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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.

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.

10 Responses

  1. Brenda Kelley

    Thank you so much for my 2 masks..i do not hv money to purchase any n this was such a Blessing..Thank you from the bottom of my heart

    Reply
    • Pamela Serrano

      Will the sending of 2masks monthly be automatic? I thank you so much for mine.Gods Blessings And health to you all.

      Reply
  2. Bessie Clark

    Thank you for the face masks you sent to members. I would like to purchase some for my family They are very comfortable masks and my family needs some. We have tried so many. This is first ones we can keep on for any length of time. Please let me know if getting more is an option and what the cost would be. Thanks again

    Reply
  3. Michele

    I would also like to purchase some your masks are extremely comfortable, they fit well and you can breathe through them easily. Please let me know how to purchase more of these. Thank you

    Reply
    • Cera

      Hi Michele!

      Our company JPR Medical partnered with Humana to provide these face masks that you are loving! We have many more options on our website. Please reach out to us if you have any questions at all! JPRmedical.com

      Take care and stay safe!!

      Reply
  4. Kay Kelsch

    Love the face masks you sent me. They are so comfortable and I can actually breathe with it on. I too would like to purchase some!

    Reply
  5. Phyllis

    I would like a few of these masks i wear a mask all the time and so do my 4 grand kids and my husband so we go threw a lot of them

    Reply
  6. Tina M Benningfield

    My 81 yr old mother went on a day trip with Mattingly Tours recently, she said most of the guest had on your face mask. As she does not hAVE Humana health care I would like to purchase a couple of these masks, just to make her feel safer.

    Reply
  7. Alma Davis

    Thanks so very much for the 2 very comfy and attractive green masks. I gave one to each of my daughters who work in an environment where co workers don’t
    take Covid19 seriously. I want to order 2 more . How can I get more of same design and color?

    Reply

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