Blue Shield of California announced Wednesday it will continue to provide financial support to help its members dealing with the health effects of COVID-19.
The nonprofit health plan will extend its commitment to waive co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles for treatment for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). It will also continue to cover costs for virtual care (medical and behavioral) services provided by Teladoc Health through Sept. 30, 2020. The plan will also continue to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 screening and testing in accordance with applicable state and federal law.
The extension of the treatment and Teladoc cost-sharing waivers, which were set to expire May 31st, is part of Blue Shield’s broad support for its members during the pandemic and related economic crisis. The health plan also has provided millions of dollars in premium support and relief for many individual and family members and small group employer customers over the past few months.
“As this pandemic continues, we want to continue providing critical support to help ensure our members continue to have access to care they need and deserve,” said Todd Walthall, chief operating officer, Blue Shield of California. “We are always looking for additional ways to assist members, providers, employers and business partners. This action is aligned with our mission to ensure all Californians have access to high-quality health care at an affordable price."
The waiver extension for COVID-19 treatment applies to customers who are covered under Blue Shield’s Individual and Family Plans, Medicare Supplemental plans, Medicare Advantage plans, as well as employer- and union-insured plans. Blue Shield also administers the treatment cost-sharing waiver for self-insured group health plans that choose to participate, although these plans may make their own determination regarding coverage.
As for virtual care services, copays and co-insurance for any Teladoc Medical and Behavioral Health visits will be waived for members enrolled in all of Blue Shield’s commercial plans until Sept. 30, 2020, including Individual and Family and all fully insured employer-sponsored plans that offer Teladoc.
Members enrolled in Blue Shield’s Trio, Tandem and Medicare Advantage & Med Supp plans already enjoy $0 out-of-pocket costs for Teladoc Medical services.
Blue Shield has taken additional actions during the COVID-19 pandemic to support our members, providers and local communities, including:
- Donating $500,000 to the Oakland COVID-19 Relief Fund to support pop-up coronavirus testing sites and other community initiatives.
- Volunteered on the state of California’s testing taskforce.
- Providing $100,000 support to MedShare, a San Francisco Bay area nonprofit organization that provides personal protective equipment (PPE) to nonprofit community healthcare providers.
- Announcing a support program for qualifying network providers and hospitals facing financial pressures as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Creating a dedicated COVID-19 website to inform members of their coverage under specific Blue Shield health benefit plans.
- Protecting employees and limiting the possible spread of the virus by initiating a company-wide work-from-home plan while maintaining uninterrupted service to our customers.
Click here to read more about how we are responding to the coronavirus outbreak to ensure we can continue to deliver on our nonprofit mission.