BCBSNC Online Newsroom: http://mediacenter.bcbsnc.com
For Immediate Release: March 4, 2020
Blue Cross NC Announces Steps to Help Members Prepare for Coronavirus
Measures include improving access to primary care, acute care and medication refills
DURHAM, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) announced it is taking specific steps to improve our members’ access to doctors and medications, as it monitors the Coronavirus Disease-19, or COVID-19. Information about symptoms, precautions and testing can be found at BlueCrossNC.com/coronavirus.
“The health and safety of our members is always our top priority,” said Dr. Von Nguyen, Vice President of Clinical Operations and Innovations at Blue Cross NC. “By taking these steps, we are helping our members stay home if need be with the goal of keeping them and others well. If you have concerns about whether you have been exposed, please call your primary care doctor.”
In his prior job, Dr. Nguyen was part of the CDC teams responding to Cholera, Zika, MERS, and fungal meningitis.
Blue Cross NC is supporting our commercial members and North Carolina providers by promoting and implementing the following measures:
• Expanding virtual access to doctors – Effective March 6 Blue Cross NC will expand and promote access to virtual visits with primary care providers, where available. This will further encourage the use of virtual visits and allow doctors to monitor members at home, minimizing the spread of infection and easing the burden on emergency rooms.
• Expediting approvals for acute care – Effective March 6
Blue Cross NC will work to expedite approvals in order to support members needing care related to COVID-19; specifically relating to hospitalization, post-acute care and medical equipment needed in the home.
• Increasing access to medications – Effective March 6
Blue Cross NC will waive early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications consistent with the CDC recommendation to have a 1-month supply of medication on hand. Member cost sharing will apply as normal.
These measures will remain in effect for a 30-day period, and then be re-evaluated. Blue Cross NC covers doctor visits to screen for COVID-19 the same as any other doctor visit, based on a member’s health plan. If your doctor thinks you might have COVID-19, they will contact the CDC who will decide if you need a test. At this time, guidelines and testing for COVID-19 can only be conducted through the CDC and select public health laboratories.
Blue Cross NC has a plan in place to make sure our business operates normally, and members get the care they need should the situation escalate.
Blue Cross NC will provide updates to members as necessary.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) improves the health and well-being of our customers and communities by providing innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.9 million members, including approximately 1.1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. Since 1933, we have worked to make North Carolina a better place to live through our support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at bluecrossnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.