Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced Wednesday it will extend its previously announced COVID-19 benefits, which would have expired on June 16, now through Aug. 31. The benefits include member cost-share waivers for COVID-19 testing and treatment, virtual visits and support for business customers. The extension also includes payment parity for providers of virtual health care visits. The extensions apply to all Wellmark fully insured and Medicare supplement members. Wellmark is working with self-funded groups that want to extend similar benefits for their members. “COVID-19 has the potential to affect not only the health but also the finances of our members and the communities we serve — more than anyone expected,” said Cory Harris, Wellmark’s president and chief operating officer. “This extension provides help and security to our members during the critical months ahead by ensuring they have access to the medical and behavioral health support they need, without worry of cost.”