Blue Shield of California waives Teladoc Health visit costs for most members during coronavirus pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the U.S., Blue Shield of California on March 16 announced it will waive copays and co-insurance for most of its members to use Teladoc Health's virtual care services.

Members enrolled in all of Blue Shield's commercial plans, including individual and family as well as employee-sponsored plans that offer Teladoc, will have their copays and co-insurance for any Teladoc visits waived until May 31.

The nonprofit health plan, which serves more than 4 million people, already offers zero out-of-pocket costs for Teladoc's services to its members enrolled in Blue Shield's Trio, Tandem and Medicare Advantage plans as well as Blue Shield of California Promise Health plan beneficiaries.

Teladoc offers medical advice via virtual consultation over smartphone or computer from physicians, which helps reduce the risk of infection and spread of disease. Blue Shield members can download the payer's app on their mobile devices to sign up for the telehealth service.

"As we continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation, we believe making telemedicine more readily available is the right thing to do," said Terry Gilliland, MD, executive vice president of Blue Shield of California, according to the news release. "It's important that we reduce direct human contact as much as possible as we assess cases initially."

More articles on telehealth:
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Trump expands telehealth coverage for Medicare beneficiaries amid coronavirus outbreak
Telehealth services struggle to manage 'extreme volumes' related to coronavirus calls

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