Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina's (Blue Cross NC) current telehealth policy will remain in place through the end of 2021 to best serve its members throughout the course of the pandemic. After expanding virtual coverage last year, Blue Cross NC saw its members’ telehealth usage increase by more than 7,500 percent in 2020.
The extended telehealth policy covers doctor visits by video or phone the same as face-to-face visits, and providers will be paid the same as they would for in-person visits. The policy applies to all Blue Cross NC commercial plans and Medicare Advantage plans offered and administered by Blue Cross NC. Members of the Federal Employee Program (FEP) have telehealth covered at parity with in-person visits until further notice. The extended policy does not apply to Blue Cross NC members getting care from out of state providers, or members of other Blue Cross Blue Shield plans receiving care in North Carolina.
In addition to telehealth, Blue Cross NC has put multiple benefit provisions in place to assist members during the COVID-19 public health emergency, including continuing to waive member-cost sharing (copays, deductibles and coinsurance) for COVID-related treatment through June 30, 2021. This applies to all commercial, individual and fully insured group health plans, plus self-funded health plans that opted to include the coverage.
Blue Cross NC will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and re-evaluate policies, as necessary. More information is available at BlueCrossNC.com/Coronavirus.