encouraging the use of virtual care to help members maintain social distancing standards and minimize risk of exposure
    • Waiving costs for Doctor On Demand for members whose benefits include coverage of Doctor on Demand services, through June 14, 2020
    • Increasing the types of technology that providers can use remotely, including FaceTime and Skype
    • Expanding the types of services that can be provided via telehealth channels, including behavioral health; physical, occupational and speech therapies; and medication management

More information that can be found here.

PreferredOne:

As part of PreferredOne’s ongoing commitment to the health and well-being of Minnesotans, PreferredOne will now waive cost-sharing for in-network COVID-19 hospitalization for fully-insured employer and individual plan members effective March 1st through May 31st, 2020.

“PreferredOne members can be assured that they will have the coverage they need for COVID-19 testing and care during this public health crisis,” said David Crosby, President and CEO of PreferredOne. “We thank all Minnesotans for their efforts to slow the spread of this virus throughout our state.”
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Medica:

“Medica is waiving cost-sharing for certain COVID-19 services, including testing (as previously announced) and services to treat people with COVID-19. This change is the right thing to do for our members. We are working to operationalize the benefits and will soon provide more information about it to them as well as to providers and others.”
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HealthPartners:

“HealthPartners has joined with other Minnesota nonprofit health plans in voluntarily waiving member cost-sharing for testing and treatment related to COVID-19. Protecting the health and well-being of Minnesotans is a priority shared by all, and we are committed to making sure that cost is not a barrier to receiving prompt and appropriate care. We are closely monitoring the rapid changes in testing and treatments and are providing regular updates to our patients, members and employees.”
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UCare:

“This show of unity demonstrates Minnesota’s strong collaboration to protect our community. UCare’s mission has always been to ensure access to care for our members. During COVID-19, it is even more critical to remove financial barriers that may cause someone to think twice about seeking care. While many Minnesotans are losing income, we are committed to do what we can to support our members’ health through these difficult times. Members will have no costs for doctor-ordered COVID-19 tests and associated clinic, urgent care and emergency room visits. If our members are hospitalized for COVID-19, we will cover their costs through May 31, 2020, at which time we will reevaluate the situation.”
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