EDITOR'S NOTE: The services were originally set to expire at the end of 2020. They have been extended.
Blue Shield of California will continue to provide financial support for members battling the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by extending its commitment to waive co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles for treatment of COVID-19 through Feb. 28, 2021.
The nonprofit health plan will also continue to cover costs for virtual care (medical and behavioral) services provided by Teladoc Health through Feb. 28, 2021.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we remain committed to finding ways to provide critical support to help our members receive the care they need and this extension is another way of doing that,” said Todd Walthall, chief operating officer, Blue Shield of California. “Our members, providers, employers and their employees deserve access to high-quality, affordable health care more than ever and we are glad to be here for them.”
The extension of the treatment and Teladoc cost-sharing waivers 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 & Family Plan members and small group employer customers.
Blue Shield is also committed to continuing to cover COVID-19 screening and testing in accordance with applicable state and federal law. That includes waiving cost-sharing for diagnostic testing and related screening services provided to individuals with symptoms, or known or suspected exposure to COVID-19.
The health plan’s subsidiary Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan, which serves Medi-Cal, Medicare and Cal Mediconnect beneficiaries, already provides access to testing and treatment with no additional costs to members.
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 and flex-funded 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 fully-insured commercial plans until Feb. 28,2021 including Individual and Family and all group-sponsored plans that offer Teladoc.
Members enrolled in Blue Shield’s Trio, Tandem and Medicare Advantage & Medicare Supplement plans, as well as Blue Shield Promise beneficiaries, already enjoy $0 out-of-pocket costs for Teladoc medical services.
Blue Shield has taken multiple 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.
- Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan providing $100,000 in grants to support nutrition for Southern Californians during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Volunteering on the California state COVID-19 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 financial support program for qualifying in-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.