BCBST News Center, John Hawbaker, March 6, 2020
Members will not be responsible for co-pays or cost sharing for FDA-approved testing
BlueCross will waive all member co-pays and cost sharing on FDA-approved testing for the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
“We are committed to helping slow the spread and impact of this new coronavirus,” said Dr. Andrea D. Willis, senior vice president and chief medical officer. “If a BlueCross member needs to get tested, we don’t want them to worry about the cost.”
The company encourages anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 to call their health care provider before visiting an office or an emergency room. Their provider can evaluate their symptoms and make a recommendation about whether testing is appropriate.
BlueCross members can also visit the company’s website, bcbst.com, to get more information about coverage for COVID-19 testing and treatments.
Tennessee officials confirmed the state’s first case of COVID-19 on Thursday, March 5, and the Department of Health is working to establish a network of official testing centers statewide. BlueCross will coordinate with its thousands of in-network health care providers to direct members to the nearest testing facility as needed.
BlueCross has been monitoring developments of COVID-19 and preparing to support its customers and communities since the disease entered the United States in January. The company has an established pandemic plan and is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with local and state health departments, to adapt its approach as the situation evolves.
“Our clinical teams have been in close communication with public health officials so we can support our communities and any members affected by COVID-19,” said Dr. Willis. “And we know our members are concerned, so we’re focused on acting and sharing information quickly to help bring them peace of mind.”
This coverage decision applies for BlueCross members in insured group, individual, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid plans. Employers who offer self-funded plans have the option to include COVID-19 testing as a preventive benefit without cost-sharing for their employees.