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Independence waives cost-sharing for COVID-19 inpatient treatment

COVID-19 Update written in white on a blue background with a blue Independence Blue Cross logo on a white background at the bottom

Independence also suspends prior authorizations for acute inpatient admissions and post-acute transfers

Philadelphia, PA — April 3, 2020 — Independence Blue Cross (Independence) today announced that it would waive member cost-sharing for in-network, inpatient, acute care treatment for COVID-19. This means members will pay no co-pay, co-insurance or deductible in this scenario. (Please note that for Medicare Advantage members, this includes out-of-network inpatient acute care treatment for COVID-19 as well.)

Independence will also waive cost-sharing for Emergency Department visits when members are admitted to the hospital under these same conditions. These changes are effective March 30, 2020 and will extend through May 31, 2020. The changes are for fully-insured business; self-insured customers can opt-out of coverage.

“During this unprecedented public health crisis, waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment is another way we are working to reduce barriers so that members can get the care they need, when they need it,” said Daniel J. Hilferty, Independence CEO. “The announcement again shows Independence’s commitment to ensuring health care access for our members and the communities we serve.”

Also this week, in an effort to assist physicians and health care facilities during this crisis, Independence announced that it would temporarily suspend prior authorizations for acute inpatient admissions from an emergency department at all in-network facilities for members with a COVID-19 diagnosis through April 30, 2020. In addition, prior authorization requirements are temporarily suspended for transfers from acute in-network inpatient facilities to post-acute in-network facilities (long-term acute care hospitals, rehabilitation or skilled nursing facilities) for any diagnoses. Notification from facilities is still required. (Please note that for Medicare Advantage members, this includes out-of-network facilities as well.)

This includes suspending prior authorization requirements for in-network transportation from an acute inpatient facility to a post-acute facility. These steps are intended to facilitate and reduce administrative processes for the placement of COVID-19 patients to the most appropriate care settings. (Please note that for Medicare Advantage members, this includes out-of-network transportation as well.)

Independence will continue to evaluate these decisions and others as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

Independence has taken early steps to promote public awareness to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect the physical and mental health of the people in the communities it serves. Independence continues to serve customers at the highest level through several initiatives designed to assist our members, including numerous coverage policy changes, outreach by Registered Nurse Health Coaches, digital resources, and more.

For a complete list of all that Independence is doing to remove barriers and provide resources for members and the community, visit

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Diana Quattrone


Y0041_HM_86041_2020 Website last updated: 4/9/2020

Independence Blue Cross offers products through its subsidiaries Independence Hospital Indemnity Plan, Keystone Health Plan East and QCC Insurance Company — independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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