Mar 16, 2020 In order to ensure employees and dependents covered under UAH self-funded group health plans can swiftly access the right care in the right setting during the Coronavirus outbreak, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama (BCBS) will waive prior authorizations and increase coverage for COVID-19 as described below. BCBS will also increase access to prescription drugs, telehealth and other clinical support systems. Full details of coverage enhancements include: Medically necessary diagnostic tests that are consistent with CDC guidance related to COVID-19 will be covered with no member cost-sharing for both the PPO and HDHP plans if not already covered as part of the Public Health Service response. Other services related to treatment for COVID-19, however, will incur member deductibles, coinsurance and copays, where applicable. Any prior authorizations that may have been required will be waived for diagnostic tests and covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance for members diagnosed with COVID-19. BCBS will also make dedicated staff available to address inquiries related to medical services, ensuring timeliness of responses related to COVID-19. Prescription medication refills will be available by waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription medications. Additionally, BCBS is encouraging members to use their 90-day mail order benefit. BCBS/Prime Therapeutics will ensure formulary flexibility if there are shortages or access issues. Patients will not be liable for additional charges that stem from obtaining a non-preferred medication if the preferred medication is not available due to shortage or access issues. BCBS will expand access to Teladoc and nurse/provider hotlines. Given the nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, seeking in-person medical care may lead to further spreading of the virus. BCBS will encourage the use of virtual care and will also facilitate member access and use of nurse/provider hotlines. More on testing: At this time, all COVID-19 testing done by state laboratories or the CDC is at no cost to the patient. Patients must meet appropriate criteria before the state lab will perform the test. Commercial tests are also available and should cost approximately $220, but the exact price has yet to be set by LabCorp and Quest. This is a PCR test (polymerase chain reaction) that amplifies the viral RNA in the sample and then determines if that RNA is from SARS-CoV-2. It is performed on a nasal or throat swab. Test results are returned in approximately four days. For additional questions, contact Blue Cross and Blue Shield Customer Service at 1-800-239-5772. To register for Teladoc call 1-855-477-4549 or Teladoc.com/Alabama.