Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Humana Picks up the Tab for Medicare Advantage Doctor Visits
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 4 years ago on
May 5, 2020

Share

The health insurer Humana will cover the whole bill for millions of customers when they are ready to ease COVID-19 social distancing and return to the doctor’s office.

Humana Inc. covers nearly 4.5 million people as the nation’s second-largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans. Those are privately run versions of the government’s Medicare program for people age 65 and over and those who have severe disabilities or illnesses.

The insurer said Tuesday that it is waiving copayments, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for the rest of the year for all Medicare Advantage customers who visit their primary care doctor or see a behavioral health specialist. The care has to take place inside the health insurer’s network of doctors and therapists.

Humana Inc. covers nearly 4.5 million people as the nation’s second-largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans. Those are privately run versions of the government’s Medicare program for people age 65 and over and those who have severe disabilities or illnesses.

Many insurers, including Humana, have already waived costs for COVID-related care and telemedicine visits. Humana’s new waiver applies to all primary care and to outpatient behavioral health visits.

Company leaders say they are trying to make it easier for people to keep up with their health, especially older customers who may have a few chronic health problems.

CEO Bruce Broussard noted that many doctor visits have been postponed or cancelled since the global pandemic started spreading through the United States earlier this year. He said company research shows that costs like copayments can force Medicare Advantage patients to put off care even more.

“These individuals are on fixed incomes, a lot of them are living on less than $20,000 a year, so $35 or a 20% co-pay is meaningful to them,” he said.

[covid-19-tracker]

Heath Insurers Have Seen a Drop in Claims

Humana’s waiver doesn’t apply to things like X-rays or hospital stays, unless the care is tied to COVID-19.

Medicare expert Tricia Neuman said any move to waive costs would provide a “huge relief” to people with limited incomes.

“But this may not be where the big bills are,” said Neuman, a senior vice president with the non-profit Kaiser Family Foundation.

She said a Medicare Advantage customer who lands in the hospital could wind up with a bill of more than $2,000 even with insurance. That depends on the length of their stay and how much care they need.

Heath insurers have seen a drop in claims for things like elective surgeries over the past several weeks due to the pandemic. Broussard said Humana is using that break to help cover the fee waivers.

Humana also said Tuesday that it also will send safety kits that include two washable facemasks to customer homes starting later this month.

Broussard said the expenses will be immaterial to the company’s financial books.

“We feel very comfortable that this investment is going to continue to allow us be a financially sound and growing organization,” he said.

Humana, based in Louisville, Kentucky, said late last month that it made $473 million in the first quarter. The performance that topped Wall Street expectations.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

DON'T MISS

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

DON'T MISS

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

DON'T MISS

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

DON'T MISS

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

DON'T MISS

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

DON'T MISS

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

DON'T MISS

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

DON'T MISS

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

DON'T MISS

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

UP NEXT

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

UP NEXT

US Intelligence Finding Shows China Surging Equipment Sales to Russia to Help War Effort in Ukraine

UP NEXT

Several Writers Decline Recognition From PEN America in Protest Over Its Israel-Hamas War Stance

UP NEXT

US Consumer Sentiment Falls Slightly as Outlook for Inflation Worsens

UP NEXT

Tennessee Lawmakers Send Bill to Ban First-Cousin Marriages to Governor

UP NEXT

Instagram Blurs Nude Messages to Protect Teens, Fight Sexual Extortion

UP NEXT

Harvard Again Requiring Standardized Test Scores for Those Seeking Admission

UP NEXT

Wife of Julian Assange Says Biden’s Comments Mean Case Could Be Moving in the Right Direction

UP NEXT

Salmon Fishing Is Banned off the California Coast for the Second Year in a Row

UP NEXT

Making Cement Is Very Damaging for the Climate. One Solution Is Opening in California

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

1 day ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

1 day ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

1 day ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

1 day ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

2 days ago

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

2 days ago

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

2 days ago

Dr. Green Thumb’s Is Open. Sweet Flower Debuts Saturday in Fresno Cannabis Rollout.

2 days ago

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

2 days ago

Community Leaders Call for Transparency in Fresno Superintendent Search

2 days ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

Last June, more than half of California’s lawmakers — Republicans and Democrats alike, with no particular ideological preference — attended ...

6 hours ago

6 hours ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

6 hours ago

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

14 hours ago

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

1 day ago

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

1 day ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

1 day ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

1 day ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

2 days ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend