CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Extends COVID-19 Member Benefits Through 2020, Encourages Vaccinations
Decision reinforces a continued commitment to the health of CareFirst members and their communities
Baltimore, Md./Washington, D.C. – Today, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) announced it will be extending benefits for fully insured members put in place during the public health emergency to ensure the health and safety of the members and communities it serves. The benefits, which include the patient cost share waivers for the treatment of COVID-19, were set to expire September 30, 2020 and will now be extended through December 31, 2020.
“These continue to be critical and serious times and no one should hesitate to get tested or treated for COVID-19 because of concerns about costs,” said Brian D. Pieninck, President and CEO of CareFirst. “We’ve made this decision to help our members stay healthy and our communities fight this virus by ensuring access to the testing and treatments needed to recover. By taking our own health seriously, we help to protect not only ourselves but the wellbeing and strength of our families, neighbors and communities.”
In addition to the extensions announced today, CareFirst urged community members to get their flu shot and keep up to date on their children’s immunizations. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 2-3 million lives are saved each year by vaccines, however the number of vaccinations ordered since the beginning of the public health emergency has dropped dramatically.
“Taking steps to minimize the chance you will get the flu, helps keep you safe and minimizes the additional burden on our healthcare providers and the entire system during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Pieninck. “We encourage you to do what you can to be part of the solution for the health of all in our society.”
CareFirst has taken numerous actions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in support of our members, providers, and communities. These include premium credits and rebates for individual, small and large group customers, premium deferrals, and relaxation of authorization and concurrent review criteria. CareFirst also provided accelerated payments to an array of healthcare providers experiencing financial strain and invested in community nonprofit organizations working to address complex and emerging health, social and economic needs. In addition, CareFirst committed resources for personal protection equipment (PPE) to almost 200 federally qualified health centers and independent primary care providers and recently delivered care packages to vulnerable members and will continue to work within communities to ensure the health and safety of its members.
About CareFirst BlueCross BlueShieldIn its 83rd year of service, CareFirst, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit healthcare company which, through its affiliates and subsidiaries, offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to 3.4 million individuals and employers in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. In 2019, CareFirst invested $43 million to improve overall health, and increase the accessibility, affordability, safety and quality of healthcare throughout its market areas. To learn more about CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, visit our website at www.carefirst.com and our transforming healthcare page at www.carefirst.com/transformation, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.