DETROIT — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is offering free virtual health care services to those who already have the telehealthcare plan, according to the health insurance company.
Doctors will treat patients with "manageable" flu-like symptoms via smartphones and computers until at least April 30 to help combat the spread of the coronavirus.
The president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan said the company is offering the free service because they don't want the co-pay to get in the way of their members being able to consult with doctors from their homes.
This service is in place so patients with a manageable illness don't have to go into doctor's offices and emergency rooms that are filled with people who are being treated for COVID-19.
"It also will help those on the front lines – doctors, nurses and health care workers – address the most serious cases of coronavirus coming to our hospitals and physician offices," said Daniel J. Loepp, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan President & CEO.
Aside from offering the free virtual medical service, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is taking other steps to protect its members from COVID-19.
- Waiving prior authorizations for diagnostic tests and for covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance if diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Covering the full cost of medically necessary laboratory tests to diagnose COVID-19 infection consistent with CDC guidance.
- Increasing access to prescription medications by waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications (consistent with member’s benefit plan) and encouraging members to use 90-day mail order benefits if available.
The CDC says patients with a confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
- Shortness of breath
The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
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