Provider Information on COVID-19 Coverage



Updated 8/14/2020

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) is closely monitoring activity around the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). We’ve taken steps to lower costs and provide our members easier access to care related to COVID-19. We provide information as it becomes available here and on our COVID-19 Related News section.


Testing and Treatment Coverage

We are currently covering testing to diagnose COVID-19 for our members with no prior authorization needed and no member copays, deductibles or coinsurance. We also cover testing-related visits with in-network providers with no member copays, deductibles or coinsurance.

For treatment of COVID-19, we are temporarily waiving member cost-sharing, including copays, deductibles and coinsurance. The waiver applies to cost-share associated with COVID-19 treatment with providers, including facilities, from April 1 to Oct. 23, 2020, so long as the treatment is provided and consistent with the terms of the member’s benefit plan. We will reassess this waiver as events warrant. This temporary cost-share waiver applies to these types of plans:

  • Fully insured employer-based
  • Individual and Family
  • Medicare (excluding Part D)
  • Medicare Supplement

Note: Some members may not have access to out-of-network benefits. Also, many of our members are covered under a health plan that is self-funded by their employer. Some of these members may be responsible for copays or deductibles for treatment of COVID-19 depending on their employer’s decision about its benefit plan. Please check eligibility and benefits for more specific information.


Check Members Eligibility and Benefits

Use the Availity® Provider Portal Learn more about third-party links or your preferred vendor to check eligibility and benefits.


Claims for COVID-19 Testing

If you are collecting a COVID sample from a member, have a lab capable of testing, or are a lab testing a member, submit the claim using the appropriate collection or lab code. Member cost-share for the test will be waived during the public health emergency, regardless of the diagnosis.

Testing must be:

  • For individualized diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19
  • Medically appropriate
  • In accordance with generally accepted standards of care, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance as appropriate

For more detail on COVID-19 coding and guidance, refer to the American Medical Association Learn more about third-party links website or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Learn more about third-party links.



COVID-19 Collection Codes

Codes

Description

C9803

Hospital outpatient clinic visit specimen collection for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (sars-cov-2) (coronavirus disease [covid-19]) any specimen source

G2023

Specimen collection for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (sars-cov-2) (coronavirus disease [covid-19]), any specimen source

G2024

Specimen collection for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (sars-cov-2) (coronavirus disease [covid-19]) from an individual in a SNF or by a laboratory on behalf of a HHA, any specimen source



COVID-19 Lab Codes

Codes

Description

0202U

Infectious disease (bacterial or viral respiratory tract infection), pathogen-specific nucleic acid (DNA or RNA), 22 targets including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), qualitative RT-PCR

0223U

Infectious disease (bacterial or viral respiratory tract infection), pathogen-specific nucleic acid (DNA or RNA), 22 targets including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), qualitative RT-PCR, nasopharyngeal swab, each pathogen reported as detected or not detected

87426

Infectious agent antigen detection by immunoassay technique, (eg, enzyme immunoassay [EIA], enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA], immunochemiluminometric assay [IMCA]) qualitative or semiquantitative, multiple-step method; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (eg, SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19])

87635

Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]), amplified probe technique

U0001

CDC 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel

U0002

2019-nCoV Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2/2019-nCoV (COVID-19), any technique, multiple types or subtypes (includes all targets), non-CDC

U0003

Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]), amplified probe technique, making use of high throughput technologies as described by CMS-2020-01-R

U0004

2019-nCoV Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2/2019-nCoV (COVID-19), any technique, multiple types or subtypes (includes all targets), non-CDC, making use of high throughput technologies as described by CMS-2020-01-R



COVID-19 Testing Before Non-COVID-19 Treatment or Procedures
When screening for COVID-19 before elective procedures or treatment not related to COVID-19 active disease or suspicion, bill the test on a separate claim from the rest of the services being rendered. By doing this, we will be able to identify when members should receive the cost-share waiver for COVID testing, and the claim will be processed promptly. The remainder of each member’s non-COVID related care will be processed according to the member’s benefit plan. The diagnosis code Z11.59 may be used on these claims but is not required.


Claims for COVID-19 Antibody Testing

Submit claims for COVID-19 antibody testing to us using the appropriate code. Member cost-share (copay, deductibles and coinsurance) will be waived for antibody tests that are FDA authorized, including tests with Emergency Use Authorized (EUA), regardless of the diagnosis. This waiver will last through the end of the public health emergency. Medical or invoice records may be requested to support if an antibody test is FDA authorized or if EUA approval has been requested.


Antibody Testing Requirements
Antibody tests must be FDA-authorized, including EUA. Antibody testing should be medically appropriate for the member and ordered by a health care professional. We encourage members to consult with their health care provider to determine the best test clinically indicated for their condition. Refer to the current FDA position on antibody testing Learn more about third-party links. Medical or invoice records may be requested to support if an antibody test is FDA authorized or if EUA approval has been requested.


At-Home Antibody Tests
We cover at-home collection methods for antibody testing if the tests are FDA-authorized and are clinically indicated for the member. We encourage members to consult with their healthcare provider to determine whether the test is medically appropriate for their condition. Medical or invoice records may be requested to support if an antibody test is FDA authorized or if EUA approval has been requested.


COVID-19 Antibody Testing Codes

Code

Description

0224U

Antibody, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]), includes titer(s), when performed

86318

Immunoassay for infectious agent antibody(ies), qualitative or semiquantitative, single step method

86328

Immunoassay for infectious agent antibody(ies), qualitative or semiquantitative, single step method, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease COVID-19)

86769

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 [SARS-CoV-2] [Coronavirus disease {COVID-19}] testing via multiple-step method



Out-of-Network Providers
If you are not in-network for the member’s benefit plan, we will reimburse the cash price for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and antibody testing posted on your public website.


Claims for COVID-19 Testing and Antibody-Related Services

Use the following coding process for services that are related to COVID-19 testing or antibody testing.


COVID-19 Diagnosis Codes
To indicate services performed in conjunction with the testing for COVID-19 or COVID-19 antibodies, include one of the following diagnosis codes. The provider submitting the claim is responsible for accurately coding the service performed.

Code

Description

U07.1

COVID-19

B97.29

Other coronavirus as the cause of diseases classified elsewhere

B34.2

Coronavirus infection, unspecified

Z03.818

Encounter for observation for suspected exposure to other biological agents ruled out (possible exposure to COVID-19)

Z20.828

Contact with and suspected exposure to other viral communicable diseases (actual exposure to COVID-19)



Modifier CS
For services furnished on March 18, 2020, through the end of the Public Health Emergency, use the CS modifier on applicable claim lines to identify the service as subject to the cost-sharing waiver for COVID-19. This is for testing-related services when COVID-19 testing or antibody testing must be performed at an alternate location and is not part of the evaluation and management claim.


Supplemental Oxygen at Home

Medically stable COVID-19 patients may be discharged from emergency care or in-patient acute care with the assistance of oxygen therapy at home. We do not require a predetermination or prior authorization for supplemental oxygen delivery devices for home use.


Credentialing

We are temporarily updating our credentialing policy and processes in response to the COVID-19 emergency. This complies with emergency state and federal regulations and is effective April 3, 2020. The temporary modifications are only in place during the COVID-19 emergency and subject to change based upon state and federal action. Otherwise, standard credentialing and processes will apply. For more details, refer to the Credentialing Process Simplified for COVID-19 article.


Telemedicine and Telehealth

Many members have telehealth benefits. For those members, telehealth visits will be covered as a regular office visit for providers who offer the service through 2-way, live interactive telephone or digital video consultations. Some plans also provide access to MDLive or a similar vendor with a network of physicians who provide telehealth services. For more details, refer to the Using Telemedicine and Telehealth in Response to COVID-19 PDF Document article as well as our Telemedicine and Telehealth Services page.


Pharmacy

For members who have BCBSTX pharmacy benefits administered through Prime Therapeutics, BCBSTX will allow members to receive an early fill of their medication for the same quantity as the last prescription filled. We also encourage members to use their 90-day mail order benefit, if applicable. All pharmacy practice safety measures, as well as prescribing and dispensing laws, will remain.

We are also prepared for medication shortages or access issues. Patients will not be liable for additional charges that may stem from obtaining a non-preferred medication if the preferred medication is not available due to shortage or access issues.


What is the risk of COVID-19?

According to recent reports from the CDC, the infection rate from COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation. The risk assessment may change daily. The latest updates are available on the CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website Learn more about third-party links.

We are ready to help you serve our members and the community in understanding, preventing and potentially treating people who have been affected by COVID-19. We've developed a member-facing flier about COVID-19 PDF Document that you may share with your patients.


More Information

Because this is a rapidly evolving situation, you should continue to use Centers for Disease Control guidance Learn more about third-party links on COVID-19, as the CDC has the most up-to-date information and recommendations. In addition, watch for updates on our COVID-19 Related News section.

If you have any questions or if you need additional information, please contact your BCBSTX Network Management Representative.





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As a reminder, it is important to check eligibility and benefits before rendering services. This step will help you determine if benefit prior authorization is required for a member. For additional information, such as definitions and links to helpful resources, refer to the Eligibility and Benefits section on BCBSTX’s provider website.

Please note checking eligibility and benefits, and/or the fact that a service or treatment has been preauthorized or predetermined for benefits is not a guarantee of payment. Benefits will be determined once a claim is received and will be based upon, among other things, the member's eligibility and the terms of the member's certificate of coverage applicable on the date services were rendered. If you have questions, contact the number on the member's ID card.

Availity is a trademark of Availity, L.L.C., a separate company that operates a health information network to provide electronic information exchange services to medical professionals. Availity provides administrative services to BCBSTX. BCBSTX makes no endorsement, representations or warranties regarding any products or services offered by Availity, Aerial or Medecision. The vendors are solely responsible for the products or services they offer. If you have any questions regarding any of the products or services they offer, you should contact the vendor(s) directly.