Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan supports members, providers and community during COVID-19 pandemic.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBS Michigan) is committed to protecting the health of Michigan citizens. As a trusted advisor and advocate for population health, BCBS Michigan is actively supporting members, customers, providers and communities through the COVID-19 pandemic.
From the outset, BCBS Michigan has been proactive in addressing the pandemic, investing nearly $600 million in expanding no-cost benefits for members, advancing millions of dollars to support health care providers, returning money to customers and members, supporting community based organizations to address food insecurity, expanding access to telehealth services, and expanding COVID-19 mobile testing.
Overview of Response Efforts
BCBS Michigan has waived all member copays, deductibles and coinsurance for COVID-19 testing and treatments. BCBS Michigan is covering the full cost of medically necessary laboratory tests to diagnose COVID-19 infection.* Additional support includes:
- Providing no-cost telehealth medical and behavioral services so our members can easily see a doctor or therapist safely from their homes using their phone, computer or other device.
- Expanding home care management services for seniors, and proactive outreach to connect patients with resources and community services and targeting high-risk seniors with extra help including the delivery of more than 700,000 care packages with needed supplies such as thermometers and reusable face coverings.
- Returning more than $100 million in 2020 to customers and members for medical, dental, and vision premiums because of the significant disruption in health care services that could not be performed as a result of stay-at-home guidance during the pandemic.
Partnering with Providers on the Front Lines
BCBS Michigan is accelerating incentive payments to Michigan-based physician organizations and practices to give immediate financial support to purchase equipment and treat patients with COVID-19, extending deadlines to submit claims and providing financial incentives for providers to build telehealth capabilities. BCBS Michigan is supporting health care workers as they tackle COVID-19. Together with 35 hospitals in Michigan, BCBS Michigan started a COVID-19 data collection effort to help identify best care practices and possible treatments. More than 30 of our BCBS Michigan employees with medical backgrounds volunteered to help on the front lines.
Supporting Our Communities and Addressing Health Disparities
BCBS Michigan provided $500,000 to support the efforts of community-based organizations across Michigan to provide meals to vulnerable kids and support other efforts to protect seniors and other populations in need.
The pandemic has also placed a glaring spotlight on the racial disparities and inequities in health care. BCBS Michigan is taking steps to act now and, in the future.
BCBS Michigan joined forces with the Michigan Health Endowment Fund and other community-based organizations to award nearly $3 million to accelerate the expansion of telehealth services within federally qualified health centers, behavioral health providers, human service agencies, PACE programs, Area Agencies on Aging, and other safety net providers.
BCBS Michigan is partnering with Wayne State University, the Wayne State University Physician Group and ACCESS to expand COVID-19 mobile testing to include free testing directly to people where they are. The funding covers testing and supplies and operations costs for mobile units to test for COVID-10 at nursing homes, care facilities, churches and other sites throughout Detroit and the region.
BCBS Michigan implemented community outreach efforts to educate and inform residents about Coronavirus including the distribution of culturally competent informational resources and a tool kit through more than 500 churches, community and grassroots organizations throughout the state.
BCBS Michigan works with the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities investigating racial disparities related to COVID-19 to make recommendations that address transparent reporting data, reducing medical bias in testing and treatment and reducing barriers to physical and mental health care.
Through involvement with the Michigan Opioid Partnership, BCBS Michigan provided more than $100,000 to support telehealth services in fifteen Michigan county jails including rural, urban and metropolitan population centers. This expansion of telehealth services will improve access to mental health and opioid use disorder services for detainees and inmates in county jails.
And BCBS Michigan remains the largest private donor to Michigan’s free clinics, providing free or low cost medical, dental and mental health care for safety net providers for the uninsured and undersinsured.
* This information is a summary as of May 2020 and coverage benefits are subject to change. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 coverage, contact your BCBS company or the Customer Service number of the back of your member ID card.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.