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March 20, 2020

News about Employer and Consumer Business

IBX launches COVID‑19 resource page and offers additional information on telemedicine

To encourage social distancing during the COVID‑19 outbreak and increase access to care for our members, Independence will begin offering telemedicine visits with providers beyond Primary Care. Additionally, we would like to provide clarity on the Behavioral Health telemedicine access for members local to southeastern Pennsylvania.

Members can now see more physicians through additional telemedicine access

Independence will cover members’ telemedicine appointments for Specialists, Nutrition Counseling, Physical Therapy (video only), Occupational Therapy (video only), Speech Therapy (video only) and Urgent Care, now through June 4.

Regular cost sharing will apply to all telemedicine services not related to COVID‑19 testing. If a member pays $40 to see their pulmonologist for an in-person visit, they will pay the same amount to see that doctor via telemedicine. Many physician practices are shifting to telemedicine visits during the COVID‑19 outbreak.

Primary Care telemedicine is also available

As we have previously communicated, members whose groups have MD Live can talk to a doctor 24/7 by scheduling a same‑day appointment. These providers can assess symptoms and advise of necessary next steps, and all of these visits will be with no cost sharing though June 4.

Members can also have telemedicine visits with their regular primary care physician — if the PCP offers the capability — with no cost sharing, through June 4. This applies to members nationally and locally.

Primary care telemedicine visits for members with HSA‑qualified HDHP plans will also be covered with no cost‑sharing before the deductible is met.

Behavioral Health visits can be done via telemedicine as well

As communicated in the March 19 Edge, Independence offers telemedicine access to behavioral health care, allowing members to talk to in‑network mental health counselors via phone or video. This benefit is available to local members through the Magellan network, and applicable member cost sharing applies. Our Provider Finder includes an indicator for Magellan providers who have telemedicine capabilities. Members are encouraged to ask their providers as well, since some are adding telemedicine capabilities during this time.

Behavioral Health telemedicine for ASD is also available

We are expanding Behavioral Health telemedicine services to ensure that ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) affected members are still receiving Applied Behavior Analysis support while they are at home from school or community‑based programming. Regular member cost‑sharing will apply.

Members who have opted in to receive digital communications from Independence will receive emails on this topic Saturday, 3/21/20.

Independence launches COVID‑19 resource page

Our response to the COVID‑19 situation is constantly evolving as we learn more. To help you, your clients, members, and the larger community stay informed, we’ve developed a COVID‑19 resource page. There you’ll find information on the care and services available for our members, plus links to the latest news and developments. This page will be continually updated to provide you with reliable COVID‑19 news, FAQs on care and coverage, and information about COVID‑19 test centers. Visit the site            

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Independence Blue Cross offers products through its subsidiaries Independence Hospital Indemnity Plan, Keystone Health Plan East and QCC Insurance Company, and with Highmark Blue Shield — independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.