FARGO, N.D. – Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota’s (BCBSND) top priority is ensuring the health and well-being of all North Dakotans during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We continue to monitor the situation and are following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), state and federal guidelines and recommendations. We have developed an action plan to continue to provide quality service to our members while protecting the health of our employees.
BCBSND members will have the coverage they need to get the quality health care if and when they need it, including:
Coronavirus testing and treatment
- BCBSND will waive any cost-sharing, including co-pays, deductibles and co-insurance for CDC-recommended laboratory testing of COVID-19 so that the cost-sharing does not serve as a barrier to access these important tests.
- In addition, BCBSND will also waive cost-sharing for an in-network provider office visit, urgent care center and emergency room visit when testing for COVID-19.
- Waiving cost-shares may be done on a retrospective case-by-case basis.
- Subsequent hospital stays associated with COVID-19 will be covered in accordance with the member’s current health benefit plan.
BCBSND is also dedicated to ensuring members have needed medications on-hand in the event of this crisis.
- Effective March 10, BCBSND is increasing access to prescriptions by allowing pharmacies to refill prescriptions earlier than typically allowed. In addition, most plans allow members to fill maintenance medications for up to a 90-day supply through local or mail-order pharmacies.
- To ensure members have the medications they need on hand, BCBSND now allows pharmacies to waive “refill too soon” limits on prescriptions.
- In addition, we are working closely with our pharmacy benefit manager, Prime Therapeutics, to monitor a possible shortage of raw materials for prescription drugs. Our pharmacy partner is working directly with our entire network of suppliers, wholesalers, manufacturers and pharmacies (both chains and smaller purchasing entities) to proactively collaborate and identify medication shortages before our members are impacted.
Online doctor visits
Since COVID-19 is a communicable disease, BCBSND encourages the use of online doctor visits to reduce the strain on our health care system and limit unnecessary spread of disease.
- BCBSND encourages all North Dakotans to use online doctor visits made available by their health care provider, or;
- Use BCBSND’s online doctor visit service by going to www.amwell.com and entering the Service Code BCBSND. Coverage for an online doctor visit is included in many BCBSND health plans; contact your employer or call the number on the back of your ID card to learn more about your coverage.
- Check the CDC website for up-to-date information, especially if traveling.
- If you have been to an area of an outbreak or have been exposed to someone sick with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, contact your health care provider. Your cooperation is integral to the ongoing public health response to try to slow spread of the virus.
- If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, contact your health care provider. Tell them about your symptoms and your travel or exposure to a COVID-19 patient.
- If you are a health care provider, be on the look-out for people who recently traveled from an area with an outbreak and have fever and respiratory symptoms.
- Follow the CDC’s Community Mitigation Guidance that can slow the spread of emerging respiratory diseases like COVID-19.
- Get a flu shot to prevent the flu. While the coronavirus is different from the flu virus, the flu is still a serious illness.
- Up-to-date information on cases in North Dakota can be found at the North Dakota Department of Health Coronavirus Reporting
“We are committed to serving our members and all North Dakotans by ensuring our coverage and access for services are available without barriers, and members get the care they need when they need it. We will also continue to share information and work with our network of providers as the COVID-19 becomes more prevalent in our state,” Dr. Greg Glasner, BCBSND Chief Medical Officer.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota
BCBSND (www.BCBSND.com) was founded in 1940 with the mission to provide members with affordable access to health care across the state. As a member-owned, not-for-profit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), BCBSND is committed to transforming care and health across the state to improve outcomes, lower cost trends and make it easier to shop, buy and use health care coverage. Members have access to unmatched local service and to a comprehensive network of health care providers across the state, the nation and in 200 countries.