GRAND RAPIDS—Amid reports of some patients getting huge bills for treatment for COVID-19, Grand Rapids-based health insurer Priority Health announced that it would continue to waive all copays, deductibles and coinsurance for treatment and medically necessary testing for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Priority Health also announced it would expand its zero-dollar cost share virtual visits offer, including behavioral health visits, through Dec. 31.
These benefits apply to all the company’s nearly one million members across commercial, individual, Medicaid and Medicare plans. Covered treatment may be inpatient or outpatient from an in-network provider. Members in a high deductible health plan are able to take advantage of these offers ahead of deductible, and self-funded employer groups also have the option to opt-in to these extensions.
“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic some people delayed treatment or care that is medically necessary,” said Joan Budden, CEO of Priority Health. “We want to encourage all of our members to stay healthy by removing any financial hurdles during this economically challenging time. Whether it’s through premium credits or $0 virtual visits, Priority Health is committed to making it easy and affordable for our members to get the care they need.”
Priority Health has been encouraging members to use virtual visits amid the COVID-19 outbreak to mitigate further spread of the illness. While some members have begun to return to in-person visits at health care facilities, Priority Health has heard from many members that have used virtual visits for the first time during the pandemic and have appreciated the simplicity and convenience it provides. By offering $0 cost share virtual visits, Priority Health seeks to not only ensure that high risk members have affordable access to care, but also help enable the transformation to more virtual health care services.
To support members throughout the pandemic, Priority Health has also previously announced the following coverage enhancements and support:
- Offering financial support to members and employers through premium credits
- Waiving cost sharing for all Medicare Advantage members for in-person and telehealth primary care visits through Dec. 31
- $0 cost share coverage of medically-necessary COVID-19 testing for all members through Dec. 31, 2020
- Providing free access for all members to COVID-19 content from myStrength, an online mental wellness tool
- Accelerating value-based payments and quality bonuses to offer physician and provider partners financial stability
Priority Health continues to follow the CDC’s activities and work with local health departments and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to share information with our members and employers. The insurer’s government relations team is also in constant contact with Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s team in Lansing and legislators at the federal level to ensure alignment on action steps.
To access virtual care, members can download the Priority Health app, available on the App Store or Google Play, and log in to their member account. They can also access their online member account on a desktop, laptop or other device. Members can also check with their physician for virtual visit options. For more information on Priority Health and ongoing efforts surrounding COVID-19, go to priorityhealth.com.
With over 30 years in business, Priority Health is the second largest health plan in Michigan offering a broad portfolio of health benefits to more than a million members, and offering a network that includes 97 percent of primary care physicians in Michigan.