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COVID-19 Update: Telehealth and Treatment Cost-Share Waivers

June 25, 2020

We continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and are committed to helping our employer customers and members stay informed. We have updates to some of our coverage dates. As always, members should call the number on their ID card for answers to their specific benefit questions.


Effective Date

Projected End Date

COVID-19 Testing


Cost-share waiver ends with the end of Health and Human Services (HHS) public health emergency

COVID-19 Testing-related visits


Cost-share waiver ends with the end of HHS public health emergency



Cost-share waiver extended through 7/31/20*

For Medicare (not Part D) and Medicare Supplement plans, cost-share waiver extended through 12/31/20*

COVID-19 Treatment


Cost-share waiver ends 6/30/20

Interfacility Transfer


Ended 5/15/20

Prior Authorization extended on previously approved elective surgeries, procedures, therapies and behavioral health services**

Services scheduled between 1/1/20 and 6/30/20


Chest CT Scan


End of HHS public health emergency

*Date change/extension
**Behavioral Health services included in this extension.

Note: Effective March 10, 2020, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois began covering telehealth “virtual” visits with in-network Illinois providers for eligible PPO and Blue Choice members consistent with the terms of the member’s benefit plan. This telehealth benefit option is currently available through Dec. 31, 2020.

As we let you know in April, self-funded customers (ASO) who aligned with our decisions for fully insured members would continue that alignment unless we were notified. We will suspend the cost-share waiver for COVID-19 treatment as of June 30, 2020, and extend the cost-share waiver for telehealth through July 31, 2020.

What this means to you:

  • An ASO account’s prior decision to waive cost-share for COVID-19 treatment will be suspended effective July 1, unless the account requests from us continuance of the cost-share waiver for COVID-19 treatment.
    • ASO options are to extend to Aug. 31, 2020, Dec. 31, 2020, or update benefits as part of their renewal for their future plan year.
  • An ASO account’s prior decision to waive cost-share for telehealth will be extended to July 31, 2020, unless the account makes a request to us to end the cost-share waiver on June 30, 2020.

If your ASO clients would like to make a change from their original decision, please contact your account executive no later than Friday, July 3. If you don’t communicate that change by July 3, your client’s decision will continue as currently coded. Change decisions made after July 3 cannot be accommodated for a July 1 effective date.

As a reminder, COVID-19 testing and testing-related visits are covered at no cost-share for fully insured and ASO members as required by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act until the end of the federal public health emergency.