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Last updated Monday, March 23, 2020.

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Members

Find out what Blue Cross NC is doing to support members.

Not feeling well? Ask your doctor to conduct your appointment by telephone. 

Providers

Find out what Blue Cross NC is doing to support providers.

Pro-Tip: Conduct your appointments by secure video or telephone. We’re paying at parity.

At a Glance: What Blue Cross NC is doing

Members

1. We are expanding virtual access to health care providers. Blue Cross NC will cover virtual visits, including those done by phone, the same as face-to-face visits according to a member's health plan.

Virtual visits include appointments with primary care providers, specialists, behavioral health providers, and any NC licensed providers who can provide services via secure video or telephone.  

Blue Cross NC will provide coverage and waive cost-sharing (including copayments, deductible and coinsurance) for virtual visits done by video or phone to screen for COVID-19. This applies whether or not you have met your deductible and applies to fully-insured and self-funded plans. This change is in line with the federal coronavirus relief package approved and signed into law on March 18, 2020. 

To use this telehealth benefit do the following:

Please call your doctor’s office and ask about virtual appointment options. If you are feeling unwell, call ahead before showing up in person.  This will help prevent the spread of illness.

Rest assured knowing that we will cover telehealth services offered by in-network providers.

Many members have additional telehealth benefits included in their plans. Look for MDLive or Teladoc listed on the back of your member identification card and call for more information. 

These virtual visits must be medically necessary and meet the qualifying criteria.

 

These changes apply to all members with the exception of those on a Federal Employee Plan (FEP). Federal Employee Plan members can access telehealth services through Teladoc only. FEP members can find details on their telehealth benefits here.

2. We will waive early medication refill limits. This way, members can have the medicines they need on hand.
  • You can ask your doctor to order a 90-day prescription of your maintenance medication(s) for ongoing conditions or needs.
  • You can even ask for these to be mail-ordered for delivery to your home. 
  • State and federal laws, formulary and quantity limits, and prior authorizations regarding prescriptions will still apply.

Note: Only available to members with pharmacy benefits through Blue Cross NC

 

3. Testing for COVID-19 will not need prior approval. If you believe you need COVID-19 testing, call your doctor.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about your symptoms and if you may have been exposed to the virus.
4. Blue Cross NC will provide coverage and waive cost-sharing for the COVID-19 test.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) will provide coverage and waive cost-sharing (including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance) for COVID-19 testing or for a doctor visit or call to determine if testing is necessary.

Specifically, there will be no member cost-share for COVID-19 testing or screenings to determine if a testing is needed through virtual care visits, outpatient office visits, urgent care visits and ER visits.  

These changes are in line with the federal coronavirus relief package approved and signed into law on March 18, 2020.The changes apply to fully-insured and self-funded plans.

Blue Cross NC strongly encourages people to seek virtual care whenever possible. This will save lives by preventing the spread of disease, and reduce the strain on our hospitals, emergency rooms, and urgent care centers.

If you feel unwell, always first call your primary care provider (PCP). If you call ahead and speak to someone first, you may be able to avoid a trip to the doctor’s office or urgent care. Ask for a virtual visit. 

5. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, Blue Cross NC will not require prior approval for medically necessary services.

These changes apply to our fully insured, Medicare Advantage, State Health Plan and Federal Employee Program members. Self-funded employer groups will be given the option to apply these changes to their employees’ plans.

We are committed to carrying out actions to assist our members and community in the face of COVID-19. We will continue to re-evaluate and take recommendations from the CDC into consideration.

 

Video: 7 Things You Need to Know about the Coronavirus

“The health and safety of our members is always our top priority,” said Dr. Von Nguyen, Vice President of Clinical Operations and Innovations at Blue Cross NC. “By taking these steps we are helping our members stay home if need be with the goal of keeping them and others well. If you have concerns about whether you have been exposed, please call your primary care doctor.”

In his prior job, Dr. Nguyen was part of the CDC teams responding to Cholera, Zika, MERS, and fungal meningitis. In the video below, Dr. Nguyen answers questions about preparing, preventing, and seeking treatment for the Coronavirus.

Frequently Asked Questions
What are the symptoms?
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
How is the virus transmitted?

The illness has caused pneumonia that can be severe especially for people with a weakened immune system, the elderly, or those with underlying respiratory problems. 

Currently, there are no antiviral medications or vaccinations against this virus. This virus is transmitted by respiratory secretions, such as sneezing or coughing. 

Avoidance of sick people and hand washing is your best prevention.  More will be learned about this virus as this outbreak evolves.

What precautions should I take?

The CDC suggests the following precautions for anyone traveling to an area where coronavirus is prevalent:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Stay home when you are ill.
  • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

This outbreak is evolving rapidly so we encourage you to check-in with the latest updates from the CDC. In addition, reference the updated CDC Travel Notice about this outbreak.  

Where and how did the virus originate?

The Coronavirus spread began in Wuhan province in China in December 2019, infecting tens of thousands of residents resulting in over 2000 deaths.  It has since spread to other countries, including the US.

Air travel and public transportation in and out of these cities have been shut down. The Center for Disease Control has advised avoiding non-essential travel to these areas.

Anyone who has returned from an affected area, such as Italy, South Korea, or China within the past 14 days and is sick with fever and cough, or difficulty breathing, should seek medical care right away and call ahead to the doctor’s office to inform them of recent travel and symptoms.

How high is your risk?

Loss of Coverage

Blue Cross NC is committed to the health and well-being of all North Carolinians and is prepared to help customers who have recently lost health coverage navigate their options for coverage. Please visit our website to learn about individual and family plans, in which subsidies may be available, short term plans, and more. Customers may also call 1-888-802-4171 for help.

In addition to these resources, if you have been recently experienced a temporary layoff and/or reduction of hours, please speak to your employer about options for coverage.

From Our Leadership

How to Get Care in North Carolina

We want to help members find the right care, at the right place, at the right time 

This is especially important in the case of COVID-19. We can prevent the spread of infection. We can protect our members and front line providers and health care staff.   

If you feel unwell, always first call your primary care provider (PCP). If you call ahead and speak to someone first, you may be able to avoid a trip to the doctor’s office or urgent care. Ask for a virtual visit. (Of course, in a true emergency, always call 911 first!)

During the COVID-19 crisis always call ahead and speak to someone. You should avoid showing up to the doctor’s office or urgent care without calling ahead. 

Below we’ve made a list of resources from health care systems and practices throughout NC. We will continue to update this list with what are the right first steps to seek care with these providers. 

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) 

  • General Questions on COVID-19: Call North Carolina Coronavirus Helpline 866-462-3821  
Charlotte

Atrium Health 

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • Current Atrium Health patients and the general community (if you do not have a PCP at Atrium Health), call the 24/7 Health Line: 704-468-8888 
  • Virtual Care 
  • Website 

 

Novant Health 

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • If you do not have a PCP at Novant Health, call helpline 877-9NOVANT  
  • Virtual Care 
  • Website 

 

CaroMont

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • NC DHHS hotline at 866-462-3821 or your local Department of Health and Human Services 
  • Virtual Care 
    • NA 
  • Website 

 

Iredell Health System 

  •  Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • NC DHHS Hotline at 1.866.462.3821 
  • Virtual Care 
    • NA 
  • Website 

 

Lake Norman

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • N/A 
  • Virtual Care 
    • N/A 
  • Website 

  

Triad

Wake Forest Baptist Health 

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • If you do not have a PCP at WFBH, call hotline 336-70-COVID. 
  • Virtual Care 
    • N/A 
  • Website 

 

Cone Health 

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • N/A – call the NC hotline at (866) 462-3821 
  • Virtual Care 
  • Website 

 

Novant Health 

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • If you do not have a PCP at Novant, call helpline 877-9NOVANT  
  • Virtual Care 
  • Website 

 

Randolph Health

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • NC DHHS hotline at 866-462-3821 
  • Virtual Care 
    • NA 
  • Website 
Triangle: Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh

UNC Health 

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • If you do not have a PCP at UNC Health, call helpline 1-888-850-2684  
  • Virtual Care 
    • http://www.uncurgentcare247.com/ 
  • Website 
  • Testing 
    • Your PCP or the COVID-19 helpline may refer you to a UNC Health Respiratory Diagnostic Center or to a UNC Virtual Care center; you must be scheduled by a clinician. 

 

WakeMed & WakeMed Key Community Care (WKCC) 

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP)  
  • Phone Hotline 
    • WakeMed Health Help Line at 919-350-5200 
  • Virtual Care 
  • Website 
  • Testing 
    • Respiratory Diagnostic Centers (RDC) open, but patients must first call the WakeMed Health Help Line to receive screening and an order from a physician to make an appointment 

 

Duke Health 

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • If you do not have a PCP at Duke Health, call COVID-19 Hotline 919-385-0429 
  • Virtual Care 
    • https://www.dukehealth.org/treatments/virtual-urgent-care 
  • Website 
  • Testing 
    • At this time widespread testing including drive-up testing is not available.  Duke Health is currently building capabilities to offer drive-up testing and will continue to follow CDC and State guidance on who to test. 

 

Granville Health

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • NA 
  • Virtual Care 
    • NA 
  • Website 

 

Avance Care 

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • NA 
  • Virtual Care 
  • Website 
Coastal

Wilmington Health 

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • If you’re an established patient with Wilmington Health, text “APPT” 839894 
    • If you are a Blue Cross NC member and NEW patient to Wilmington Health, text “BCBS” to 839894.  
    • Or call 910.341.3400 — always call before leaving home.  
  • Website 

 

New Hanover

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • NC DHHS Hotline: (866) 462-3821 
  • Virtual Care 
    • NA 
  • Website 

 

Carteret

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • Public Information Recorded Hotline 252-726-7177 by the Carteret County Health Department. Includes # of confirmed cases, what to do if feeling sick, and information on sheltering in place. Public Inquiry Phone 252-726-7060 – Staffed by the Carteret County Health Department. 
  • Virtual Care 
    • N/A
  • Website 

 

CarolinaEast

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • NC DHHS hotline at 866.462.3821 
  • Virtual Care 
    • NA 
  • Website 

 

Dosher

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • Brunswick County Public Health Department at 910-253-2339 or NC DHHS at (866) 462-3821 
  • Virtual Care 
    • NA 
  • Website 

 

Sentara Albemarle

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • Call nurse line at 1-833-945-2395 to direct to appropriate resources 
  • Virtual Care 
    • NA 
  • Website 
Western

Mission/HCA

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • NA 
  • Virtual Care 
    • https://missionhealth.org/virtual-clinic/ 
  • Website 

 

Advent Hendersonville (formerly Park Ridge)

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • 24-hour AdventHealth Triage Nurse Hotline: 828-681-2300 
  • Virtual Care 
  • Website 

 

Hugh Chatham Memorial 

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • If you have nonurgent questions, call the Care Line at 336-527-CARE 
  • Virtual Care 
    • NA 
  • Website 

 

Catawba Valley Medical Center 

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • NA 
  • Virtual Care 
    • NA 
  • Website 

 

Appalachian Regional Health System

  • Virtual Care 
  • Website 
  • Testing 
    • Two alternative COVID-19 testing sites in Avery or Watauga County; the RelyMD physician will help you make an appointment if you have symptoms 

 

Northern Regional Hospital (Surry County) 

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • NC DHHS hotline at 866-462-3821 
  • Virtual Care 
    • NA 
  • Website 

 

Erlanger Murphy Medical Center 

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • If you don’t have a PCP, call the closest urgent care center 
  • Virtual Care 
    • NA 
  • Website 
Eastern

Vidant Health

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • General community resource hotline: 252-847-8000 or NC DHHS hotline at 866-462-3821 
  • Virtual Care 
    • N/A
  • Website 

 

ECU Physicians

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • Call 252-744-1111 for instructions 
  • Virtual Care 
    • Available by contacting your PCP 
  • Website 

 

Martin General

  •  Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • N/A 
  • Virtual Care 
    • N/A 
  • Website 

 

Sampson Regional

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • NC DHHS hotline at 1-866-462-3821 
  • Virtual Care
    • N/A
  • Website 

 

Sandhills

First Health

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • NC DHHS hotline at (866) 462-3821 
  • Virtual Care 
  • Website 

 

Cape Fear Valley 

  • Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • If you have symptoms, call the Carelink line at 910-615-LINK 
    • If you have questions about COVID-19, call 866-462-3821 
  • Virtual Care 
    • NA 
  • Website 

 

Southeastern Health

  •  Always first call your primary care provider (PCP) 
  • Phone Hotline 
    • NA 
  • Virtual Care 
    • NA 
  • Website 
Blue Cross NC

About Blue Cross NC Staff

Our Mission: To improve the health and well-being of our customers and communities.