Move lessens administrative requirements to make it easier for members to get the care they need
April 3, 2020
RICHARDSON, Texas – In a move to ease administrative requirements so members can more easily get access to the care they need, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) today announced it is waiving member cost-sharing, including deductibles, copayments and coinsurance, related to treatment for COVID-19. The waiver applies to costs associated with COVID-19 treatment at in-network facilities and treatment for out-of-network emergencies.
The new policy applies to all HCSC fully insured group plan, individual and family plan, Medicare (excluding Part D plans), Medicare Supplement, and Medicaid members. BCBSTX will work in partnership with self-funded employer groups that decide to offer the same waivers.
The BCBSTX policy is effective for treatment received April 1 through May 31, 2020. BCBSTX will continue to reassess this policy as circumstances warrant.
“This is an extraordinary time that requires extraordinary measures to meet our members and communities’ health care needs in Texas,” said Dr. Dan McCoy, president of BCBSTX. “On a daily basis, we are closely monitoring the evolving situation with COVID-19, particularly how it is impacting our members and communities statewide. That’s why it’s important for us to make necessary policy changes – like waiving member cost-sharing – to give our members access to care related to COVID-19.”
The policy change follows several recent moves by BCBSTX to help expand health care coverage, such as the launch of a special enrollment period (SEP) to give employees of fully insured group customers – who did not opt in for coverage during the regular enrollment period - an opportunity to get coverage for their health care needs.
Other actions BCBSTX has implemented to support members include:
- Expanding access to telehealth coverage;
- Waiving preauthorization and members’ cost-sharing for testing to diagnose COVID-19; Lifting restrictions on early prescription fills;
- Lifting cost-sharing for in-network medically necessary services delivered via telemedicine;
- Waiving prior authorization requirements for transfers to in-network, alternative post-acute facilities until April 30, 2020;
- Launching a dedicated COVID-19 website so members can easily access information and resources around COVID-19; and
- Launching the COVID-19 Collaborative Grant Fund to provide resources and support to those most impacted by the pandemic.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) — the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas — is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 80,000 physicians and health care practitioners, and 500 hospitals to serve more than 5 million members in all 254 counties. BCBSTX is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) (which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma and New Mexico), the country’s largest customer-owned health insurer, and fourth largest health insurer overall. Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.