In response to the Covid-19 virus, Blue Shield of California will waive out-of-pocket costs for most of its members to use Teladoc Health’s virtual care service.
The nonprofit health plan has taken a number of steps to help remove barriers to care for its customers in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health response to match guidance from the state of California and the federal government.
Teladoc Health provides medical advice over smartphones or computers from physicians anytime from anywhere reducing the risk of infection and spread of disease. Blue Shield members are encouraged to visit http://blueshieldca.com/teladoc or download the Blue Shield of California app on their smart phones to sign up for the service.
Copays and co-insurance for any Teladoc Health visits will be waived for members enrolled in all of Blue Shield’s commercial plans until May 31, including Individual & Family and employer-sponsored plans that offer Teladoc.
Members enrolled in Blue Shield’s Trio, Tandem and Medicare Advantage plans, plus Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan beneficiaries, already enjoy $0 out-of-pocket costs for Teladoc Health services.
“Our top priority is the health and safety of our members, our employees and promoting public health,” said Terry Gilliland, M.D. executive vice president, Blue Shield of California. “As we continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation, we believe making telemedicine more readily available is the right thing to do. It’s important that we reduce direct human contact as much as possible as we assess cases initially. We believe in testing outside of medical facilities – either with temporary facilities adjacent to existing healthcare facilities, or via drive through testing to help us reduce possible spread of the virus inside a medical facility.”
Blue Shield, which serves more than 4 million people, is actively encouraging members and employees to stay home from work (or school) if they are feeling ill. Instead, the health plan suggests reaching out to care services such as Teladoc, Heal, NurseHelp 24/7, or reporting their condition to their family doctor or urgent care clinic.
For the latest news on the coronavirus and prevention and treatment methods, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention page today.