Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma temporarily eliminates telemedicine copays

BY STAFF REPORTS
03/19/2020 05:30 PM
TULSA – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma on March 19 announced it will temporarily lift cost-sharing for medically necessary medical and behavioral health services delivered via telemedicine in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

This applies to all members who are insured by BCBSOK and includes telemedicine services retroactive to March 15. 

“First and foremost, we want to make sure our members get the care they need,” Joseph Cunningham, BCBSOK plan president, said. “Waiving in-network copays for telemedicine will allow our members to consult a qualified health care provider while avoiding unnecessary visits to clinics, hospitals and emergency rooms.” 

Benefits may be different for members covered under certain employer self-funded health plans depending on the decisions their employer makes about telemedicine.

Between March 19 and April 30, BCBSOK will continue to consider whether to extend the timeframe of this temporary cost-sharing change. 

There are two ways eligible, fully insured members can access these telemedicine benefits at no cost share:

· Contact a BCBSOK in-network provider who offers the service through two-way, live interactive telephone and/or digital video consultations; and

· Via the Virtual Visits benefit. Provided by BCBSOK and powered by MDLIVE, the doctor is in 24/7/365. Members can consult a board-certified doctor licensed in Oklahoma for non-emergency situations by phone, mobile app or online video. Virtual Visits doctors can send e-prescriptions to a local pharmacy.

Members can pick the easiest option to activate their MDLIVE account:

· Call MDLIVE at 1-888-976-4081,

· Visit MDLIVE.com/BCBSOK,

· Text BCBSOK to 635-483, or

· Download the MDLIVE app. 

BCBSOK officials said they continue to work with the Oklahoma Insurance Department to monitor outbreak information, treatment guidance, drug supply and pharmacy availability for membership.

Members may receive an additional supply of maintenance medication by requesting an early refill from the pharmacy. Additionally, BCBSOK pharmacy benefits generally include a 90-day fill benefit at a retail pharmacy or home delivery (by mail). Members can contact customer service representatives by calling the number on the back of their membership card, or pharmacies can contact Prime Therapeutics (Prime) directly to access these overrides or inquire about the availability of a 90-day benefit. 

Regarding treatment for COVID-19, BCBSOK plans cover medically necessary health benefits, including physician services, hospitalization and emergency services consistent with the terms of member benefits. BCBSOK will not require preauthorization and will not apply members’ co-pays or deductibles for testing to diagnose COVID-19 when medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidelines.

Any patient experiencing illness should contact their doctor. BCBSOK members who have questions about their coverage should call the number on their member ID cards.

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