COVID-19 Testing and Treatment Update

Starting Nov. 1, 2020, COVID-19 testing done for non-diagnostic purposes such as public surveillance or employment, will not be covered because it is not considered medically appropriate. Surveillance testing is when an individual has no COVID-19 symptoms (is asymptomatic) and has no known exposure to COVID-19.

Testing of individuals who have symptoms or have been exposed to others who have tested positive for COVID-19 will continue to be covered with no member cost share.

The federal government extended the mandate that health plans provide coverage for COVID-19 testing without member cost share through Jan. 20, 2021. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) will support this extension as follows:
  • Coverage for testing and related services (as required by law)
    •  Member cost shares will continue to be waived for medically appropriate COVID-19 diagnostic testing through Jan. 20, 2021. This applies to fully insured, self-funded and Medicare products.
  • Coverage for treatment (not required by law)
    • Fully insured and BlueFlex products
      • BCBSNE currently covers treatment of COVID-19 with no member cost share through Dec. 31, 2020. 
      • Starting Jan. 1, 2021, BCBSNE will apply member cost shares for treatment of COVID-19.  
    • Self-funded (traditional ASO and ASO Block)
      • Groups that are currently covering treatment of COVID-19 with member cost shares waived may extend coverage with cost shares waived past Dec. 31, 2020. To do so, you must contact your BCBSNE account executive by 5 p.m. CT Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. If we do not hear from you by the deadline, the group’s coverage related to treatment of COVID-19 will be handled in the same manner as our fully insured business as stated above. If you have already communicated your decision, nothing further is required.     

This mandate includes inpatient care, telehealth sessions and doctor’s office, urgent care and emergency room visits related to diagnostic testing and treatment of COVID-19. We want to help our members get the care they need during this pandemic. 

Other important information
  • We encourage the use of BCBSNE in-network providers for COVID-19 testing and treatment. In-network providers will never ask for upfront payment from BCBSNE members for COVID-19 testing or treatment. 
  • Download  a flier about COVID-19 testing and treatment benefits to distribute to your employees. Self-funded groups that are waiving cost share for testing, but not for treatment, should email a member of their BCBSNE account team for another version of the flier. 

If you have any questions, please contact a member of your BCBSNE account management team.