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December 11, 2020

DES MOINES, IA – Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced it will continue to waive the cost share for members undergoing inpatient treatment related to a COVID-19 diagnosis through March 31, 2021. The extension provides Wellmark members with extended relief from copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for inpatient treatment of COVID-19 from an in-network health care provider. The waiver, originally put into place on April 1, was scheduled to expire at the end of 2020.

“From the very beginning of this pandemic, our focus has always been the health and safety of our members, communities we serve, and health care partners,” said Cory Harris, Wellmark’s President and CEO-Elect. “We know this has been a trying year for our members and health care providers, especially as the pandemic persists and cases continue to rise in Iowa and South Dakota. This extension affirms the commitment we made to our members early on — no one should worry or delay getting tested or treated for this virus because they are concerned about how they will pay for it.”

Wellmark will also continue to cover appropriate testing and related services — with no cost share — to establish the diagnosis of COVID-19 as required by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act through the public health emergency, as declared by the federal government.

COVID-19 vaccine coverage

While the federal government intends to pay for the initial COVID-19 vaccination doses for all Americans, Wellmark’s fully insured health plans will pay for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine at no member cost-share, consistent with the CARES Act. Once the federal government stops paying for COVID-19 vaccination doses, Wellmark’s fully-insured health plans will also cover COVID-19 vaccination doses at no member cost share under the Affordable Care Act as an preventive service.

Wellmark’s COVID-19 benefits apply to all Wellmark fully-insured and Medicare supplement members. Wellmark will continue to work with self-funded groups who want to implement or continue offering similar benefits for their members.

Learn more about Wellmark’s response to COVID-19.