Mar 17, 2020

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island to cover triage calls with specialists with no member cost share

PROVIDENCE, RI (March 17, 2020) – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) today announced it will extend coverage to telephonic triage by most specialist providers and waive member copays and deductibles for these calls. This policy change will allow for members to get the care they need at a lower cost and in their own homes.  

“As the state’s largest health insurer, we are in a unique position to lead efforts to ensure our members continue to have access to high-quality, affordable healthcare during this public health crisis,” said Kim Keck, BCBSRI president and CEO. “The action we’re taking today recognizes the importance of uninterrupted care for high-risk patients and the benefit of keeping these individuals home whenever possible to avoid potential exposure to COVID-19.”

Coverage for specialist triage calls will extend through April 3, 2020. At that point, BCBSRI will reassess based on the COVID-19 public health crisis. The policy change applies to Medicare Advantage members and to commercial (fully insured) customers.

Today’s action is just one of several that BCBSRI has taken to increase access to care for its members. Earlier this month, BCBSRI announced it would waive member copays and cost shares for diagnostic testing related to COVID-19 consistent with CDC guidelines. BCBSRI is also waiving prior authorization and referral requirements for testing and treatment of COVID-19. Further, the company previously announced it would allow members to fill prescriptions earlier than the standard 30 days, reimburse participating primary care providers and behavioral health providers for telephonic triage without member cost sharing, and expand coverage for telephonic behavioral health services.

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