I hope you are all doing well and taking care of yourselves and your families.
I wanted to let all of you know that if you are enrolled in our health insurance with BCBS you have options for telehealth which do not require an office visit. They can be done on your phone through an app or on a computer if you have a camera and microphone. As of March 20th there is no co-pay or deductible for telehealth visits for the next 60 days as long as it is medically reasonable. It also does not have to be related to COVID-19, but there are certain things also covered related to COVID-19 that are detailed below.
Below is BCBS’s official release. I attached a flyer to the email I sent that explains how to set up telehealth with the app and also explains more about what type of visits can be done using this option. Please check that or contact Felicia or I for more information.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) has announced a new policy regarding telehealth services that ensures members have swift access to the care need to get and stay healthy – at no cost to them.
In conjunction with the other 35 independently-operated Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) companies and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Federal Employee Program® (FEP®), BCBSKS will expand coverage for telehealth services, which includes waiving cost-sharing for all telehealth services for members. We are also advocating for physician and health system adoption of social distancing-encouraging capabilities such as video, telephone, chat and/or e-visits. Members are encouraged to use contracted providers in-network. This builds on the commitment previously announced to ensure swift and smooth access to care during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Cost-sharing (co-pays, deductibles) are waived for the next 60 days for:
- Telehealth services for any visit that is medically reasonable to be done using telehealth. It must be patient initiated. The visit does not have to be specific to COVID-19 testing. Telehealth visits are also available for mental health services. The use of telehealth will help to lower the spread of germs and lessen the burden on the Kansas healthcare system.
- E-visits, done within an established patient and provider relationship, and initiated by the patient, specifically related to diagnosis and treatment and requiring medical decision making. Scheduling appointments would not be included.
“In this challenging moment, we need everyone to do their part,” said Matt All, president/CEO. “Making telehealth easier to use and less expensive will help keep patients and doctors safe, and ensure everyone gets the care they need.”
In accordance with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act signed into law March 18, BCBSKS will be waiving member cost-share (co-pays, deductibles) for the following services associated with the testing of COVID-19.
- Medically necessary diagnostic tests related to COVID-19
- Cost of visit to doctor’s office, urgent care, telehealth, and emergency room used for diagnostic testing of COVID-19.
- Related services (flu tests, respiratory illness tests) provided during urgent care, emergency room, or in-person or telehealth provider visits that result in an order for or administration of a covered diagnostic test for COVID-19.
Note: As decisions to expand coverage occur quickly, it does take time to allow for our claims and billing departments to update their systems. This brief lag as things are getting set up may cause co-pays to be charged at time of service. BCBSKS will adjust claims on an ongoing basis.