This press release was published on March 9. For the latest information, please visit our COVID-19 page.
For Immediate Release: March 9, 2020
KANSAS CITY, MO.Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) announces it is taking specific steps to ensure members’ access to testing, medications and virtual care, as it monitors the spread of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Blue KC will cover the COVID-19 test with no cost share to the member.*
The COVID-19 diagnostic test will be covered consistent with CDC guidance related to COVID-19, with no cost share to the member.
Blue KC will eliminate prior authorizations for COVID-19 services.*
Prior authorizations will be waived for diagnostic tests and for covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance if diagnosed with COVID-19. Blue KC will also make dedicated clinical staff available to address inquiries related to medical services, ensuring timeliness of responses related to COVID-19.
Blue KC will waive early medication refill limits.*
Early medication refill limits will be waived on 30-day prescription maintenance medications (excluding opioids and controlled substances). This is consistent with the CDC recommendation to have a one-month supply of medication on hand. Member cost sharing will apply as normal.
Blue KC Virtual Care will waive fees for 24/7 access to doctors.*
Blue KC is waiving fees for urgent/sick virtual care visits for members. Virtual visits allow doctors to monitor members at home, minimizing the spread of infection and easing the burden on emergency rooms, doctors’ offices and urgent care clinics.
With increased use of virtual care, please understand the wait time may be longer.
Blue KC's virtual care doctors have undergone additional training for COVID-19. The Blue KC Virtual Care app is currently available on the Apple App Store and Google Play or at www.BlueKCVirtualCare.com.
In addition to sick visits, Blue KC Virtual Care offers same- or next-day therapy appointments to help ease anxiety about coronavirus. Scheduled virtual care therapy visits start at $85.
*Cost share means deductible, copayments and coinsurance. Blue KC will work with self-insured and minimum premium clients to confirm application of this policy to their plans, as well as with federal officials to ensure coordination of benefits for Medicare members and for those with health saving accounts.
Blue KC has a plan in place to make sure our business operates as usual and members get the care they need should the situation escalate.
“At Blue KC, we are focused on doing everything we can to protect our members and our community,” said Greg Sweat, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Blue KC. “It’s important to remember most people will not get COVID-19. Those who do will most likely have mild symptoms. We should all be aware of the symptoms and practice good health habits including staying home if we feel sick. This will help prevent the spread of disease to those who are more at risk for serious health complications including the elderly and people with compromised immune systems.”
The above measures will remain in effect until May 15, 2020, at which time Blue KC will re-evaluate based on COVID-19 developments.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provides health coverage services to more than one million residents in the greater Kansas City area, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and 30 counties in Northwest Missouri. Our mission: to provide affordable access to healthcare and to improve the health of our members. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information on the company, visit its website at BlueKC.com.