The U.S. national emergency to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic ended on April 11 and the separate public health emergency is set to expire on May 11, three years after they were first enacted in January 2020.
These emergency declarations allowed government agencies and health care providers to quickly mobilize a response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the interest of saving lives.
The ending of the emergency declarations means certain policies and rules used during the pandemic will no longer apply. It also marks a shift in approach to the virus from pandemic status to an endemic threat.
The public health emergencies allowed health care providers the flexibility to keep people safe, expand facility capacity and allow the system to weather the strain of the pandemic. Now that the number of people contracting COVID-19 has slowed, that extra capacity is no longer needed.
At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, we anticipated this change and are addressing the impacts to our members, customers and providers.
After May 11, individuals may have out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 tests, at-home tests and treatments that they may have previously received for free. Additionally, some individuals may have to pay out of pocket for COVID-19 vaccines. Coverage for COVID-19 related health measures will vary depending on an individual’s health plan and the provider.
Members with questions about their COVID-19 coverage should call the customer service number on the back of their ID card or view their benefits on the member portal at bcbsm.com.
Blue Cross has supported our members, customers and providers throughout the pandemic with resources, information and supplies – totaling more than $2.8 billion since the onset of the pandemic in 2020.
In 2022, Blue Cross dedicated $739 million to customers and health care providers to pay for COVID services, including $25 million for administering the COVID-19 vaccine, $171 million for testing, and $543 million for treatment.
In 2020 and 2021, we responded to the crisis while shielding our members from direct impacts to their premiums – and continue to be ready to help as we move forward from the pandemic.
Read more about our pandemic response here on MIBluesPerspectives.com.
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