Coronavirus: Preparing for COVID-19 | Wellmark
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Wellmark waives cost-share for COVID-19 treatment

Updated: April 1, 2020

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced it will waive members' cost-share related to the treatment of COVID-19 (copay, coinsurance and deductible) when seeking care from an in-network provider, effective Feb. 4 through at least June 16, 2020.

"We want to eliminate cost barriers for our members to get care for COVID-19," said Cory Harris, Wellmark's President and Chief Operating Officer. "Additionally, we are making this retroactive to care as soon as COVID-19 medical codes were made available."

This applies to all Wellmark fully-insured and Medicare Supplement members. Wellmark will work with self-funded groups that want to implement similar benefits for their members.

This is in addition to Wellmark's previous announcement related to COVID-19 which included:

  1. Using virtual visits. To avoid the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Wellmark members have access to virtual health care visits for all appropriate medical and behavioral health visits with no member cost-share. For those who don't currently have a health care provider, please use an in-network provider or Doctor on Demand® External Site. Wellmark will allow telephonic visits when audio/visual capabilities are not accessible.
  2. Covering diagnostic tests for COVID-19. Members will have no cost-share for appropriate testing to establish the diagnosis of COVID-19.
  3. Increasing access to prescription medications. Wellmark prescription drug benefit plans allow for early refill. We also will ensure formulary flexibility if there are medication shortages or other access issues. Members will not be liable for any additional charges if they receive a non-formulary medication as a result of a shortage of their current medication.
  4. Supporting our members 24/7. Members also have access to Wellmark's BeWell 24/7SM opens new window () service that connects them to real people who can help with a variety of health-related concerns.
  5. Working with individuals and businesses suffering economic disruption. Wellmark will allow our individual and small business policyholders to request a 60-day grace period when making premium payments for due dates between March 17 and June 30, in order to maintain their coverage. We will work with any mid-size or large groups on a case-by-case basis to determine appropriate payment timeframes.
  6. Reimbursing providers for virtual visits. Wellmark's Iowa and South Dakota network providers will receive the same fee for virtual visits as an in-person visit. These changes apply to all appropriate medical and behavioral health virtual visits with any Wellmark in-network provider.

If you are a Wellmark Medicare Supplement member, please visit Medicare.gov External Site to learn what is covered related to your COVID-19 health care needs. As your supplemental carrier, Wellmark will continue to pay for out-of-pocket expenses according to your policy related to Medicare covered services, such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance. Visit your prescription drug plan’s website (YourMedicareSolutions.com/Covid-19 External Site or JourneyRxMedicare.com/Covid-19 External Site) to see specific information about drug coverage related to coronavirus.

Answering member questions

Wellmark covers COVID-19 diagnostic tests in full, as well as the accompanying office, urgent care or emergency room visit. This means there will be no out-of-pocket costs, including no copays, no deductibles and no coinsurance. We will also ensure patient testing and any subsequent testing needed are done in close coordination with federal, state and public health authorities.

Wellmark will waive early refill limits on maintenance medications (consistent with members’ benefit plans). We also will ensure formulary flexibility if there are medication shortages or other access issues. Members will not be liable for any additional charges if they receive a non-formulary medication as a result of a shortage of their current medication.

Wellmark does not cover quarantine-related costs for COVID-19. However, medical-related expenses will be covered if needed during quarantine.

If you are experiencing a fever or acute respiratory symptoms (cough or shortness of breath), or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please call your healthcare provider before going to a doctor's office, clinic, urgent care or emergency department. During that call, your provider will assess your symptoms and direct you to the right care.

Get a list of responses by doctors and hospitals in Iowa and South Dakota.

If you have an individual plan, send an email to IndividualBilling@wellmark.com Send Email, including your full name and subscriber ID. Please state you are unable to pay premiums due to COVID-19. A billing representative will reach out to collect further information and work to ensure benefits remain active.

If you are a business, please email us at the appropriate address noted below. Please include your group ID, subgroup ID and group name. Please state you are unable to pay premiums due to COVID-19. A billing representative will reach out to collect further information and work to ensure benefits remain active.

Limit the spread of COVID-19

Get tactics for protecting yourself at home, at school and in the workplace.

  • Clean hands often and limit handshaking
  • Disinfect surfaces you touch frequently
  • Hold meetings virtually and rearrange travel when possible
  • Know when to stay home

See the CDC's recommendations.

Get the guide External Site

Know if you're high risk

If you are in a high risk group, you should take extra precautions to protect yourself.

Who is considered high risk?

  • Older adults
  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease

Learn more External Site

Find a doctor

Search for a provider, hospital or clinic for you or your family member. Log in to myWellmark to make sure the doctor and facility is in your network.

Find a Doctor External Site

BeWell 24/7

BeWell 24/7 connects Wellmark customers with real people who can help with a variety of health-related concerns no matter the time or day. Just call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Get insights from BlueSM on coping with work and lifestyle changes, plus tips for staying healthy.

Doctor On Demand

Doctor on Demand External Site offers virtual visits with board-certified physicians for a number of minor issues, from a run-of-the-mill cold or flu to headaches, skin conditions or bronchitis. Physicians can even prescribe medication, if needed.

Wellmark is monitoring the virus

Wellmark continues to use the World Health Organization (WHO) External Site, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) External Site, Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) External Site, and South Dakota Health Department External Site as our official sources of information. For the latest U.S. impacts of COVID-19, please see the data reported by the CDC.

Doctor On Demand is a separate company providing an online telehealth solution for Wellmark members. Doctor On Demand® is a registered mark of Doctor On Demand, Inc.