NetWork Kansas announces it has awarded $250,000 in grants from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS). The grants have been given to nine colleges and small businesses in Kansas that are making personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers with low supply during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
As the state continues to see cases of COVID-19, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) has announced they will continue to offer COVID-related services with no cost share for members through the end of June or the end of the declared public health emergency in some cases.
BCBSKS to cover cost of COVID-19 treatment for fully insured, effective immediately.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) continues to step up efforts to make sure members have access to the care they need, while reducing their financial healthcare burden. Effective immediately, BCBSKS will waive cost-sharing for treatment of COVID-19 for the next 60 days. This includes coverage for testing and treatment administered at a doctor’s office, urgent care facility and emergency room, as well as inpatient hospital stays. The announcement applies to fully insured members, along with those who receive their insurance through Medicare Advantage plans. BCBSKS will also work with self-funded customers who want to implement a similar approach.
UPDATE 3/20/2020: As members of the healthcare community, we are doing our part to help slow the spread of the virus by having employees practice social distancing at our offices and by working remotely from home. We will work to make sure that our members have access to the care they need, that claims are paid, and questions are answered. We know that while response times may slow during this time period, we hope to minimize disruptions for you.
In alignment with the 35 other independent and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies, BCBSKS will cover the cost of diagnostic testing for COVID-19, increase access to prescription drugs, enhanced telehealth and other clinical support systems. BCBSKS is making these changes to ensure our members can swiftly access the care they need during this outbreak. We are working closely with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to remain in alignment with activities at the state level.
The full details of this coverage commitment include:
- BCBSKS will cover the cost of tests to check for the COVID-19 virus at no cost to the member. Testing will be medically necessary and follow CDC guidance as part of the Public Health Service response.
- BCBSKS will allow members to refill prescription medications before they are due to be refilled. Early medication refill limits will be waived. Members are also encouraged to use their 90-day mail-in benefit. In cases of drug shortages or access issues, BCBSKS will work to get an equivalent medication at no additional costs to the member.
- BCBSKS will promote access to telehealth.
Given the nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, seeking in-person medical care may lead to further spreading of the virus. BCBSKS will encourage the use of telehealth/virtual care.
- BCBSKS will make dedicated clinical staff available to address questions related to medical services, ensuring timely responses related to COVID-19.
The comprehensive steps taken by the BCBS companies mean that millions of Americans nationwide will have easier access to a range of medical services they may need should they become ill with COVID-19. The announcement mirrors the ongoing efforts of individual BCBS companies that remain committed to ensuring the better health of those in their local communities.
What you can do to protect yourself
Protect yourself and your community from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses like coronavirus disease 2019. Everyone has a role to play in getting ready and staying healthy.
- Frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Try not to touch eyes, nose, or mouth – if you do, wash your hands after
- Clean frequently touched surfaces
- Limit contact with people who are sick
- Avoid shaking hands
What to do if you have symptoms
If you feel you may have symptoms of the virus (cough, fever, shortness of breath), you should first restrict activities outside of your home, including work.
Call before you go! Before seeking treatment at your physician’s office or hospital, please call and share your symptoms and why you think you may be infected. They have specific procedures put in place for you to follow to limit the spread within their facilities.
BCBSKS takes the health of our members very seriously, and we want you to stay safe. While we know information is constantly changing and can seem a little scary, it is important to not panic. The CDC website is a great resource to get accurate updates about what is taking place nationally. BCBSKS is also working with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to stay up to date with what is happening in our state.
If you have questions or need help understanding what is covered, please call our customer service department.
785-291-4180 (in Topeka)
800-766-3777 (for hearing impaired customers)