Medical workers prepare coronavirus tests

Blue Cross Helps Customers and Members Through Pandemic

Like many organizations across the state and nation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network continued to pivot to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic – providing $860 million in support to members for testing, treatment and vaccine administration during 2021.

Blue Cross mobilized in new ways to serve our members and customers, support Michigan communities and partner with doctors and hospitals to ensure critical access to health care and COVID-19 vaccines were available. Here are some highlights of Blue Cross’ response to the crisis:

  • Unparalleled support for members: Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Blue Cross has devoted $2.1 billion to support members, providers and employers. That includes $860 million in 2021 for COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccination.

    To ensure members could access needed care, during the onset of COVID-19 Blue Cross waived all member copays, deductibles and coinsurance for COVID-19 treatment (through Sept. 30, 2021) and testing. This includes more than $600 million for COVID-19 treatment, more than $185 million for COVID-19 testing and more than $75 million for COVID-19 vaccine administration in 2021. We also returned more than $100 million to members for medical, dental and vision plans in 2020. Coverage for telehealth services was expanded when in-person visits were limited and limits on prescription refills were waived during certain periods to avoid shortages, along with many other member-focused efforts.

  • Trusted advice to customers: 

    Businesses needed information, insight and support from their health care partner. Blue Cross rapidly delivered by creating a group customer command center and small group customer help line to quickly respond to customer questions, along with other support efforts.

  • Ongoing support for community needs: 

    In addition to our members and customers, Blue Cross’ social mission function is focused on the health of everyone in Michigan. For this reason, we continue to support community-based organizations to help address food insecurity for children and families, as well as organizations that help seniors and other vulnerable populations receive care and services.

  • Partnerships with health care providers: 

    We worked diligently to supply financial support early in the pandemic, reduce burdens and keep partner health care providers informed and connected. By helping stabilize normal cash flow, we worked to ensure providers were able to keep their doors open in a time of crisis.

Additionally in 2020, Blue Cross donated $1 million to be used for emergency personal protective equipment (PPE) kits for Michigan dentists, returned more than $21 million in one-time credits to more than 180,000 members with commercially insured individual health care plans and returned more than $100 million in credits to senior members, employer group customers and 2019 individual plan subscribers on their health, dental and vision premiums. Read the full report on the Blue Cross Covid-19 response here.

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Photo credit: Robin Schwartz for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan  

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