4 payers that have extended telehealth coverage through 2020

While the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders put pressure on health insurers to expand telehealth coverage, some payers are taking steps to further expand coverage and implement permanent policies. 

Four payers that have recently extended telehealth coverage: 

1. Premera Blue Cross in May launched its first virtual primary care plan for Washington state employers. Under the plan, beneficiaries have access to a virtual provider from telehealth company 98point6 with a $0 copay. 

2. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee on May 14 updated its coverage policies to permanently cover virtual visits with in-network providers.The insurer will now cover telehealth for primary care providers, specialists, behavioral health providers and occupational, physical and speech therapy as part of its regular policies. 

3. Centene announced May 20 it will waive all cost sharing for telehealth visits for its nearly 1 million Medicare Advantage plans through the end of 2020. The St. Louis-based payer also extended telehealth cost share waivers for all virtual visits with primary care physicians or specialty, for in-network providers through 2020.

4. Blue Cross of Idaho is extending telehealth services for its members until Dec. 31. With the extension, members will continue to be covered for telehealth services delivered via phone or video call from all in-network providers throughout Idaho. 

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