Health insurance company waives telehealth fees

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan announced it will provide no-cost telehealth medical services to members with an existing telehealth benefit through at least April 30. Photo by iStock

A health insurance company is taking new steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan announced it will provide no-cost telehealth medical services to members with an existing telehealth benefit through at least April 30 to help people consult with physicians from home using their computers, smartphones, tablets and telephones.

BCBSM hopes the no-cost access to “virtual” doctor visits will encourage members with manageable flu-like symptoms to have their initial consultations with doctors from home rather than go into doctors’ offices or hospital emergency rooms that are expected to be strained in treating people with severe COVID-19 symptoms.

“We don’t want the co-pay to get in the way of our members being able to consult with doctors from their homes,” said Daniel J. Loepp, BCBSM president and CEO. “No-cost use of telehealth by our eligible members will help get their questions answered. It also will help those on the front lines — doctors, nurses and health care workers — address the most serious cases of coronavirus coming to our hospitals and physician offices.”

BCBSM previously announced other steps to protect members from COVID-19, including:

  • Waiving prior authorizations for diagnostic tests and for covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance if diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Covering the full cost of medically necessary laboratory tests to diagnose COVID-19 infection consistent with CDC guidance.
  • Increasing access to prescription medications by waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications and encouraging members to use 90-day mail-order benefits if available.

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