Minnesota health plans to waive COVID-19-related expenses during pandemic, governor says

Minnesota health plans have agreed to waive COVID-19-related expenses, Gov. Tim Walz annnounced Thursday.  

Minnesotans with commercial insurance--including individuals, small businesses and some large businesses--will have no cost-sharing charges for COVID-19 testing or in-network hospitalization, the governor said. They will also have expanded access to telemedicine services. 

These expenses will be waived until May 31. 

38 Minnesotans in ICU for COVID-19 as of Thursday, sharp increase from previous day

There are currently 75 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Minnesota, with 38 of those in the intensive care unit, a sharp increase from Wednesday when there were only 54 patients in the hospital and 27 in the ICU. There have now been a total of 18 deaths attributed to the virus. 

The move was made in response to a letter sent by the state’s health and commerce commissioner to the state’s health plans urging them to remove barriers to coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic

“This move will help ensure no Minnesotan has to sacrifice paying rent or buying groceries to cover a hospital bill from COVID-19,” Walz said in a statement. “I’m grateful Minnesota’s health plans are putting the health and safety of our fellow Minnesotans first during this pandemic.” 

The following are the health plans that have committed to waiving COVID-19-related expenses: 

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
  • HealthPartners
  • Hennepin Health
  • Medica
  • PreferredOne
  • UCare

For Minnesotans who receive their coverage through their employer and have self-insured plans, commissioners are encouraging employers to work with their plan administrators to implement similar measures.