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Excellus waives some costs

UTICA — Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a health insurance company whose market includes the North Country, announced Thursday it will waive out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 medical testing, diagnosis and treatment for its fully insured employer groups, individual market qualified health plans and Medicare Advantage members for the next 60 days.

This waives the member’s copayment or cost share for testing, diagnosis and treatment, even if that treatment is delivered in the hospital.

“We want people to get the medical care they need to fight this insidious virus,” said Christopher Booth, president and chief executive officer of Excellus BCBS. “These are our neighbors and friends who are sick and hurting. This is why Excellus BCBS is here.”

Excellus BCBS will also work with self-funded customers who want to implement a similar approach, so these members’ needs can also be met uring this time of concern.

This is not the first patient cost Excellus BCBS has abosrbed since the COVID-19 outbreak began. Steps it previously took include waived COVID-19-related copays and absorbing a 1% ($8 million) reduction in New York state Medicaid payments.

“Over the nearly 90 years that we have provided health care coverage in upstate New York, we have never faced a public health crisis like COVID-19. No one has,” said Booth. “We understand the immense pressures being faced today by everyone.”

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