Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island to provide $13.8 million in medical premium relief to commercial customers and members

Action represents latest step BCBSRI has taken to support Rhode Island businesses, individuals and families during COVID-19 pandemic

PROVIDENCE, RI (June 23, 2020) – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) continues to take steps to support its customers and members during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the current reduced demand for healthcare services, BCBSRI has requested approval to issue a 10 percent medical premium credit for two months, or a total of $13.8 million, to its fully insured large group and small group employers, as well as individuals who purchase insurance through BCBSRI or HealthSource RI.

For customers who purchase coverage directly from BCBSRI, the credit is for March and April 2020 premiums and is expected to be applied to the September premium bill, subject to approval by the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner (OHIC). Customers who purchased their coverage through HealthSource RI will receive a refund check.

“COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on healthcare delivery this year. Our members have not been able to access the volume of care we anticipated when setting their monthly premiums,” said Kim Keck, BCBSRI president and CEO. “We believe that returning the premium to our customers is the right response and will provide critical relief to Rhode Island businesses and individuals at a time when they need it most.”  

The action announced today follows a number of others BCBSRI has taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They include:

  • Providing a 25 percent dental premium credit for fully insured customers and extending teledentistry services with in-network dentists through July 31, 2020
  • Extending coverage, through July 31, 2020, of medically appropriate telehealth services for primary care, behavioral healthcare or specialist care with no member cost share
  • Waiving member cost sharing for doctors’ visits, emergency room visits or inpatient care related to COVID-19
  • Waiving member copays and cost sharing for diagnostic testing related to COVID-19 consistent with CDC guidelines
  • Waiving prior authorization and referral requirements for testing and medically appropriate treatment of COVID-19
  • Allowing members to fill prescriptions earlier than the standard 30 days

For more information about COVID-19-related coverage/policy changes, general resources and what BCBSRI is doing in the community, please visit BCBSRI’s COVID-19 resource center.

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