COVID-19 News and Updates

Mental health services cost share waiver expanded to Medicaid

Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) is closely monitoring COVID-19 developments and working to create solutions that address not just the physical toll of this crisis, but also the mental health needs in the state. As of May 2, 2020, Empire is waiving cost sharing for in-network outpatient mental health services for Empire members enrolled in Essential Plan, including essential workers.

Listen now! Webinar recording available from Empire BlueCross BlueShield for network providers on SBA loans and other federal relief programs in response to COVID-19

We are committed to helping care providers learn how you can secure resources to support yourselves and your business during the COVID-19 crisis. On April 30, 2020, we hosted a webinar to share information and resources with network providers regarding opportunities to access loans through the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) and other federal programs in response to the economic impact of COVID-19 on care providers that are also small employers.

Resources supporting our providers during COVID-19

Supporting providers and those who deliver care to our members is our top concern during the COVID-19 health emergency. Navigating the rapidly changing information is especially important to us so you can focus on what’s important – patient care.

COVID-19 information from Empire BlueCross BlueShield HealthPlus (Updated April 24, 2020)

During these challenging times, Empire BlueCross BlueShield HealthPlus (Empire) is closely monitoring COVID-19 developments and what it means for our customers and our health care provider partners. We have taken actions to assist you and our clinical team is actively monitoring external queries and reports from the CDC to help us determine what action is necessary on our part.

Federal resources available for health care providers and employers in the federal CARES Act

Anthem, Inc., the parent company of Empire BlueCross BlueShield HealthPlus, advocated for Congress to provide sufficient funding for hospitals to be able to address those in need of care, and we strongly support federal and state efforts to address the financial needs of care providers. To help care providers navigate the resources available to them, we compiled information on programs that could deliver additional financial relief during this crisis.

Empire BlueCross BlueShield HealthPlus waives cost share for COVID-19 treatment

Empire announced that effective April 1, 2020, we will expand coverage for our members undergoing treatment related to COVID-19 diagnosis. The expansion covers the waiver of cost shares for COVID-19 treatment received through May 31, 2020.

Patient cost-sharing for laboratory tests to diagnose COVID-19, provider visits to diagnose COVID-19 and all telehealth services

Please be advised that the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the federal government are directing payers to waive patient copayments, coinsurance and deductibles for certain testing and treatment due to the COVID-19 emergency.

Empire BlueCross BlueShield suspends certain authorization requirements to aid COVID-19 response

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued a Circular Letter dated March 20, asking all insurers to suspend certain utilization management review and notification requirements to free up staff for clinical support. Effective March 20, Empire has implemented the following for individual, employer-based fully-insured and self-insured (ASO), Medicare* and Medicaid plans.

SOMOS management of delegated functions postponed

The collaborative partnership between Empire BlueCross BlueShield HealthPlus (Empire) and SOMOS IPA, LLC (SOMOS) and its affiliates previously set for March 1, 2020, has been postponed until further notice.