Kaiser Permanente extends COVID-19 cost waiver through Dec. 31, 2020

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Valley News - Health

PASADENA – Kaiser Permanente announced that it will extend its waiver for most member out-of-pocket costs for inpatient and outpatient services related to the treatment of COVID-19 through Dec. 31. This waiver, put into effect April 1 and originally set to expire May 31, is intended to alleviate the cost burden and stress on impacted members of paying for care, allowing them to focus on recovery.

“Kaiser Permanente understands the financial impact that COVID-19 has had on our members and the communities we serve and is committed to ensuring they have access to the care they need during this time of crisis,” Greg Adams, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, said. “This move aims to alleviate any stress about paying for care, as well as any hesitancy to seek needed care. The path forward through this pandemic must include identifying, treating and tracing as many cases of COVID-19 as possible as we work to suppress this virus.”

Kaiser Permanente’s elimination of member out-of-pocket costs applies to all fully insured benefit plans, in all markets, unless prohibited or modified by law or regulation. It will apply for all dates of service from April 1 through Dec. 31, unless superseded by government action or extended by Kaiser Permanente. This waiver does not automatically apply to self-funded customers who directly administer health benefits to their employees. Kaiser Permanente has encouraged self-funded customers to adopt this change.

Kaiser Permanente suspended all terminations for non-payment of premium or out of pocket expenses from March 15 through May 31. In May, Kaiser Permanente further extended terminations for non-payment through June 30 for Kaiser Permanente individuals and family and small group members.

This waiver does not automatically apply to self-funded customers who directly administer health benefits to their employees, and non-urgent or emergent out-of-network claims for tiered benefit product customers.

Submitted by Kaiser Permanente.