The Latest Updates on the Coronavirus

Last updated Friday, March 13, 2020.

The health and well-being of our members is our top priority. We are seeking the best practices to prevent and treat COVID-19 and to keep our members healthy.

Click here to see the actions we are taking to help you prepare, stay healthy and get the care you need.

The health and well-being of our members is our top priority. We are seeking the best practices to prevent and treat COVID-19 and to keep our members healthy.

 Click here to see how we are taking actions to support you and your patients.

Here is a helpful document from the CDC on keeping your workplace safe: Keeping Workplaces, Homes, Schools, or Commercial Establishments safe


1. We are expanding virtual access to health care providers. Visits to doctors that previously required a face-to-face encounter can be performed virtually. These virtual visits must be medically necessary and meet the qualifying criteria.
  • Please call your doctor’s office and ask about virtual appointment options. If you are feeling unwell, call ahead before showing up in person.  This will help prevent the spread of illness.
  • Rest assured knowing that we will cover telehealth services offered by in-network providers.
  • Many members have additional telehealth benefits included in their plans. Look for MDLive or Teladoc listed on the back of your member identification card and call for more information.
  • Note: Federal Employee Plan members can access telehealth services through Teladoc only.

2. We will waive early medication refill limits. This way, members can have the medicines they need on hand.
  • You can ask your doctor to order a 90-day prescription.
  • You can even ask for these to be mail-ordered for delivery to your home.
  • State and federal laws regarding prescription refills will still apply.

Note: Only available to members with pharmacy benefits through Blue Cross NC

3. Testing for COVID-19 will not need prior approval. If you believe you need COVID-19 testing, call your doctor.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about your symptoms and if you may have been exposed to the virus.

4. Blue Cross NC members will have zero out-of-pocket expenses for the COVID-19 test.
  • We will cover the cost of the COVID-19 test whether or not you have met your deductible. We are covering doctor visits to screen for COVID-19 and any required care the same as any other doctor visit or care, based on your health plan.

5. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 illness, Blue Cross NC will not require prior approval for medically necessary services.
  • No further information.


These changes apply to our fully insured, Medicare, State Health Plan and Federal Employee Program members. Self-funded employer groups will be given the option to apply these changes to their employees’ plans.

These five steps took effect on March 6, 2020.  They will remain in effect for 30 days and then re-evaluated.  We are seeking the best practices to prevent and treat COVID-19 and to keep our members healthy. We are committed to carrying out these actions for as long as necessary.


Video: 7 Things You Need to Know about the 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. In the video below, Dr. Nguyen answers questions about preparing, preventing, and seeking treatment for the Coronavirus.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the symptoms?
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

How is the virus transmitted?

The illness has caused pneumonia that can be severe especially for people with a weakened immune system, the elderly, or those with underlying respiratory problems.

Currently, there are no antiviral medications or vaccinations against this virus. This virus is transmitted by respiratory secretions, such as sneezing or coughing.

Avoidance of sick people and hand washing is your best prevention.  More will be learned about this virus as this outbreak evolves.

What precautions should I take?

The CDC suggests the following precautions for anyone traveling to an area where coronavirus is prevalent:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Stay home when you are ill.
  • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

This outbreak is evolving rapidly so we encourage you to check-in with the latest updates from the CDC. In addition, reference the updated CDC Travel Notice about this outbreak. 

Where and how did the virus originate?

The Coronavirus spread began in Wuhan province in China in December 2019, infecting tens of thousands of residents resulting in over 2000 deaths.  It has since spread to other countries, including the US.

Air travel and public transportation in and out of these cities have been shut down. The Center for Disease Control has advised avoiding non-essential travel to these areas.

Anyone who has returned from an affected area, such as Italy, South Korea, or China within the past 14 days and is sick with fever and cough, or difficulty breathing, should seek medical care right away and call ahead to the doctor’s office to inform them of recent travel and symptoms.

How high is your risk?



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