Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City has announced it will cover COVID-19 testing and 24-7 access to virtual care for its members, according to a spokesman.
According to a news release, Blue KC will cover the COVID-19 test with no cost share to the member. The COVID-19 diagnostic test will be covered consistent with CDC guidance related to COVID-19, with no cost share to the member, according to the announcement.
In addition, Blue KC will eliminate prior authorizations for COVID-19 services. Prior authorization will be waived for diagnostic tests and covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance if diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the news release. Blue KC also will make dedicated clinical staff available to address inquiries related to medical services, ensuring timelienss of responses related to COVID-19, according to the announcement.
Also, Blue KC will waive early medication refill limits, according to the news release. Early medication refill limits will be waived on 30-day prescription maintenance medications (excluding opioids and controlled substances). This is consistent with the CDC recommendation to have a one-month supply of medication on hand. Member cost sharing will apply as normal, according to the announcement.
In addition, Blue KC Virtual Care will waive fees for 24/7 access to doctors, according to the announcement.
Blue KC is waiving fees for virtual care for members, according to the news release. Virtual visits allow doctors to monitor members at home, minimizing the spread of infection and easing the burden on emergency rooms, doctors’ offices and urgent care clinics, according to a spokesman.
Blue KC’s virtual care doctors have undergone additional training for COVID-19, according to the news release. The Blue KC Virtual Care app is currently available on the Apple App Store and Google Play or at www.bluekcvirtualcare.com.
In addition to sick visits, Blue KC Virtual Care offers same- or next-day therapy appointments to help ease anxiety about coronavirus, according to the news release. With increased use of virtual care, the wait time may be longer.
“At Blue KC, we are focused on doing everything we can to protect our members and our community,” said Dr. Greg Sweat, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Blue KC. “It’s important to remember most people will not get COVID-19. Those who do will most likely have mild symptoms. We should all be aware of the symptoms and practice good health habits including staying home if we feel sick. This will help prevent the spread of disease to those who are more at risk for serious health complications including the elderly and people with compromised immune systems.”
The measures announced today will remain in effect until May 15, 2020. At that time, Blue KC will re-evaluate based on COVID-19 developments.