Wellmark Waives Cost-Share for COVID-19 Treatment
DES MOINES, IA (April 1, 2020) — Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced today 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:
- 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®. Wellmark will allow telephonic visits when audio/visual
capabilities are not accessible.
- Covering diagnostic tests for COVID-19. Members will have no cost-share for appropriate
testing to establish the diagnosis of COVID-19.
- 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.
- Supporting our members 24/7. Members also have access to Wellmark’s BeWell 24/7SM (844-
842-9355) service that connects them to real people who can help with a variety of health-related
- 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.
- 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.
Members can find additional information at Wellmark.com/coronavirus.
About Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Wellmark, Inc. (Wellmark.com) does business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Wellmark and its subsidiaries and affiliated
companies, including Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc. and Wellmark Value Health
Plan, Inc., insure or pay health benefit claims for more than 2 million members in Iowa and South Dakota. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue
Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc. and Wellmark Value Health Plan,
Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.