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Changes to Behavioral Health Care Management Program

Dec. 30, 2010 (Updated Jan. 6, 2011)

This program applies only to members who receive behavioral health care benefits through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL). Please check the member’s ID card for verification.

BCBSIL has made a change to its new Behavioral Health program effective Jan. 1, 2011. The preauthorization requirement has been eliminated for outpatient behavioral health visits, except as identified below.

The intent of the program is to help members access their behavioral health benefits, while also helping to improve coordination of care between medical and behavioral health care providers. The Behavioral Health program is designed to achieve the following objectives:

  • Give members guidance regarding care options and available services based on their benefit plan;
  • Help members identify network providers that best fit their care needs; and
  • Identify co-existing medical and behavioral health conditions earlier.

Although preauthorization for outpatient behavioral health services is not required—except as listed below—outpatient behavioral health care management services will continue to be available on a voluntary basis. Members who wish to consult BCBSIL’s licensed behavioral health staff professionals when accessing behavioral health services may call the Mental Health/Substance Abuse number on the back of their member ID card for assistance.

Some outpatient behavioral health services will still require preauthorization. All outpatient electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), psychological testing, neuropsychological testing, partial hospital admissions and intensive outpatient programs require preauthorization before the initiation of services.

BCBSIL is committed to providing unrivaled customer service to members and collaborating with providers to ensure that members receive quality care that is consistent with professional standards.

Please see the link below for additional information. If you have further questions, contact your assigned Provider Network Consultant.

Frequently Asked Questions  

All behavioral health benefits are subject to the terms and conditions as listed in the member’s benefit plan.