Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming announced Oct. 15 that it is offering financial relief to the company’s fully insured group employers and individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
BCBSWY is providing premium credits to fully insured employers in both large and small groups. The credits will be equal to 50 percent of each group’s billed premium for November 2020. The premium credits to Wyoming employers total over $7 million and will be reflected on their next 2020 premium invoice.
“We recognize the pressures that many of our business partners are facing due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Diane Gore, President and CEO of BCBSWY. “Wyoming businesses have faced disruptions and economic stress for much of this year,” she added.
For BCBSWY members who do not receive coverage through their employer and instead purchase it in the individual market, Gore said BCBSWY will provide a return of premium directly to them in the form of a rebate, totaling approximately $8 million. This will be offered in early 2021.
“Our individually insured members have made significant sacrifices this year as well, and we hope this can make a difference.” Gore said.
“As a Wyoming employer ourselves with employees across the state, we believe giving back during this pandemic is the right thing to do. We work hard to hold down the cost of health care services on behalf of our members,” Gore said. “Those efforts, together with the impacts of the current pandemic, make it possible to offer these premium credits and rebates to both our employer groups and our individual members.”
The premium credits and rebates are the latest among several steps BCBSWY has taken to support its Wyoming members, employers, providers and local communities throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Other initiatives the Company has undertaken include the following:
* Waiving cost share for COVID treatment and diagnostic testing.
* Expanding access to virtual care services, including primary care and behavioral health, through telemedicine and audio-only options for patient care.
* Working collaboratively with businesses on solutions such as grace periods and leave of absence policies to enable employee coverage to continue.
* Working with Wyoming providers to support them in providing care to BCBSWY members by promoting remote telemedicine and phone services, removing prior authorization requirements for some services, and alerting them to updates and changes in federal COVID requirements.
* Helping Wyoming communities and families facing food insecurity by generous donations to First Lady Jennie Gordon’s Wyoming Hunger Initiative for coordinated food assistance programs in every county. Together with its corporate foundation, The Caring Foundation, BCBSWY has contributed $150,000 to fight hunger and build sustainability for local food banks.
* Promoted volunteer services to local and community non-profits by BCBSWY employees and adopted new policies allowing paid time-off for volunteering.
* Supported the vital non-profit organizations who provide front line and emergency services by sponsoring the WYOGives campaign and matching employee contributions to more than 60 Wyoming community organizations.
* Donating to COVID-response activities across the state, including the Wind River Indian Reservation and the Wyoming Community Foundation.
Gore concluded by stating, “The challenges presented by this pandemic are unprecedented in the history of our company. However, I know that if we as Wyoming citizens and employers work together, we will come out stronger in the end.”