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COVID-19 Update: Telehealth and Treatment Cost-Share Waivers Extended

August 12, 2020

We continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and are committed to helping our employer customers and members stay informed. We have updates to some of our coverage dates for fully insured groups and ASO groups that have opted into coverage decisions. As always, members should call the number on their ID card for answers to their specific benefit questions.


Effective Date

Projected End Date

COVID-19 Testing


Cost-share waiver ends with the end of the Health and Human Services (HHS) public health emergency

COVID-19 Testing-related Visits


Cost-share waiver ends with the end of HHS public health emergency



Members will have access to the expanded telemedicine services through 12/31/20, but the cost-share waiver will end on 9/30/20. Copays, deductibles and coinsurance will apply after 9/30/20*.

For Medicare (not Part D) and Medicare Supplement plans, cost-share waiver extended through 12/31/20*

COVID-19 Treatment


Cost-share waiver extended through 10/23/20*

Interfacility Transfer



Prior Authorization extended on previously approved elective surgeries, procedures, therapies and behavioral health services**

Services scheduled between 1/1/20 and 6/30/20


Chest CT Scan


End of HHS public health emergency

*Date change/extension
**Behavioral Health services included in this extension.

As we let you know in April, self-funded customers (ASO) who aligned with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) decisions for fully insured members would continue that alignment unless we were notified.

  • BCBSTX will extend the cost-share waivers for telehealth through Sept. 30, 2020, and extend COVID-19 treatment waivers through Oct. 23, 2020.
  • Copays, deductibles and coinsurance for telemedicine services will apply after Sept. 30, 2020. Members will still have access to the expanded telemedicine services through Dec. 31, 2020.

What this means for your ASO groups: An ASO account’s prior decision to waive cost-share for telehealth will be extended through Sept. 30, 2020, and COVID-19 treatment will be extended through Oct. 23, 2020, unless the account makes a request to BCBSTX to end the cost-share waiver.

If your ASO clients would like to make a change from their original decision, please contact your account executive no later than Monday, Aug. 17. If you don’t communicate that change by Aug. 17, your client’s decision will continue as currently coded. Change decisions made after Aug. 17 cannot be accommodated for a Sept. 1 effective date.

As a reminder, COVID-19 testing and testing-related visits are covered at no cost-share for fully insured and ASO members until the end of the federal public health emergency, as required by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.