Blue Cross Encouraging Telehealth Use; Offering Free BlueCare Visits
BATON ROUGE – From Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana:
To help members get care without having to leave their homes, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is making medical or behavioral health online visits with BlueCare, the insurer’s signature telehealth platform, available for $0.
“We realize that because of COVID-19, many members are hesitant to leave their homes for routine doctor’s appointments or to get care for long-term health needs,” said Dr. Jeremy Wigginton, Blue Cross medical director. “Making BlueCare available with no cost sharing and promoting other telehealth options gives our members more opportunities to get care, and it will limit foot traffic in clinics, hospitals and healthcare providers’ offices, as they are dealing with COVID-19 cases on the front lines.”
Blue Cross has waived cost-sharing for customers to use BlueCare Members can have 24/7 online doctor visits from any device with internet and a camera, like a smartphone, laptop, tablet or computer. BlueCare is a good option to treat routine, non-emergency medical conditions like fever, cough, cold, pink eye, mild stomach viruses, bladder infections, rashes and more.
In addition to medical care, Blue Cross members can now schedule BlueCare appointments with behavioral health providers, including counselors, therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists, who are trained and certified in telehealth care.
BlueCare online behavioral health appointments can be a good service for members who may be feeling stress, anxiety or depression because of COVID-19. It also opens up more options for members who are looking for ways of getting care for ongoing behavioral health needs such as grief, substance abuse, coping with life transitions, couples counseling and more, without having to go somewhere for an in-person appointment.
Both medical and behavioral health BlueCare visits are currently $0.
BlueCare is available in all 50 states, and BlueCare providers can write prescriptions to treat many conditions via telehealth.
Members can create a BlueCare account at www.BlueCareLA.com or with the BlueCare (one word) mobile app for Apple and Android devices. Then, they can simply log in for 24/7 medical visits or to schedule a behavioral health appointment.
Please note that because of increased demand, BlueCare is experiencing longer-than-usual wait times. BlueCare providers will see you as soon as possible. You can also check your regular healthcare provider’s website or call the office to see if they offer telehealth options.
Expanded Telehealth Options from In-Network Providers
In addition to BlueCare, Blue Cross covers members’ telehealth visits from in-network doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered dietitians and physical, occupational or speech therapists. In-network providers can deliver telehealth services through online visits or by phone. For any telehealth visits other than BlueCare, Blue Cross members will pay their standard cost-share (deductible, copay or coinsurance).
Check with your healthcare provider to see if remote care options are available.
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, contact your regular healthcare provider, who can work with you to determine if you need to be seen for testing. If you don’t have a regular healthcare provider, please call 211 to reach the Louisiana statewide information network for assistance.
You can visit the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana YouTube page to see short videos with the clinical team and others discussing COVID-19, how to prevent spreading illnesses and more. Subscribe to know when new videos are added. You can also connect with Blue Cross on social media for regular updates on COVID-19 and other health topics.
For information on what Blue Cross is doing for members during the COVID-19 situation, visit www.bcbsla.com/covid19.