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Wellmark to end cost-share waiver for COVID treatment on June 30


Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Iowa’s largest health insurer, plans to end the cost share waiver for its fully insured and Medicare supplement members who are undergoing inpatient treatment related to COVID-19 diagnoses, effective June 30. The Des Moines-based insurer has waived cost-share payments such as deductibles and copayments over the course of the pandemic since April 1, 2020. “As the number of vaccinated individuals increases, cases decline statewide, and extraordinary public health measures end, Wellmark is beginning the work of resuming standard plan benefit coverage for our group plan members,” the company said in an emailed statement. The decision applies to all Wellmark fully insured and Medicare supplement members, regardless of their plan renewal timing. Wellmark said it has worked with self-funded groups that want to either extend or implement a waiver beyond June 30. Wellmark will continue to cover appropriate testing and related services — with no cost share — to diagnose COVID-19 as required by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act through the public health emergency, as declared by the federal government. Currently, the national public health emergency is scheduled to end on July 19.

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