COVID-19 Update from Blue Shield of California
August 6th, 2020
In an ongoing effort to meet the needs of the times, Blue Shield of California is extending cost-sharing waivers through December 31, 2020 for COVID-19 treatment and for Teladoc virtual medicine visits.
On April 1, 2020, Blue Shield announced it will waive co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles for treatment for COVID-19 received between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020. This waiver was previously extended to September 30, 2020. Today, we are extending this waiver through December 31, 2020. This applies to the following plan types:
- Fully insured and flex-funded employer-sponsored plans
- Plans purchased through Blue Shield of California directly
- Plans purchased through Covered California
- Medicare Advantage plans
- Medicare Supplement plans
- Employer-sponsored plans where the plan sponsor elects to pay for copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for COVID-19 treatment. These plans are not required to cover these costs. Employer groups with questions on this topic should contact their account team.
Medi-Cal members have no out-of-pocket costs for treatments.
Covered services include any treatments for COVID-19 from doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare professionals in a plan’s network from March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Providers must use proper diagnosis and procedure codes related to COVID-19 for Blue Shield to waive member deductible, copay, and coinsurance liability for treatment.
Please note: COVID-19 guidance is evolving rapidly. Our responses are based on existing guidance and are subject to change depending on legal and/or regulatory developments.
Copays and co-insurance for Teladoc visits, general medical and behavioral health, will be waived for members enrolled in all Blue Shield commercial (including IFP Grandfathered Plans) and Medicare plans through December 31, 2020, whether or not the visit is related to COVID-19. Currently, Teladoc can screen for COVID-19 but cannot order COVID-19 tests.
Members enrolled in Blue Shield’s Trio HMO and Tandem PPO plans, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement Plan G Extra, Medi-Cal, and Cal MediConnect plans, already enjoy $0 out-of-pocket costs for Teladoc general medical services.
Employer-sponsored plans should contact their account team with questions regarding providing this benefit coverage for their members.
Blue Shield of California will continue to comply with all federal and state laws and regulations until the end of the public health emergency, including the latest DMHC emergency regulation issued on July 17, 2020 regarding COVID-19 testing for “essential workers” and other individuals which expires on January 14, 2021. We are working diligently and expeditiously to implement the new DMHC emergency regulation to help ensure our members have access to care, especially during this ongoing public health crisis. We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.