Local Health Insurers to Cover Coronavirus Costs

BlueCross BlueShield, Independent Health and Univera announce changes

WBEN Newsroom
April 03, 2020 - 2:59 pm

BUFFALO (WBEN) - A vast majority of Western New Yorkers with private health insurance will be relieved to know that BlueCross BlueShield, Independent Health and Univera are waiving out-of-pocket costs associated with COVID-19 testing and treatment.

For BlueCross BlueShield, this includes the nearly 500,000 Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and fully insured Commercial members effective April 1 through May 31, 2020.

"We will cover any charges that any of our members receive for diagnostics and treatment for anything related to COVID-19," said BlueCross BlueShield President and CEO David W. Anderson. "Those charges will be paid 100% for any related charges to the pandemic."

Listen to Anderson's full comments below:

"We're in unprecedented times, so that means we need to take unprecedented action in order to deal with this, and that's what this is intended to do," said Anderson. "It will relieve the financial burden of any out-of-pocket cost for our members for any charges related to COVID-19."

Richard Argentieri of Independent Health says they've already taken other measures during the pandemic.

"Independent Health has previously announced that we were covering tele-health and tele-medicine services earlier this month regardless of whether they were COVID-19 related," said Argentieri. "It's kind of encouraged social distancing and help reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.

"We feel, by removing the consideration of cost share for our members, they can focus on getting the treatment and care that they need without the economic worry during this time."

Listen to Argentieri's full comments below:

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