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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Supporting Provider and Hospital Partners on Front Lines of the COVID-19 Outbreak

CHICAGO – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) announced several continued actions underway to support health care providers on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak. We support our hospitals, doctors and other health care professionals during this critical time to help speed the delivery of care for our members when its needed most.

Our relationships with providers and hospitals are the cornerstone of our business. We deeply value these important relationships and we are actively working with our local providers and hospital partners to support their operations during this critical time to help speed the delivery of care for our members when it’s needed the most.

During this global crisis, multiple states, municipalities and organizations have called for volunteers with medical training and licensure to relieve or supplement health care workers in hospitals and other areas struggling with COVID-19. To provide immediate, direct support for providers in our communities, BCBSIL has launched the Employed Clinician Volunteer Program for the doctors, pharmacists, nurses, behavioral health specialists and other clinicians with varied specialty backgrounds.

Through this program, BCBSIL will pay eligible and approved BCBSIL employees, who are medical clinicians, to volunteer for patient care in their field for up to 80 hours of paid time during their regular scheduled work hours.

In addition to our new Employed Clinician Volunteer Program, BCBSIL has implemented several temporary policies to support providers and hospitals during the COVID-19 outbreak. These actions include:

  • Waiving prior authorization requirements for diagnostic tests and testing-related services for COVID-19
  • Temporarily removing prior authorization for in-network post-acute facility transfers — to help expand critical hospital, health system and provider capacity for individuals with COVID-19 infection
  • Reducing prior authorization requirements for CT chest scans with a COVID diagnosis
  • Expanding access to telehealth services and waiving cost-sharing for members who use in-network medically necessary telemedicine services
  • Implementing an expedited, fast track credentialing process for providers—to support the addition of new network providers needed to address the COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Extending approvals on medical and behavioral health services for members and providers who already received approval for certain elective surgeries, procedures, therapies and home visit services
  • Launching the COVID-19 Collaborative Grant Fund to provide resources and support to those most impacted by the pandemic
  • Launching dedicated COVID-19 educational websites so members and providers can easily access information and resources related to COVID-19
  • Continuing to work with community partners and universities to address the social determinants to reduce health disparities across our communities

Get the latest information on BCBSIL’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and other information and tips to stay healthy.


About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is committed to expanding access to quality, cost-effective health care to as many people as possible in Illinois. BCBSIL is dedicated to innovation and exploring, nurturing and activating future possibilities to make the health care system work better for our members and our communities.

Media Contact

Colleen Miller 

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