Blue Cross Coverage of COVID-19 Testing: What to Know
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are here to help our communities weather the storm of the coronavirus pandemic. Testing for COVID-19 is a crucial component to stopping the spread of the disease to ensure everyone’s health and safety.
While 2020 has held its fair share of surprises at every turn, there shouldn’t be any surprises when it comes to bills that members with insurance through Blue Cross and Blue Care Network receive for COVID-19 testing and treatment. Knowing what questions to ask and the types of testing Blue Cross and Blue Care Network cover will help ensure your COVID-19 test is covered.
What We Cover
Blue Cross and Blue Care Network cover all member copays, deductibles and coinsurance for diagnostic and antibody COVID-19 testing when they meet the following criteria:
- Documented as medically necessary (effective August 1, 2020, in accordance with the Families First and CARES Acts of 2020)
- Ordered by a qualified health professional
- Test must have received temporary approval for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Blue Cross and Blue Care Network also fully cover the cost of COVID-19 tests when considered medically necessary as a pre-surgical protocol when ordered by the provider.
Blue Cross and Blue Care Network will cover all out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing and treatment through the end of 2020. Additionally, individuals with Medicare through Blue Cross also will receive no-cost COVID-19 testing and treatment through the end of the year.
To avoid a surprise bill, members should be aware of some potential scenarios that could lead to receiving a COVID-19 test that is not covered by Blue Cross or Blue Care Network:
- Public Health Surveillance Testing: Most community testing sites offer free COVID-19 tests thanks to funding provided by federal dollars to states through the CARES Act. However, some sites may ask for and bill insurance, therefore charges may apply. Members should check with the testing site or county health department before going, as each site may have different requirements regarding appointments, test orders, insurance, symptoms and place of residence.
- Return to Work/School Screening Tests: As a standard policy, Blue Cross does not cover the cost of workplace or occupational screening tests if not deemed medically necessary by the ordering provider. In some cases, employers may have purchased an additional benefit for their employees through Blue Cross in order to have return to work or school screening tests covered by insurance.
COVID-19 Symptoms and Finding a Test
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea. If you think you may have COVID-19, you should first call your primary care doctor.
If you do not have a primary care doctor, you can call Blue Cross’ 24-hour nurse line at the designated number to find guidance on how to manage symptoms and how you can obtain a test:
- Blue Cross members: 1-800-775-2583
- Blue Care Network members: 1-855-624-5214
For additional help, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has a statewide coronavirus hotline. Call 1-888-535-6136 to speak with health officials from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week to find a testing site, or find a testing site by visiting Michigan.gov/CoronavirusTest.
- COVID-19: What You Need to Know
- Your Responsibility if Exposed to COVID-19
- Navigating New Anxiety Amid COVID-19
Photo credit: zoranm