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Kaiser to extend COVID-19 copayment waivers

The Maui News

Kaiser Permanente will be extending its waiver through Dec. 31 for most member out-of-pocket costs for inpatient and outpatient services related to the treatment of COVID-19, the health care provider announced Thursday.

The waiver, put into effect April 1 and originally set to expire Sunday, is intended to alleviate the cost burden and stress on impacted members of paying for care, allowing them to focus on recovery, Kaisers said.

“Kaiser Permanente understands the financial impact that COVID-19 has had on our members and the communities we serve and is committed to ensuring they have access to the care they need during this time of crisis,” said Greg Adams, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. “This move aims to alleviate any stress about paying for care, as well as any hesitancy to seek needed care.

“The path forward through this pandemic must include identifying, treating and tracing as many cases of COVID-19 as possible as we work to suppress this virus.”

Kaiser’s elimination of member out-of-pocket costs applies to all fully insured benefit plans, in all markets, unless prohibited or modified by law or regulation. It will apply for all dates of service from April 1 through Dec. 31, unless superseded by government action or extended by Kaiser.

Kaiser suspended all terminations for nonpayment of premium or out of pocket expenses from March 15 through Sunday and further extended terminations for nonpayment through June 30 for individual and family plans and small group members.

There are exceptions to waivers and premium terminations for self-funded customers who directly administer health benefits to their employees and nonurgent or emergent out-of-network claims for some customers, Kaiser said.

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