What you need to know from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama on the coronavirus
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama on Thursday issued a release regarding COVID-19.
The release stressed that BCBS of Alabama “cares first and foremost about the health and well-being of our customers” and assured that the company “will continue to meet the needs of groups, members and providers with the sustained spread of a novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.”
“The health and safety of our members remains our top priority,” Dr. Dow Briggs, executive vice president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, said in a statement. “We want our customers to have peace of mind and know they have access to the healthcare they need if they are exposed to coronavirus or become sick. We will continue to do what is necessary to support the health and well-being of our members and the community.”
BCBS of Alabama announced that it has taken the following steps to ensure its members have access to the proper care during this time:
- Waiving prior authorizations for diagnostic tests and covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance for members diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Covering medically necessary diagnostic tests that are consistent with CDC guidance related to COVID-19 at no cost to our members with fully insured individual, employer-based, Federal Employee Program, and Medicare Advantage plans. For self-funded employer plans, members’ cost share for diagnostic tests will be based on their benefit plan.
- Increasing access to prescription medications by waiving early medication refill limits on prescriptions and encouraging members to use their 90-day retail or mail order benefit.
- Expanding access to telehealth and nurse/provider hotlines. Given the nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, seeking in-person medical care may lead to further spreading of the virus.
- Dedicating staff to be specifically available to address inquiries related to medical services, ensuring timely responses related to COVID-19.
The company says it continues to closely monitor the situation and has contingency plans in place to ensure business operations continue to run smoothly.
Those plans include:
- Continuing to process claims electronically. 99% of claims are process electronically, and we do not anticipate disruption to claims processing.
- Expanding our telework capabilities to cover nearly 100% of our workforce over the next 2-4 weeks to maintain staffing of critical business areas.
If BCBS of Alabama members have any questions, they can call the customer service number located on the back of their ID card.
For the latest on general COVID-19 developments, visit the CDC’s website.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn