Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) continue to monitor the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) that is currently set to expire on Oct. 17, 2021. In October, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) will announce whether the PHE is ending or extended. We will share this announcement once it is available. Since a PHE declaration may last up to 90 days, if the current PHE is extended, it could continue until Jan. 15, 2022.
When the PHE is lifted, the services required to be covered (with cost-shares waived) by the CARES Act will return to the plan’s standard cost shares. Such services currently include:
COVID-19 tests and related services to diagnose COVID-19
- Includes COVID-19 antigen tests, antibody tests and specimen collection, office services, urgent care, emergency room services, including other diagnostic tests done to rule out other conditions prior to a COVID-19 test, and telehealth services where a person may call with symptoms and the telehealth provider advises to be tested for COVID-19.
- Will return to the plan’s standard cost shares when the PHE is lifted.
- Applies to in-network and out-of-network services
COVID-19 vaccination and administration of the vaccines
- Will move to the plan’s preventive immunization benefits when the PHE is lifted.
- Under the ACA preventive services benefit, cost shares will continue to be waived for in-network vaccinations.
- Vaccines received at an out-of-network facility will be covered under the plan’s out-of-network benefit for preventive immunizations, typically deductible, and coinsurance.
- Applies to vaccinations provided under the medical plan and through the pharmacy benefit
- NOTE: The government is currently covering the cost of the vaccine. Once the cost shifts to providers and insurance companies, these services will be covered the same as any other vaccination.
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