Care and Services Available for COVID-19 (Coronavirus)


COVID-19 vaccinations

Vaccine coverage. COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, and slow spread of the virus. Independence Blue Cross (Independence) covers the cost of administering vaccines with no cost-share (such as co-pays, deductibles, coinsurance) for members regardless of where the vaccine is given. For a vaccine distribution site near you, visit vaccines.gov.

Booster coverage. Independence covers the cost of administering the Pfizer and Moderna booster shots for certain immunocompromised individuals (e.g., organ transplant recipients). Independence will also cover booster shots for the broader population once formal authorization from the FDA is received.

If you are a Medicare Advantage member, please see below section.

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Staying healthy

Wear a mask. Public officials and health experts are urging us to wear masks indoors or in large crowds, regardless of vaccination status. COVID-19 and its variants – like the Delta variant – mainly spreads from droplets released into the air when we cough, sneeze, or talk.

Practice social distancing. Limit close contact with anyone outside of your household. Even if you’re wearing a mask, it’s still recommended you stay at least six feet from others when in public, or at least two arms’ length apart.

Wash your hands regularly. Viruses can spread from touching recently contaminated surfaces and then touching your face. Washing your hands is one of the most important defenses against the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. Keep hand sanitizer on you for when you don’t have access to soap and water.



Symptoms and testing

Check your symptoms. If you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 and develop symptoms, call your doctor. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for more details on symptoms, including those for people who already received a COVID-19 vaccination.

Testing is covered. Independence covers the cost for medically appropriate diagnostic and antibody testing ordered by a physician or authorized by a health care professional at no cost to the member. This coverage is in accordance with federal mandates through the end of the public health emergency¹. Independence does not cover tests that are needed for return to work, a condition of employment, return to school, or travel. Learn more about the differences between diagnostic and antibody tests in this infographic.

If you are a Medicare Advantage member, please see below section.

Find a test location



Telemedicine

Visit a doctor from anywhere². Telemedicine services with primary care doctors and specialists are covered at no cost through December 31, 2021² for a COVID-19 diagnosis¹. Telemedicine services from your doctor for a non-COVID diagnosis are available for the same cost as an office visit, based on your health plan.

MDLIVE². You can also schedule a telemedicine appointment with a doctor 24/7 with MDLIVE at no cost, depending on your plan. MDLIVE doctors can assess your symptoms and help with next steps. Register or login at mdlive.ibx.com.

If you are a Medicare Advantage member, please see below section.



Getting care

Treatment is covered². Member cost-share is waived for in-network, acute in-patient treatment of COVID-19 through December 31, 2021¹. Cost-sharing will be applied to post-acute care (e.g. skilled nursing, rehabilitation and long term acute care facilities), outpatient treatment, prescription drugs, ambulance transportation to a post-acute setting, and out-of-network care.

If you are a Medicare Advantage member, please see below section.



Your emotional health

Feeling stressed? Community health outbreaks may cause stress and anxiety. You can find your way On To Better Health with our interactive cognitive behavioral therapy program for conditions like anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Plus, stay physically active and emotionally balanced with programs to conquer physical distancing in our Achieve Well-being tool. Login to your account at ibx.com.

Virtual visits for mental health². If you have mental health benefits through Independence, you can talk to an in-network mental health counselor online or on the phone for many of your needs. The cost will be the same as a mental health specialist visit. Call the number on the back of your ID card or visit ibx.com to find a provider.

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Additional care support

Coverage for pulse oximeters. Pulse oximeters are small, portable devices that monitor oxygen levels in the blood and pulse rate. Independence will cover the cost of consumer grade pulse oximeters through December 31, 2021 for members who have a COVID-19 diagnosis, are recovering from a COVID-19 hospitalization, or have respiratory symptoms while waiting for COVID-19 test results. Pulse oximeters must be prescribed by an in-network doctor and purchased through an in-network supplier.

If you are a Medicare Advantage member, please see below section.



Medicare Advantage members

COVID-19 services. Independence will waive the cost of many COVID-19-related services for Medicare Advantage members through the duration of the public health emergency (PHE), which is currently scheduled through October 18, 2021. This includes waiving costs for the following in- and out-of-network services:

  • Telemedicine visits with a primary care doctor or specialist, including urgent care, nutritionists, and therapists (occupational, physical, speech) (only if there is a diagnosis of COVID-19)
  • Consumer grade pulse oximeters that are prescribed by a doctor

The following COVID-19 related services will be covered throughout 2021:

  • Acute in-patient treatment of COVID-19 obtained from an in-network provider (acute in-patient treatment of COVID-19 obtained from an out-of-network provider will be covered through the duration of the PHE).
  • COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing

Talk to a doctor 24/7. Schedule a same-day appointment with a board-certified doctor through MDLIVE² at no cost, depending on your plan. MDLIVE doctors can assess your symptoms and help with next steps. Register or login at ibxmedicare.com/mdlive.

Vaccine information. The cost of the COVID-19 vaccine and its administration will be covered by Original Medicare (not Medicare Advantage plans). The health care provider administering the vaccine does not need to be part of the Independence network, but must participate in the Medicare program. Visit our common COVID-19 questions and answers page for more details on how the vaccine will be covered.



Beat COVID-19 Videos

The Independence Blue Cross Beat COVID-19 multi-media public service campaign underscores the message: We’re in this together. These videos from our executives and medical directors highlight ways everyone can help slow the spread of COVID-19 so we can safely and effectively manage it.

View all videos



News and updates





Stay connected!

Sign up for Independence updates and information. If you have coverage through your employer or purchased an Individual or Family plan, get connected today.

Medicare members can sign up at ibxmedicare.com/getconnected.




1 The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act mandate that member cost-sharing (deductible, co-pays and coinsurance) is waived both in and out-of-network for the testing and diagnosis of COVID-19 through the public health emergency. For High Deductible Health Plans, in-network cost-sharing waivers detailed above will remain in effect through the public health emergency unless prohibited by law.

2 If you have coverage through your employer, benefits and coverages may vary. Please check with them about how these programs apply.

MDLIVE is an independent company.

Y0041_HM_95799_2021 Website last updated: 9/20/2021

Independence Blue Cross offers Medicare Advantage plans with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Independence Medicare Advantage plans depends on contract renewal.

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

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