Blue Cross NC Extends Deadlines, Offers Additional Measures for Customers During COVID-19 Pandemic
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is taking additional steps to help ensure customers can maintain their coverage and access the care they need during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Blue Cross NC will allow a 30-day extension to pay premiums. This will help members and employers who are facing financial difficulties due to COVID-19. Members or employers are encouraged to notify us if they need assistance.
In addition, we’re providing a 30-day extension, as needed, for deadlines related to:
- Claims submissions
- Appeals filing
- Authorization requests of medical services
- Additions of newborn and adopted children to a policy
The following provisions will also apply:
- Defer utilization management review of hospital cases
- Extend HIPAA and COBRA eligibility deadlines
- For Medicare Advantage and Medicare Advantage Part D customers, related to Part C provider network access: Waive prior authorization for out-of-network requirements
These measures are in accordance with requirements from the North Carolina Department of Insurance following a State of Disaster declaration and are effective March 27 for 30 days. We will continue to monitor for extensions.
Premium payment extensions do not apply to self-funded employer groups or members on the Federal Employee Program (FEP) which is governed by the federal Office of Personnel Management.
All other measures apply to all Blue Cross NC members.
Other Measures Continue
Expanding Coverage for Virtual Care Visits
Virtual doctor visits will be covered the same as face-to-face visits according to a member’s health plan. Virtual visits include appointments with primary care providers, specialists, behavioral health providers, and any NC licensed providers who can provide services via secure video or telephone. This applies to all members. Blue Cross NC strongly encourages people to seek virtual care whenever possible. This will save lives by preventing the spread of disease, and reduce the strain on our hospitals, emergency rooms, and urgent care centers.
Waiving out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing
Blue Cross NC will provide coverage and waive cost-sharing (including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance) for COVID-19 testing or for a doctor visit or call to determine if testing is necessary. Specifically, there will be no member cost-share for COVID-19 testing or screenings to determine if a testing is needed through virtual care visits, outpatient office visits, urgent care visits and ER visits. This applies to fully-insured, State Health Plan, and Medicare Advantage plans offered or administered by Blue Cross NC, including Experience Health. Blue Cross NC will be consulting with self-insured employer groups with regard to revising their benefits.
Increasing access to medications
Blue Cross NC is waiving early medication refill limits. This way, members can have the medicines they need on hand. Members can ask their doctor to order a 90-day prescription of their maintenance medication(s) for ongoing conditions or needs and ask for these to be mail-ordered for delivery. State and federal laws, formulary and quantity limits, and prior authorizations regarding prescriptions will still apply. This change applies to all Blue Cross NC card holders.
The company is committed to helping members afford and keep their coverage throughout and after the COVID-19 public health emergency.
More information can be found at BlueCrossNC.com/Coronavirus.