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Blue Cross Blue Shield says it's waiving out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus treatment

Blue Cross Blue Shield says it's waiving out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus treatment

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Virus Outbreak Brazil

Medical personnel check people inside their cars to find out if they have symptoms of COVID-19 in Guarulhos on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil, on March 30. Blue Cross Blue Shield has said it's waiving out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus treatment.

Wyoming’s largest insurance provider says it won’t charge out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus treatments to its members, mirroring a move made by insurers across the state.

“In these uncertain times, we are working to eliminate barriers that cause additional worry for our members,” Blue Cross Blue Shield Wyoming president Diane Gore said in a statement Friday. “At the same time, we want to help our medical providers by taking away some of the administrative requirements they may face as they provide critical care for their patients.”

The move includes waiving “coinsurance, copayments and deductibles for COVID-19 medical treatments” until June 30. It will also waive costs for testing for the respiratory disease and related trips to doctors’ offices, urgent cares and emergency rooms. Thirty-day refill limits on prescriptions, a common barrier placed by insurers, will also be waived, as will cost-sharing for telemedicine services, which have been more common as doctors seek to keep providing services while abiding by social distancing guidelines.

Blue Cross Blue Shield is Wyoming’s largest insurer by a significant margin. The company announced in early March that it would cover testing costs. Cigna, the insurer for state employees here, also announced earlier this week that it would waive out-of-pocket expenses for coronavirus treatments.

Nationally, insurers have been making similar announcements for weeks, as patients across the country complained of massive bills incurred from ER and intensive care unit trips related to the respiratory disease. Anthem Blue Cross said it would waive out-of-pocket costs earlier this week. UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest insurer, made a similar announcement earlier this week.

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Education and Health Reporter

Seth Klamann joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 and covers education and health. A 2015 graduate of the University of Missouri and proud Kansas City native, Seth worked for newspapers in Milwaukee and Omaha before coming to Casper.

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