BOISE, Idaho – Regence BlueShield of Idaho will cover the cost of coronavirus (COVID-19) testing without any out-of-pocket costs for fully insured members to help to reduce friction during this unsettling time, the health insurer announced today.
Regence fully insured members will be able to access COVID-19 tests without copays, coinsurance, deductibles or pre-authorization if a provider determines that a test is necessary. Members with COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing should call their 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).
“The health and wellbeing of our members is our top priority, and we’re doing all we can to support our communities during this time of concern.” said Sean Robbins, president of Regence BlueShield of Idaho. “Regence has taken immediate steps to eliminate barriers for members seeking diagnosis and treatment for COVID-19, including accessing provider-recommended testing with no out-of-pocket cost.”
Additionally, Regence is supporting its members, business partners and local communities through the following actions:
- Easing access through virtual care: Regence is a leader in providing alternative, low-cost care solutions such as virtual office visits through telehealth and secure text/chat with doctors and nurses. These solutions enable access to virtual 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 its management program to ensure they have the care they need.
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 BlueShield of Idaho
Regence BlueShield of Idaho, based in Lewiston, has been serving Idahoans for 74 years. As a tax-paying nonprofit mutual insurance company and 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 in Idaho and nationwide experience health care. For more information, please visit regence.com, facebook.com/regenceblueshieldofidaho or twitter.com/regenceidaho.