Fighting Pandemic

Firm to Give Premium Relief

TULSA—Approximately $20 million in premium relief will be issued by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Oklahoma to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was announced.

The premium relief will be issued to fully insured employer customers in the form of premium credit.

The company has worked with regulators to obtain necessary approvals, a statement said.

“The premium credits are the latest relief action from BCBSOK in response to the global health crisis to help lessen the financial hardships many Oklahomans may be experiencing,” the statement said.

These include:

“Adjustments made to initial 2021 individual and group rates to provide further financial relief for group plans, individuals, and their families — delivering approximately $52 million in savings,” the statement continued.

“Extending the waiver of cost sharing for tele-health services as well as COVID-19 testing and treatment — delivering approximately $34 million in savings for members and their families,” the statement went on.

“Our absolute focus is on our members and the communities we serve, and providing additional support and financial relief is the right thing to do,” said Joseph Cunningham, M.D., president of the insurance firm.

“Our members trust us to be good stewards of their premium dollars and ensure they have access to affordable, high-quality care. As part of our commitment, we are finding ways to help support both the physical and financial health of our members during this unprecedented public health emergency.”

In addition to these actions in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the firm recently issued rebates to individuals and small groups who were eligible under the rebate consumer protection process under the Affordable Care Act relating to their 2019 coverage, the statement pointed out.

“There continues to be uncertainty surrounding health care spending and the impact of deferred care for the remainder of the year,” the statement added.

“Our firm will continue to closely monitor the evolving health pandemic and health care claim trends to evaluate and determine how best to support customers, communities, and health care delivery partners,” a spokesman noted.

“The premium credit and other relief actions are intended to continue to assist members and businesses across Oklahoma, to help expand access to care in the state and to offer members some relief during this difficult time,” the spokesman continued.

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