PORTLAND, Ore. – Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon is actively monitoring the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in communities across the state and taking action to reduce friction for members during this unsettling time.
Specifically, Regence is supporting its members, business partners and local communities through the following actions:
- No-cost COVID-19 tests: Effective March 5, Regence is covering the cost of COVID-19 testing as prescribed by health practitioners in a similar fashion to existing preventative care benefits, waiving co-pays, coinsurance, deductibles, or pre-authorizations for fully insured members. Individuals with COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing should call your doctor or urgent care center first before seeking care. At this time, guidelines and testing for COVID-19 are being exclusively conducted through the CDC and select public health laboratories. Regence is working with self-funded partners to implement similar cost share arrangements when directed, and with federal officials to ensure coordination of benefits for Medicare members and those with health savings accounts (HSA).
- Easing access to virtual care: Regence is a leader in providing alternative, low-cost care solutions such as telehealth, secure text/chat with doctors, and virtual office visits. For example, Dispatch is a mobile, in-home urgent care service available to our members in Portland. These virtual solutions enable access to care quickly and conveniently while minimizing the spread of infection and easing pressure on providers’ offices and emergency rooms. Members can contact customer service or log-in to regence.com to learn about the method that’s best for them and their plan.
- Easing access to medications: As of March 2, refill policies for medications have been eased (excluding opioids) to ensure members have needed medications on hand. For certain medications that treat chronic conditions, members may also request a 90-day refill. Drug lists and additional policies will be adjusted in the event of a drug shortage to ensure members have uninterrupted access to the medications they need without additional costs.
- Proactive outreach to high-risk members: Since late January, Regence has been proactively contacting high-risk members in our case management program to ensure they have the care they need.
“Our top priority is ensuring the health and wellbeing of our members and employees during this trying time,” said Angela Dowling, president of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon. “We’ve taken immediate and actionable steps to support Oregonians, and we’ll continue to evaluate additional measures to connect people with the care they need and support our members across the state.”
Regence’s website, regence.com/go/covid-19, is being regularly updated with the latest information, including how to prevent the spread of disease and care options for members. Regence has been highly engaged with provider partners and local, state and federal public health officials to offer help and resources in responding to community needs and ensure out-of-pocket costs are not a barrier to people seeking testing for, and treatment of, COVID-19.
About Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, headquartered in Portland, has been providing health care solutions to Oregonians since 1941. As a tax-paying nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Regence is part of a family of companies dedicated to transforming health care by delivering innovative products and services that change the way consumers nationwide experience health care. For more information, please visit regence.com, facebook.com/regencebluecrossblueshield, or twitter.com/regenceoregon.