Blue Cross And Blue Shield Of Minnesota Extends Additional Virtual Care Benefits Through End Of Year
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Cost-Share Waiver for COVID-19 Treatment Will Continue Through June 2021
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EAGAN, Minn., Feb. 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its ongoing effort to help prevent the spread and impact of COVID-19 and improve the long-term sustainability of health care in Minnesota, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) today announced extended eligibility for certain expanded benefits.
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Blue Cross temporarily expanded virtual care benefits for its members to help improve access to health care services while reducing the need for in-person care across various specialties. Blue Cross members have continued to utilize these expanded benefits at a high rate throughout 2020 and into 2021. As a result, all temporary virtual care coverage changes currently in effect will be extended through December 31, 2021. This includes coverage for behavioral health services, in addition to physical, speech and occupational therapy, and medication management.
"We've heard first-hand from our members and health care provider partners that virtual care is working to help address the needs of our communities at a time when in-person care may not always be available or preferred," said Dr. Craig Samitt, president and CEO at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. "We will continue to do right by our members in any way we can to help them through this challenging time."
Additionally, Blue Cross announced in early 2020 that it would cover all in-network COVID-19 treatment – including office visits and hospitalizations – at no cost to members. As the virus continues to take a toll on the physical and financial health of all, Blue Cross has elected to extend this additional coverage through June 30, 2021.
The treatment cost-waiver applies to all members in fully insured commercial plans, which encompass thousands of small to large businesses throughout the state; Minnesotans who purchase Blue Cross coverage on their own; and seniors enrolled in Medicare. Self-insured employers have the flexibility to direct Blue Cross to administer the same change within their own health benefit plans.
In accordance with federal law, for the duration of the public health emergency, COVID-19 testing and vaccine administration will also continue to be covered at no cost. To learn more about how Blue Cross is working to address the immediate and long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, visit www.bluecrossmn.com/covid.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota's first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. A nonprofit, taxable organization, Blue Cross is the largest health plan based in Minnesota, covering 2.9 million members in Minnesota and nationally through its health plans or plans administered by its affiliated companies. Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® of Minnesota and Blue Plus® are nonprofit independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago.
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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
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