Updated Guidance on COVID-19 Coverage
Updated: 12/21/2020; 01/07/2021; 01/15/2021; 02/08/2021; 03/11/2021; 03/29/2021
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) continues to monitor COVID-19 closely. We continue to support our members and providers during the ongoing pandemic. Please note the following updates to our coverage.
In response to a continued demand for telehealth services related to the pandemic, BCBSKS will continue our expanded telehealth and virtual services coverage for providers until June 30, 2021. This includes:
- Telehealth visits paid at parity to in-person services.
- Use of telehealth by doctors and other healthcare providers for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19, as well as other conditions that are medically reasonable to be treated in this manner – e-Visits, virtual hospice services, partial hospitalization and hospital-based physical, speech and occupational therapy services.
Members are responsible for their cost-share (co-pay, deductible) for telehealth and virtual services provided on or after July 1, 2020, according to the terms of the member’s contract. The only exception to cost-share is for COVID-19 treatment provided by telehealth. (See guidance below.)
Please note: The State of Kansas employer group has opted to continue and waive member cost share for Amwell and network providers for telehealth services until May 28, 2021. The decision to extend coverage will continue to be reviewed.
COVID-19 testing will continue to be provided with no cost to the member through the duration of the declared public health pandemic.
COVID-19 treatment, in-person or via telehealth, will continue to be provided with no cost to the member for fully insured groups through June 30, 2021. Administrative Service Only (ASO) groups can choose to waive or not waive member cost share as of July 1, 2020.
Precertification/Continued Stay Review
BCBSKS will continue to waive the inpatient pre-certification and continued stay review requirement for COVID-19 admissions through June 30, 2021.
Transfers to Long Term Acute Care and Inpatient Rehabilitation
Beginning with admissions on or after November 24, 2020, we recognize that it may become necessary again for our acute hospitals to transfer non-COVID-19 patients to alternative care settings. Upon notification of the transfer, BCBSKS will approve admissions to long term acute care (LTAC) and inpatient rehab settings without requesting medical records.
To review previous details on these expansions, prior to November 24, 2020, please view the following publications:
- Update - How BCBSKS is Responding to COVID-19
- Telehealth Services Temporarily Expanded
- Expanded Telehealth Use Includes Dental Services
- Virtual Services Due to COVID-19 (UB-04 Billing)
- How BCBSKS is Responding to COVID-19
- Precertification Changes Due to COVID-19
Summary of updates to original newsletter sent on 11/24/2020:
- Extended Telehealth/Virtual Services for the State of Kansas employer group from December 31, 2020 to January 31, 2021.
- Extended COVID-19 Treatment for fully insured groups from December 31, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
- Extended Telehealth/Virtual Services for the State of Kansas employer group from January 31, 2021 to February 28, 2021.
- Extended Telehealth/Virtual Services for the State of Kansas employer group from February 28, 2021 to March 31, 2021.
- Extended Telehealth/Virtual Services from March 31, 2021 to June 30, 2021.
- Extended COVID-19 Treatment for fully insured groups from March 31, 2021 to June 30, 2021.
- Extended Precertification/Continued Stay Review from March 31, 2021 to June 30, 2021.
- Extended Telehealth/Virtual Services for the State of Kansas employer group from March 31, 2021 to May 28, 2021.