Alerts and Announcements
Stay informed with the latest Medicare alerts and announcements from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.
Medicare to Cover Over-the-Counter (OTC) COVID-19 Testing Kits
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on Apr. 4 that beneficiaries with Medicare Part B, including those enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, now have access to FDA-approved COVID-19 tests at no cost. Medicare members may be asked to present their red, white and blue Medicare identification card to get their free OTC COVID-19 tests. Each person with Medicare Part B can get up to eight free OTC tests each month, until the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. The link above also lists participating pharmacies.
COVID-19 At-Home Tests and Medicare
The Biden Administration recently announced that the cost of FDA-approved COVID-19 over-the-counter testing kits would be covered by private health insurers. This order excludes Medicare beneficiaries at this time, however, there are no-cost options for COVID-19 testing for our Medicare members:
- COVID-19 tests ordered by a health care professional continue to be covered at no cost under your medical benefits.
- You may request free Over-the-Counter COVID-19 tests through the federal government's site.
USPS Delays May Impact Delivery of Premium Notices
Due to recent delays in the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mail delivery, some communications from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) may not reach you as quickly as usual. This includes premium payment notices, member ID cards, explanations of benefits and other benefit materials.
We are aware of these delays and apologize for the inconvenience. To prevent any break in benefits:
- You can pay your premium by phone. Call the Customer Service number listed on your BCBSIL member ID card for help paying your premium.
- You can print a new member ID card, review your explanation of benefits and other coverage information by logging into your Blue Access for MembersSM (BAMSM) account online or by using the mobile app.
Blue Cross Medicare AdvantageSM Members May be Eligible to Receive Electronic Tablets
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re lending electronic tablets to Blue Cross Medicare AdvantageSM members who meet program qualifications. Members can use the tablet to schedule telehealth visits with their doctors and to access plan benefits. For more information, call customer service at the number listed on your member ID card.
Keep Your Health Care Coverage During COVID-19