Care and Services Available for COVID-19 (Coronavirus)


Staying healthy

Wear a mask. COVID-19 cases are on the rise, locally and nationally. Public officials and health experts are urging us to use face coverings whenever we go out. The virus mainly spreads from droplets released into the air when we cough, sneeze, or talk. Whether you show signs of illness or not, masks prevent droplets from reaching others and reduce their risk of getting sick.

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. The virus can also spread from touching recently contaminated surfaces and then touching your face. Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the most importance 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 a fever, cough, or have trouble breathing, call your doctor. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for more details on symptoms.

Testing is covered. Independence Blue Cross (Independence) will cover the cost for testing, including antibody testing through December 31, 2020². First, contact your doctor or state health department. They will screen you based on CDC guidelines. Then they may issue a lab order for the test, or they may treat you with a request to self-isolate and use over-the-counter medications. 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



Virtual visits

Talk to a doctor from anywhere¹. Telemedicine services from your primary care doctor are covered at no cost through December 31, 2020². You can also schedule a same-day appointment with a doctor 24/7 with MDLIVE¹ at no cost through December 31, 2020². MDLIVE doctors can assess your symptoms and help with next steps. Register or login at mdlive.ibx.com.

Specialists are available. The CDC recommends that the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. Ask your specialist if your visit can be done over the phone or video. If so, office visit cost-sharing will apply, based on your health plan. This also includes urgent care, nutritionists, and therapists (occupational, physical, speech). Physical and occupational therapy must be conducted via video.

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



Getting care

Treatment is covered¹. Independence will waive members’ cost for in-network, acute in-patient treatment of COVID-19 through December 31, 2020². 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.

Pre-authorizations temporarily waived. Pre-authorization is currently not required for acute, in-network, in-patient admissions from the emergency department for a COVID-19 diagnosis. Pre-authorization is also being waived for transfers from an in-patient facility to long-term ambulatory care, rehabilitation, or skilled nursing facilities, and transportation between facilities. These temporary changes to our pre-authorization policy are in effect until December 31, 2020. Facilities are still required to notify Independence.

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



Additional care support

Coverage for pulse oximeters. Pulse oximeters are small, portable devices that monitor oxygen levels in the blood and pulse rate. To help monitor members who have a COVID-19 diagnosis or are recovering from COVID-19, Independence will cover consumer grade pulse oximeters that are prescribed by an in-network doctor and purchased through an in-network supplier. Member cost sharing will be waived through December 31, 2020.

Navigate COVID-19 with Quil. To help you navigate some of the challenges you may be facing during the COVID-19 outbreak, Quil Health — the digital health joint venture between Independence Health Group and Comcast — has developed a comprehensive COVID-19 Preparedness Tool that members can access for free. Get access now.

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



Maintain your health and medications

Keep your health on track. As doctors’ offices re-open, talk with your doctor if you delayed an elective procedure and need to reschedule. Be sure to make an appointment with your doctor if it’s time for your annual check-up or preventive health screenings too.

Check your medications. Check to make sure you have enough medications. Call your doctor if you need refills.

Get Rx delivery. Many neighborhood pharmacies are now offering free home delivery. View a list of locations.



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 health¹. If you have mental health benefits through Independence Blue Cross, you can talk to an in-network mental health counselor online or on the phone. 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.

Learn more



Medicare Advantage members

Independence will waive the cost of many COVID-19-related services for Medicare Advantage members through the duration of the public health emergency, which is currently scheduled through October 23, 2020. This includes waiving costs for the following in and out of network services:

  • COVID-19 testing and antibody testing
  • Telemedicine services from a primary care doctor and MDLive
  • Acute in-patient treatment of COVID-19
  • Consumer grade pulse oximeters that are prescribed by a doctor

The following services are also available. Member cost sharing applies.

  • Telemedicine services from specialists, including urgent care, nutritionists, and therapists (occupational, physical, speech)

Additionally, pre-authorization is temporarily not required for acute, in-patient admissions from the emergency department; a transfer from an in-patient facility to long-term ambulatory care, rehabilitation, or skilled nursing facilities; and transportation between facilities.



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







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 Please note: For employers who are self-insured, coverages may vary. If you have coverage through your employer, please check with them about how these programs apply.

2 Please note: 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. If the public health emergency ends prior to December 31, 2020, the waiver of cost sharing for out-of-network testing and diagnosis will end as of the date the public emergency ends. If the public emergency does not end as of December 31, 2020, the waiver of member cost sharing for both in and out of network will continue through the public emergency. For High Deductible Health Plans, in-network cost sharing waivers detailed above will remain in effect through December 31, 2020 unless prohibited by law.

MDLive is an independent company.

Y0041_HM_85678_2020 Website last updated: 7/24/2020

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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