CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield To Provide Premium Credits and Other Financial Benefits to Customers and Members

Posted on 2020-06-12
Updated on 2020-06-12 11:46:45

CareFirst provides over $300M in financial support during COVID-19 pandemic

Baltimore, Md./Washington, D.C. – Today, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) announced it will provide premium credits to many fully insured customers as a result of treatment disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, extend the waiver of cost sharing for telehealth services and COVID-19 testing and treatment, and return rebates from 2019 as a result of lower than expected use of medical care by its members. These latest benefits, combined with other relief CareFirst has offered, result in over $300 million made available to CareFirst’s members, providers, and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“CareFirst is deeply committed to the communities it serves and recognizes the mounting financial pressures members and accounts are facing as the effects of COVID-19 linger,” said CareFirst CEO and President Brian D. Pieninck. “We want to help. By providing premium credits and other support, we remove barriers to care and lessen the financial hardships many of our customers are experiencing during these uncertain times. CareFirst continues to put its customers first and will continue to evaluate the best and most impactful ways to support each of our stakeholders through this crisis.”

CareFirst will provide the following relief:

  • Premium credits totaling $25 million for fully insured small and large group customers, to be reflected on their August premium invoice;
  • Premium credits totaling over $4 million for small and large group fully insured dental customers, to be reflected on each group’s August premium invoice;
  • Rebates totaling over $80 million for individual members and fully insured small and large group customers who had CareFirst coverage in 2019 due to lower utilization of medical care than anticipated; and,
  • Extension of waiver for cost share expenses related to telehealth services to July 24, 2020, and extension of waiver for cost share expenses related to COVID-19 testing and treatment through September 30, 2020, reflecting in total an anticipated $45 million commitment to our members.

This announcement is the most recent in a series of CareFirst’s ongoing efforts to rapidly address the urgent needs individuals, families, employers, providers and communities face as a result of COVID-19, which include:

  • Made available over $110 million in accelerated payments to an array of healthcare providers experiencing financial strain;
  • Premium deferrals of $35 million for members and groups experiencing economic hardship;
  • Elimination of prior authorizations for tests or treatments that are medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance for members diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • Introduction of a volunteer program available for CareFirst’s licensed clinicians allowing them to volunteer their time to support direct patient care and alleviate the widespread strain on provider organizations; and,
  • Philanthropic contribution of $2 million to nonprofit community organizations working to provide relief for communities’ health, social and economic needs.

Visit CareFirst’s website to remain up to date on the latest information detailing its commitment to members and the community.

About CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

In 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.