As we enter another week in this public health crisis, this simple message resonates with me. There is no doubt that the past few weeks have been a challenge to everyone in Louisiana. Yet I see hope and courage in my fellow Louisianians each day, and especially in the deeds and actions of the physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals who are doing their best to care for patients as the pandemic worsens in our state. I also see hope and courage in the more than 2,500 Blue Cross employees who are dedicated to serving you, and all of our members, across the state.
I want to assure you that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana remains committed to ensuring you have access to the healthcare you need during these difficult times. Our mission is to improve the health and lives of Louisianians, and that starts with you.
During these difficult times, know Blue Cross is working behind the scenes to relieve some of the financial and emotional stress around accessing and paying for healthcare, especially care related to COVID-19. That’s why, early in the crisis, we waived out-of-pocket costs for medically necessary testing to diagnose COVID-19, so our members could get the screening they needed without the additional worry.
Now, we are doing more. Effective April 1 through May 31, for members enrolled in one of our fully insured products, Blue Cross will waive members’ out-of-pocket costs (such as deductibles, copays or coinsurance) for COVID-19 medical treatment by in-network physicians, urgent care centers, hospitals and other healthcare providers. We hope this lifts any financial barriers that would keep you from seeking care you may need related to COVID-19.
In addition to waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment, we have made other recent changes to support your care:
$0 telehealth visits with BlueCare. You pay nothing out-of-pocket for online medical visits and behavioral health online appointments with BlueCare, our signature telehealth platform.
$0 telehealth coverage with in-network providers. We have now expanded $0 coverage for telehealth visits beyond BlueCare, to those provided by in-network doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered dietitians, dentists, chiropractors and physical, occupational or speech therapists. Like with BlueCare, you pay nothing out-of-pocket for online or over the phone medical visits with these providers.
In-home therapy visits. We’re covering in-home visits from network occupational, speech and physical therapists, to help you get these services without leaving your home.
Our commitment to our mission is reinforced during this unprecedented time as we commit significant resources to help the state of Louisiana in its emergency response. Blue Cross is working with the Louisiana Department of Health to monitor and track the spread of the virus to help Louisiana “flatten the curve” and keep everyone as safe as possible.
Using cutting-edge technology for timely and precise decision-making and action, our team and others with state government and universities are gathering, analyzing and modeling data in real-time to give projections for the rates of hospitalization and death, capacity of healthcare facilities and medical surge efforts in each region of the state. This information is helping guide state leaders in implementing mitigation measures to limit the spread of this virus and its effect on our healthcare system capacity. Undoubtedly, this effort is critical to Louisiana’s response to COVID-19 and to the health of our state.
If you would like to know more about what Blue Cross is doing to serve our members and the community during the COVID-19 crisis, visit www.bcbsla.com/covid19. We update this site as new information becomes available, to help you know what’s going on.
Again, on behalf of Blue Cross, thank you for the trust you put in us. We are committed to providing you with easy access to the care you need, and as we navigate these times together, we will continue to update you of any changes to our policies regarding COVID-19..
Stay calm. Stay strong. And stay safe.
I. Steven Udvarhelyi, MD
President and CEO
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana