BCBSND COVID-19 Expanded Coverage Updates

At Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, we are continually evaluating the needs of our membership and are optimistic about the decline of COVID-19 activity in our state. We commend our dedicated partners—health care providers, employer groups, state leaders and many others—in their tremendous efforts in fighting the pandemic and the progress made so far.
 
We are at a point in the pandemic where we can focus on vaccination implementation. As we make this transition, we are updating our current COVID-19 related coverage and resources to support widespread vaccination by ensuring members do not experience barriers in accessing the vaccine.
 
We are discontinuing the following expanded coverage on March 31, 2021:

  • Cost-share waiving for COVID-19 treatment
    BCBSND will no longer waive out-of-pocket costs for the treatment of COVID-19, including hospital stays and outpatient treatment. This applies to BCBSND fully insured members. Out-of-pocket costs include incremental medical co-pays, deductibles and co-insurance charges related to the treatment for COVID-19.
     
  • Early refills on prescriptions
    BCBSND will no longer allow for early refills for prescriptions. Most plans, however, regularly allow members to fill maintenance medications for up to a 90-day supply through local or mail-order pharmacies.
     
  • Durable Medical Equipment (DME) supplies
    BCBSND will no longer allow requests for additional supplies outside the normal quantity and frequency limits. Members may still receive their standard 90-day supply through local or mail-order suppliers.
     
  • Precertification of authorization for post-acute/alternative care
    BCBSND will no longer waive the precertification process for all in-state post-acute/alternative care service requests when transferring from acute care hospitals.

It’s also important to know that we are maintaining the following coverage through the end of the emergency declaration as defined by the North Dakota Department of Health:

  • Tests
    This includes molecular and antigen testing for people who are tested because they show symptoms of COVID-19. Pre-operative testing that is deemed medically necessary is also covered.
     
  • Vaccines
    Emergency authorized use COVID-19 vaccines are free of charge for BCBSND members. BCBSND will cover administration costs associated with the vaccine and the federal government has indicated they will cover the cost of the vaccine, resulting in no charge for the member.

    While coverage for the administrative cost for the COVID-19 vaccine has been mandated by the federal government for all non-grandfathered plans, BCBSND has independently decided to extend that coverage to all lines of business, including grandfathered plans.
     
  • Expanded telehealth coverage
    Telehealth for all BCBSND members is covered and includes video calls and telephone calls.

    In addition, we’re continuing to waive out-of-pocket costs for all telehealth visits for Fully Insured and Individual members. Those services may include, but are not limited to: office visits, behavioral health, diabetes education, therapy visits and nutrition counseling.
     
  • Enhanced wellness offerings
    Members will continue to have access to the following programs throughout 2021:
    • Learn to Live Online Therapy: A confidential, online program for the support of mental health conditions like anxiety, insomnia, depression and substance abuse.
    • Silver Sneakers: A program offering older adults access to at-home workouts through livestream classes, guided walks, broadcasts of live events, live instructor-led events in open places and more.
    • Health Club Credit: Participants can earn points towards reimbursement for gym fees by participating in live, online classes.

For more information, please visit our COVID-19 Resource Center or call our Provider Contact Center at 1-800-368-2312.