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Information for our Medicare Advantage members on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and your coverage

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Health Advantage are committed to your health, safety and well-being. We are working closely with the state and federal government during the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) to ensure you get the information and care you need.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease seem to be at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness. We want you to stay healthy, and if you get sick, we want you to know what to do to get the care you need quickly.

Coverage changes

The following services are covered for COVID-19 and any related health issues for our Medicare Advantage members:

  • Waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 tests
  • Removing prior authorizations and referral requirements for COVID-19 tests
  • Waiving prescription refill limits for specific prescriptions for managing chronic conditions

Telehealth

In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we’re temporarily expanding telehealth benefits for our Medicare Advantage members. From March 10, 2020, through July 25, 2020, we’re waiving member out-of-pocket costs for telehealth visits. This temporary coverage expansion includes online video and audio-only consultations.

You can use telehealth services at no cost to you for:

  • Routine primary care visits
  • Preventive health screenings
  • Urgent care visits
  • COVID-19 screenings
  • Behavioral/mental health counseling, and more

Taking care of your health

It is important that you feel safe and secure knowing you can pursue the proper care and testing you need to protect your health during this time of concern. Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage are here for you.

If you are experiencing symptoms or have questions about your health, contact your primary care doctor first. Please review the additional steps below that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) suggests you take to protect your health. Go to cdc.gov for more information.

Precautions to take now

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being out in public, blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water aren't available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • To the extent possible, avoid contact with high-touch surfaces in public places (like elevator buttons, door handles, handrails) and shaking hands. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something other people have touched.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose and eyes.
  • Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces – tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks and cell phones).

Crowds and travel

  • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings if there are people in the crowd who are sick.
  • The CDC recommends that you put off all cruise ship travel worldwide, particularly if you also have underlying health issues.
  • Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues should avoid situations that put you at increased risk for more severe disease. In addition to avoiding crowded places, you should avoid nonessential travel, such as long plane trips.

Preparing for healthcare needs

  • Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (like tissues) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
  • Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you'll be prepared to stay at home for some time.

Still have questions? Feel free to call our customer service team. Just call the number on the back of your member ID card. We are here to help.