ROCKVILLE, Md. — Kaiser Permanente has waived cost sharing for testing, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19 in the mid-Atlantic region.
The non-profit health plan will not bill members a copay, coinsurance, or deductible for services to test, diagnose, and treat COVID-19.
Kaiser Permanente is among the first to waive the costs for treating COVID-19 patients.
“We know that this is a time of concern and anxiety for everyone and we want our members to not have to worry about getting world-class care from our award-wining physicians if they contract COVID-19,” said Kim Horn, region president and group president, Kaiser Permanente. “We also want them to know that we are taking steps to ease the financial burden of this pandemic.”
Kaiser Permanente, the leading health system in the mid-Atlantic region, has taken several steps to prepare for an increased number of patients concerned about COVID-19. These include:
- Setting up five drive-up and one walk-up testing site for Kaiser Permanente members in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia;
- Expanding exiting telehealth services to provide thousands of video, email and phone visits daily not only for COVID-19 patients but also for members with other health needs;
- Canceling or postponing elective and non-urgent surgeries and procedures to make providers more available to critically ill patients;
- Providing same-day home delivery for urgent prescriptions and 2 to 3-day home delivery for other prescriptions.
Kaiser Permanente members are being encouraged to make appointments or shift existing appointments to video or phone visits as appropriate.
As a result, the organization has seen an increase in video visits from an average of 350 per day to more than 1,150 per day. And, the health system has the capacity to continue significantly increasing these services for both primary care and specialty care.
With virtual visits, members can stay home and still access the doctors and the care they need; comply with social distancing; help preserve vital personal protective equipment such as masks, gowns and gloves for care providers; and prevent the spread of COVID-19.