Kaiser members get another reprieve on out-of-pocket COVID-19 fees

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Kaiser Permanente announced it will extend its waiver for most member out-of-pocket costs for inpatient and outpatient services related to the treatment of COVID-19 through December 31.

The waiver went into effect on April 1 and was originally set to expire on May 31 but will continue through the rest of the year. The waiver is intended to alleviate the cost burden and stress of paying for care, Kaiser Permanente said.

"The path forward through this pandemic must include identifying, treating and tracing as many cases of COVID-19 as possible as we work to suppress this virus," Kaiser Permanente's Chief Executive Officer Greg Adams said in a statement.

The elimination of member out-of-pocket costs applies to all fully insured benefit plans, in all markets, unless prohibited or modified by law or regulation. It applies to all dates of service from April 1 through December 31 unless superseded by government action or extended by Kaiser Permanente. The waiver does not automatically apply to self-funded customers who directly administer health benefits to their employees, Kaiser Permanente said. It also doesn't cover out-of-network care for choice product members, unless it is urgent or emergency care.

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