The people and communities Regence serves are facing unprecedented challenges. In alignment with the company’s values and a commitment to ease access to care for members during this public health crisis, Regence announced today that it will cover treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19) without any out-of-pocket costs for fully insured members through June 30, 2020.
“Standing beside those we serve has been our north star for over 103 years. As our nation faces this public health crisis, we are working to ensure our members aren’t deterred from the care they need for COVID-19,” said Mark Ganz, CEO of Regence’s parent company. “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. This decision, along with previous measures we have taken, ensures members and families have the support they need if they are diagnosed with the illness.”
By eliminating financial barriers to care for those with COVID-19, Regence fully insured members will be able to get the recognized treatment they need without copays, coinsurance, deductibles or pre-authorization. Regence previously waived member costs for testing and the related office visit.
Members with COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing should call their doctor or urgent care center first before seeking care. Regence is working with self-funded partners to implement similar cost share arrangements when directed, and with federal officials to ensure coordination of benefits for Medicare members and those with health savings accounts (HSA).
Additionally, Regence is supporting its members, business partners and local communities through the following actions:
- Expanded access through virtual care: Members can reach their providers through telephone, video, text and other options to help them get the care they need during the COVID-19 state of emergency while maintaining social distancing. Services may include virtual office visits through telehealth, instant messaging with doctors and nurses, and home health visits in select areas. This includes both routine preventive services and COVID-19-related concerns with primary care and behavioral health providers.
- Easing access to medications: As of March 2, “refill too soon” policies for medications were loosened (excluding opioids) to ensure members have needed medications on hand. For certain medications that treat chronic conditions, members may also request a 90-day refill. Drug lists and additional policies will be adjusted in the event of a drug shortage to ensure members have uninterrupted access to the medications they need without additional costs.
- Proactive outreach to high-risk members: Since late January, Regence has been proactively contacting high-risk members in its management program to ensure they have the care they need.
- Helping doctors, specialists and other providers care for patients: In addition to increasing member access to virtual visits to help alleviate pressure on in-person providers, Regence is expediting provider payments of claims, supporting discharge needs to accommodate care for critical patients, expediting credentialing to help meet emerging demands, and more as detailed here.
- Standing beside our employers: Regence is listening to and collaborating with our customers facing unprecedented challenges on solutions such as grace periods and leave of absence to achieve continuation of employee coverage. Regence is also working with our customers to help them understand the full array of federal and state financial resources that are available.
- Supporting community partners on the front lines: Regence, together with its corporate foundation, have initiated new investments of $500,000 to care for people and families affected by COVID-19 and the health care workforce on the front lines of this public health crisis. Regence is also matching employee donations at 100% (up to $100,000) to designated nonprofits who are working to help ensure all Americans can stay healthy and fed during this crisis.
Regence’s website, regence.com/go/covid-19, is being regularly updated with the latest information, including how to prevent the spread of disease and care options for members. Regence has been highly engaged with provider partners and local, state and federal public health officials to offer help and resources in responding to community needs and ensure out-of-pocket costs are not a barrier to people seeking testing for, and treatment of, COVID-19.
Regence serves approximately 3.1 million members through its Regence health plans in Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Each Regence health plan is a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence is part of a family of companies dedicated to transforming health care by delivering innovative products and services that change the way consumers nationwide experience health care. For more information, please visit regence.com.