CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, a member of the District of Columbia Chamber of Commerce, announced they are now covering visits related to testing, and treatment of COVID-19, with no cost-sharing for its members. In addition, they are also loosening barriers to telehealth. The announced changes are in effect for fully insured CareFirst members. CareFirst is working with its self-insured members to provide the same or similar coverage.
The full scope of CareFirst actions to date are below:
Eliminated prior authorization requirements
for medically necessary diagnostic tests and covered services related to COVID-19 diagnosis.
Waived early medication refill limits
on 30-day maintenance medications.
Worked with CareFirst pharmacy partners
to provide free delivery of medications and assist with mailing prescriptions.
Waived cost sharing
(copays, coinsurance and deductibles) for in-network or out-of-network visits to a provider’s office, lab fees or treatments related to COVID-19. Though CareFirst is waiving out-of-pocket costs, members may experience balance billing from out-of-network providers.
Encouraged the use of 24/7 nurse phone line
to virtually access clinical resources trained in the latest screening and testing referral protocols, at no cost to our members.
Encouraged the use of telemedicine and virtual sites of care
such as CareFirst Video Visit.
- For telemedicine accessed through a CareFirst Video Visit, copays, coinsurance, and deductibles will be waived for the duration of this public health emergency—including behavioral health, lactation support, nutrition counseling and urgent care services.
- For other provider sponsored telemedicine, CareFirst will continue to pay providers for those services, but members may be subject to copays, coinsurance or deductibles.
- For clinician staff of primary care, general practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, OBGYN and associated nurse practitioners, CareFirst will pay for telephone-only consultations during this public health emergency, with no member out-of-pocket cost.
Rapidly expanded the scope of our contracted lab partners
to support access to testing as it becomes available.
Maria Harris Tildon, JD, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Government Affairs, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield states “we stand with you and the rest of the business community to address this crisis and serve our members and communities”.