Last Updated | May 29, 2020

What to know about your Blue KC Coverage during COVID-19 outbreak

We are taking the following steps to ensure our members continue to receive the care they need and these measures will be in place during the COVID-19 emergency period.

Find COVID-19 information specific to our Blue Medicare Advantage members.

Topics

  • What to know about your Blue KC Coverage during COVID-19 outbreak
  • Accessing Blue KC Virtual Care
  • FAQs

measures we’re taking

TO SUPPORT MEMBERS

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. This policy will remain in place through June 30, 2020.

Blue KC will cover certain COVID-19 tests with no cost share for Blue KC members.

You should contact your primary care physician or healthcare provider if you are experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms.

There are two kinds of tests are available for COVID-19: viral tests and antibody tests.

  • A viral test tells you if you have a current infection.
  • An antibody test tells you if you had a previous infection

An antibody test may not be able to show if you have a current infection, because it can take 1-3 weeks after infection to make antibodies. The CDC does not know yet if having antibodies to the virus can protect someone from getting infected with the virus again, or how long that protection might last.

The COVID-19 viral and antibody tests will be covered with no cost share if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and your physician orders the test.

In addition, effective March 18, 2020, covered services and items furnished during the office visit, urgent care visit or emergency room visit that results in the ordering or the administration of a COVID-19 test due to COVID-19 like symptoms will also be covered with no cost sharing.

Important: Please note that for services provided prior to March 18, 2020, any cost sharing will apply for an office visit, urgent care or emergency room visit that resulted in ordering a COVID-19 test. In addition, other diagnostic tests during the office visit and those tests and services will also be subject to normal cost sharing.

Important: Blue KC will not cover COVID-19 viral or antibody testing for exposure, potential exposure, pre-surgical evaluation or evaluation for return to work.

Learn more about public health testing.

You can access care from home.

There’s no reason to leave home. You can access a video (face-to-face) visit right from your smartphone, tablet or computer with a virtual care doctor who’s been trained to evaluate for COVID-19. Both Urgent Care Visits and Behavioral Health Therapy visits provided in the Blue KC app are at no cost until June 30, 2020. Download the app on the Apple App Store and Google Play or go to www.BlueKCVirtualCare.com.

With increased use of virtual care, please understand the wait time may be longer.

In addition, until June 30, 2020 you can see your in-network providers, at no cost for virtual (face-to-face), telephone, e-mail or text visits for medical services or behavioral health therapy.

Cost sharing* still applies to physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

*Deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance

Blue KC will cover inpatient hospital admissions with no cost share to the member.

Effective April 1, Blue KC is waiving cost sharing and copayments for inpatient hospital admissions due to the diagnosis of COVID-19 for individuals fully insured by Blue KC. Some employers may have different contracts* with Blue KC which may affect your coverage levels. Please call the customer service number on the back of your Blue KC membership card with questions. This policy will remain in place through June 30, 2020.

*Minimum Premium/Cost-Plus, and ASO

FAQs

Blue KC will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments and update the following FAQ as additional information becomes available.

What is COVID-19?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases (for example, SARS is a coronavirus). This novel (or new) coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a strain that has not been previously identified in humans. You may see “coronavirus” and “COVID-19” used interchangeably in news reports.

How can I protect myself and my family?

  1. Check the CDC website for up-to-date information, especially if traveling.
  1. Practice good health habits. Everyday actions like handwashing can help to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19.
    • Stay home when you're sick. That includes staying home from work, school, errands and travel.
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when washing isn't an option.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as phones, keyboards and doorknobs.
    • Get plenty of sleep, exercise, drink a lot of fluids and eat nutritious food.
  2. If you have recently traveled to a high risk area or plan to do so, follow the recommendations on the CDC website and the Kansas Travel page regarding self-monitoring for infection and self-quarantine.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the symptoms of a cold, the flu and other respiratory illnesses including:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

What should I do if I’m experiencing symptoms of COVID-19?

If you are experiencing the above symptoms and you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19 take the following action:

  1. Call your healthcare provider and share your symptoms and concerns of being exposed to COVID-19.
  1. Follow your provider’s guidance on next steps. They may:
    • Suggest you self-quarantine until you’re able to take a test.
    • Recommend you be tested for influenza or other illnesses first.
    • Provide self-care tips.
  2. Do your best to avoid close contact with others and practice safe disinfecting and cleaning behaviors including:
    • Cover your mouth
    • Wash your hands
    • Disinfect surfaces you use (kitchen and bathroom counters, tables, drawers, etc.)
  3. Monitor your symptoms and keep your healthcare provider informed of any changes.

What telehealth services are available to me?

Blue KC is temporarily expanding coverage for telehealth. Until further notice, for in-network providers the following coverage enhancements apply for services that would otherwise be covered at an in-person visit. For more information on what services apply, please see the "Blue KC will cover in-network telehealth service" section of this website.

You can also access Blue KC Virtual Care at no cost to you. The Blue KC Virtual Care app is currently available on the Apple App Store and Google Play or at www.BlueKCVirtualCare.com. For instructions on how to use Blue KC Virtual Care see the “Accessing Blue KC Virtual Care” section of this website.

I don’t have a primary care doctor. Who can I call if I’m experiencing symptoms?

Unless an emergency, consider alternatives to in-person ER visits:

Healthcare facilities and virtual care platforms are experiencing an influx of calls from their patients during this time. You may experience longer than normal wait times when contacting your provider.

Is COVID-19 testing covered by my Blue KC health plan?

The COVID-19 diagnostic test will be covered consistent with CDC guidance related to COVID-19, with no cost share to the member. Effective March 18, 2020, covered services and items furnished during the office visit, urgent care visit or emergency room visit that results in the ordering or the administration of the COVID-19 test will also be covered with no cost sharing.

What should I know about public health testing that may be available?

Some local public health departments are beginning to offer COVID-19 testing to their residents whether or not they are showing COVID-19 symptoms. Check with your county’s health officials to learn more about public health testing they may be currently offering.

How can I be sure to get my prescription drug refills?

Blue KC has waived limits on 30-day early maintenance medication refills so you have the medicines you need on hand. You can ask your doctor to order a 90-day prescription to be filled via mail order if your plan provides mail order medication. This policy will remain in place through June 30, 2020.

I believe that I am sick with COVID-19. How should I be treated?

If you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, the CDC recommends that you get lots of rest and stay hydrated. If you are not sick enough to be hospitalized, you can recover at home. Follow CDC additional instructions for how to take care of yourself at home. If your symptoms worsen, contact your healthcare provider immediately to coordinate necessary care.

What is the cost of treatment if I become sick with COVID-19?

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and require medically supervised treatment, the care will be covered under your existing Blue KC health benefits. Any costs associated with your care will be consistent with the costs detailed in your plan’s coverage.

I believe that I am sick with COVID-19. What can I do to prevent spreading the illness to others?

The CDC recommends the following precautions to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community:

  • Isolate yourself at home. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. If you must go out, avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes.
  • As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. You should also restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.
  • Avoid sharing personal items with other people in your household, like dishes, towels, and bedding.
  • Clean all surfaces that are touched often, like counters, tabletops, and doorknobs. Use household cleaning sprays or wipes according to the label instructions.

How is Blue KC prepared to continue serving members?

Blue KC is actively monitoring the development of COVID-19, especially in the Kansas City metro area. We want you to know that we have already put measures in place to ensure our business operates as usual and members get the care they need should the situation escalate.

Measures will remain in effect until further notice.

Where can I receive dental care?

Due to the Coronavirus and in compliance with American Dental Association (ADA) many of our network dental offices have limited appointments to use for emergency needs. Symptoms of a dental emergency generally include the following: severe pain, acute infection, swelling, and/or persistent bleeding.

For additional information, tools, and resources please visit our Dental Resource Page for updates.For additional information, tools, and resources please visit our Dental Resource Page for updates.

Where can I receive vision care?

Due to the Coronavirus and in compliance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) many of our network vision providers have limited appointments for urgent needs. Urgent vision care situations may include having a contact lens lost or torn and still in the eye, a sudden onset of vision changes (double vision, blurry vision, wavy vision), or black spots/flashing lights in your vision.

For additional information, tools, and resources please visit our EyeMed Member FAQs for updates.

most of all, take care.