CVS Pharmacy and HealthSource RI have partnered to give customers another means of paying their health insurance bills.
“We will be the only state in America who can say that our citizens who participate in the health exchange can walk into a CVS retail operation and pay for their coverage,” Gov. Gina Raimondo said in a new conference Tuesday at the Cranston CVS on Reservoir Avenue.
This bill pay partnership was activated in May and so far more than 1,000 HealthSource customers have used it.
Zachary Sherman, director of HealthSource RI, said customers could now pay at any 9,700 CVS’s across the country, along with the 63 locations in the Ocean State.
“Ninety-six percent of Rhode Islanders are insured, and 98 percent of our children our insured,” said Gov. Raimondo. “I don’t know if any other state can say that.”
HealthSource RI is known to help people choose the best, most affordable health insurance plan possible. Within five years, HealthSource RI has decreased the uninsured rate by more than two thirds.
The pay system allows customers to pay their health insurance premiums with cash, credit, or debit. Previously, HealthSource RI only accepted checks, money orders and or electronic transfers. Customers can also pay online, which as Senator Joshua Miller (D- Dist. 28) observed, “not everyone has internet access on a specific day.”
“This says to people it’s convenient, it’s in your neighborhood, you can do 10 dollars at a time, or you can pay in any way that is comfortable for you,” said Gov. Raimondo.
Lisa Fabianski and her husband, Lawrence, highlighted how easy the new system is to use.
“This payment was of great convenience to us,” said Lisa Fabianski. “It went perfectly, and there were no problems.”
Gov. Raimondo fears President Trump’s efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could not only eliminate the payment plan but more importantly health insurance for thousands of Rhode Islanders.
Raimondo said, “To say the people with preexisting conditions can't have health care is wrong. To say that we can cut out central benefits and provide very limited health care is wrong. To say that we're going to unwind these local exchanges is wrong.”
Raimondo also used the occasion to push for legislative passage of bills introduced by Senator Miller.
Senator Miller in June 2017 introduced The Health Insurance Market Stability and Consumer Protection Act that would serve to protect provisions of the ACA in Rhode Island should Congress weaken the act.
“The most important thing we can do is pass legislation because that secures peoples rights in Rhode Island,” said Gov. Raimondo.
“Just fight it, let him [President Trump] know that that would hurt the people of Rhode Island, and we’re going to stick up for Rhode Islanders.”