Blue Cross/Blue Shield Alabama waives cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment

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Medical firm staff work in a lab on coronavirus testing kits just outside Tehran, Iran, Saturday, April 11, 2020. A medical firm outside west of Tehran launched the production line of serology-based test kits that can discover whether a person has ever been exposed to the novel coronavirus or suffered from the COVID-19 disease and recovered or not. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama is continuing to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment which includes coverage for testing and treatment administered, and inpatient hospital stays.

On March 1, BC/BS began implementing new benefits to better accommodate its members and providers during the COVID-19 outbreak, which includes:

  • Waiving all member cost-sharing for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, treatments and the related in-person or telehealth office visit, urgent care visit, emergency room visit or behavioral health visit for our members with fully insured individual, employer-based, Federal Employee Program, and Medicare Advantage Plans.
  • Inpatient deductibles, copays and coinsurance for fully insured employer customers are being waived if a member is admitted to an in-network hospital with a COVID-19 related diagnosis.
  • Waiving prior authorizations for diagnostic tests and covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for members if diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Increasing access to prescription medications by waiving early medication refill limits on prescriptions and encouraging members to use their 90-day retail or mail order benefit.
  • Expanding access to telehealth for in-network providers with no member cost-sharing. In addition to office visit consultations by physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, telehealth also includes physical, speech, and occupational therapy (subject to provider capability), and behavioral health. This is applicable for members who wish to receive their care remotely and wish to limit their exposure. It can also serve as an initial screening for members who need to be tested for COVID-19.
  • Dedicating staff to be specifically available to address inquiries related to medical services, ensuring timely responses related to COVID-19.

In addition, self-funded employer customers have the option to also implement these COVID-19 related benefits.

Tim Vines, the President and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, says he wants members to be “assured that we are here for them” during this unprecedented time.

“For our members diagnosed with COVID-19, we want them to have peace of mind knowing they have access to the care they need.”

Tim Vines, President and CEO, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama

The healthcare organization says its decision to waive cost-sharing for treatment is in addition to steps supporting the essential needs of members and providers. Those steps are also included in the list above.

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