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Benefits of Telehealth

By Taylor Shaw | March 30, 2020 | 5 min read | Understanding Insurance

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COVID-19 Update

On March 6, 2020, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina expanded virtual access to health care providers in response to COVID-19. 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. Our COVID-19 measures are in effect as of March 6, 2020. They have been extended until July 31, 2020 and will be reevaluated for further extension.

By meeting with your doctor virtually, you will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. You’ll also play an important role in keeping our healthcare system from experiencing overwhelm.

Virtual visits include any 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 according to your plan.

Many members have additional telehealth benefits included in their plans. To see if you have these additional benefits, 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). FEP members can access telehealth services through Teladoc only.

Other benefits of telehealth: you have access to a doctor without leaving your home

While all Blue Cross NC members have access to telehealth right now in response to COVID-19, many members have telehealth benefits under normal circumstances as well. Here are some of the benefits of telehealth beyond COVID-19.

With telehealth, you can meet with a doctor through a video chat on your mobile phone within minutes.

Telehealth benefits typically include evaluations and consultations for common health conditions and provider-to-provider consultations.

Members who receive health insurance through their employer and qualify for this benefit can speak to a board-certified doctor or pediatrician through secure online, video consults on their mobile phone, tablet or computer.

The video chats are a great option for minor health issues and non-emergencies when members can’t get in to see their regular doctor.

Video consultations are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. An appointment is not needed.

Telehealth does not replace your primary care doctor. It’s just an easier way to get care for common health problems.

When you think of telehealth, think of

Quality care 

Doctors are board-certified doctors who are HIPAA-compliant and your personal health information is never shared with your employer

Convenience

Video consults are convenient, easy-to-use and if you need a prescription, the doctor could electronically send it to a pharmacy of your choice.

Savings 

Telehealth visits save you time and money from higher-cost care like the ER and urgent care that involve long wait times.

Does this sound like something you could use? If so, be prepared. Don’t wait until you need telehealth to create and activate an account.

If you are a Blue Cross NC member, you can log in to Blue Connect to find out if telehealth is part of your health plan benefits

 

You can also call your benefits administrator or call the number on the back of your card.