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UPDATE: Blue Shield of California Waiving Cost-Sharing and Prior Approval for Coronavirus Testing

To remove any barriers for appropriate testing, starting immediately Blue Shield is waiving all cost-sharing and any prior approval for Covid-19 testing prescribed by a physician.

At Blue Shield of California, our top priority is to ensure our members have access to quality, affordable care and that our shared communities are safe as we work to confront the Covid-19 virus.  As a nonprofit health plan with members and employees across California, we are taking immediate steps to support Gov. Newsom’s action to expand coronavirus (COVID-19) coverage to promote the health, safety and well-being of all Californians.

Starting immediately Blue Shield is waiving all cost-sharing and any prior approval for Covid-19 testing prescribed by a physician for all members enrolled in Blue Shield’s fully insured commercial and Medi-Cal plans. This includes cost-sharing for hospital, urgent care, emergency room, and office visits where the visit is to screen or test for the virus. Blue Shield also will not require prior authorization for medically necessary emergency care, consistent with our current practice. Blue Shield is working closely with our self-funded plan sponsors/customers to confirm coverage levels for their members.

When a member cannot access their current supply of medication or requires additional supply, a member or their provider can call-in and request an early refill of their prescription. Blue Shield is also closely monitoring impact to prescription drug supply and will take immediate steps to ensure members have access to medications. In the event of a drug shortage, Blue Shield has a standard process to ensure members have access to available medications to treat their condition.

Blue Shield of California is actively encouraging members and employees to stay home from work (or school) if they are feeling ill. Instead we suggest reaching out to our Teladoc service or to report your condition to your family doctor or urgent care clinic.

“We don’t want there to be any barriers to appropriate testing and care for COVID-19,” said Terry Gilliland, M.D., executive vice president, Healthcare Quality and Affordability, at Blue Shield of California. “We want our members to get in touch with health care personnel – their doctor or Teladoc - if they feel unwell, so they can be appropriately referred for lab tests rather than to self-refer. It is also safer to take that step rather than going to an emergency room or urgent care clinic where they may infect others.”

For the latest news on the Coronavirus and prevention and treatment methods, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention page today.