UCare, a nonprofit health insurance provider in Minnesota, is offering premium payment discounts during the COVID-19 pandemic, it said in a news release.
UCare says members haven't used healthcare services as often in the past few months, meaning associated claims were lower than expected. This has allowed it to offer some financial relief.
“We are concerned that our members – including older and more vulnerable members – are forgoing needed care at this time,” UCare President and CEO Mark Traynor said in a statement. “As a result, we are adjusting coverage and costs to support members’ health. We want members to access essential care, and we are pleased to enhance providers’ ability to provide that care.”
UCare is reducing member premium payments by 20% in July and August and removing copays for Medicare primary care and mental health clinic services (including telehealth) during the public health emergency.
Similar to what many health insurance providers are doing, UCare will continue to waive copays, coinsurance and deductibles for COVID-19 tests and associated clinic, urgent care, emergency room visits. The same goes for inpatient hospitalizations through September.
It is also supplying healthcare providers, group homes, nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, social service organizations and vulnerable members with telehealth home kits, masks, healthy snack boxes and iPads. And it is offering $25,000 in grants to small provider groups and community clinics to build infrastructure during COVID-19.
With more than 42,000 members, UCare has 41% of the market share of individual and family plans sold through MNsure. It also serves more than 101,000 Medicare members in Minnesota and a portion of Wisconsin.