7 things to know about Aetna, BCBS, Cigna, Anthem's virtual care strategies

As the pandemic boosted telehealth usage, four payers have solidified their virtual care strategies.

Here are seven things to know about Aetna, Anthem, Cigna and Blue Cross Blue Shield's telehealth expansions and digital health initiatives in the last few months.


1. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is collaborating with Boulder Care to grow its telehealth addiction treatment network across Ohio. The agreement allows Anthem's Ohio employer-based, individual and Medicare Advantage plan members to access Boulder Care's digital treatment for substance use disorders, which promotes a value-based care model.

2. The Clinic, a joint virtual health venture between the Cleveland Clinic and Amwell, teamed up with Anthem to offer the payer's members access to the Clinic's telehealth second opinion service.


3. Texas Health Aetna is extending its contract with Denver-based telemedicine company CirrusMD for another three years. The collaboration gives Texas Health Aetna members access to CirrusMD's 24/7 digital care tool.

4. Aetna, a CVS Health company, unveiled its new virtual primary care service for self-funded employers powered by Teladoc Health. Aetna members have access to physicians and a nurse care team through virtual communications and telehealth, including in-app text messaging or phone calls before and after visits. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield 

5. Blue Shield of California partnered with Walgreens to expand healthcare access and deliver care with the assistance of digital advisers to conduct in-home tests, find health products and fill out health-related applications.

6. CareFirst of Maryland, a Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliate, launched a virtual care delivery model that lets payer members get preventive care, urgent care and behavioral healthcare through a mobile app.


7. Cigna and New York City-based Oscar Health partnered to launch Oscar virtual primary care to some of the payers' joint plans.

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