Mass. insurers and hospitals to ease health care costs for bombing victims

Health insurers and hospitals in Massachusetts have announced that they will alleviate some of the financial burden for victims of the Boston bombings that took place on April 15 by waiving out-of-pocket fees and delaying billing, according to an article in The Boston Globe.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts created a dedicated team of customer service representatives to evaluate bills on a case-by-case basis. Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan agreed to waive all out-of-pocket medical costs and Tufts Health Plan will waive patient costs for both physical and mental health care resulting from the bombing.

“We are focused on making sure all our members have access to the care they need during this time,” Sonya Hagopian, a Tufts spokeswoman, stated in the article. “The physical injuries are easier to determine, but the mental health component is important. Six months down the road, someone may have a hard time dealing with these issues.”

Massachusetts General Hospital removed all of the bombing victims from its automated billing system. The hospital will continue to bill insurance providers, but it hopes to refrain from billing patients by covering the costs with donations and assistance funds. According to the article, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Tufts Medical Center also plan to follow a similar model.

Massachusetts, which requires by state law that residents have health insurance, also has a safety net program that is expected to help cover the health care costs for low-income patients, and donations and assistance funds, such as the One Fund Boston, will provide additional support.

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