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Member Support & Tips >
Member Support & Tips >
Member Support & Tips

We’re here for you. With headquarters in Rochester, NY, and offices in Syracuse, Elmira, Binghamton and Utica – your community is our community. Our employees are your neighbors. We’re all in this together. This page will be updated regularly with new information and resources to help you and your family through COVID-19.

Highlights of Your Benefits Related to COVID-19:

Commercial Group Members

  • No cost to members for viral COVID-19 testing
  • No cost to members for office, urgent care, or ER visits related to COVID-19
  • No cost to members for telehealth visits
  • For fully insured employer group plan members, no cost for treatment, including inpatient care, for confirmed COVID-19 cases. For self-insured group plan members, please consult with your employer’s human resources or health benefits representative
  • For fully insured employer group plan members, pre-authorization is waived for inpatient, outpatient hospital services, skilled nursing facility and home care agency services following an inpatient stay from March 20, 2020 – June 18, 2020. For self-insured group plan members, please consult with your employer’s human resources or health benefits representative
  • There are several options available to members who are losing coverage
  • Early medication refills available for prescriptions during state of emergency
  • Waiver of early refills limits for 30 or 90-day supplies of medications
  • Home delivery available for up to 90-day supply of medication at one time
  • For fully insured employer group plan members, waiver of cost share for outpatient mental health services for essential workers from May 2, 2020 through July 31, 2020. For self-insured group plan members, please consult with your employer’s human resources or health benefits representative.
  • If you are unsure whether your employer group’s health benefits plan is fully insured or self-funded, please inquire with your employer’s human resources or health benefits representative

Medicare Advantage Members

  • No cost to members for COVID-19 testing
  • No cost to members for office, urgent care, or ER visits related to COVID-19
  • No cost to members for telehealth visits
  • No cost for treatment, including inpatient care for confirmed COVID-19 cases
  • Pre-authorization is waived for inpatient, outpatient hospital services, skilled nursing facilities and home care agencies following an inpatient stay from March 20, 2020 – June 18, 2020
  • Current 2- month grace period for premium payments extended through December 31, 2020
  • Special election period from March 20, 2020 through July 20, 2020
  • Early medication refills available for prescriptions during state of emergency
  • Waiver of early refills limits for 30 or 90-day supplies of medications
  • Home delivery available for up to 90-day supply of medication at one time

Medicaid, HARP, Subsidized Child Health Plus Members

  • No cost to members for viral COVID-19 testing
  • No cost to members for office, urgent care, or ER Visits related to COVID-19
  • No cost to members for telehealth/teledental visits for any reason during the NY state of emergency
  • Consistent with regular benefits, no cost share for COVID treatment
  • Pre-authorization is waived for inpatient, outpatient hospital services, skilled nursing facilities and home care agencies following an inpatient stay from March 20, 2020 – June 18, 2020
  • Grace period for premium payments through June 1, 2020
  • Members scheduled to renew during the state of emergency will have coverage automatically extended for 4 months
  • Early prescription refills available during state of emergency
  • Waiver of early refills limits for 30 or 90-day supplies of medications
  • Home delivery available for up to 90-day supply of medication

Essential Plan and Full Pay Child Health Plus Members

  • No cost to members for viral COVID-19 testing
  • No cost to members for office, urgent care, or ER Visits related to COVID-19
  • No cost to members for telehealth visits
  • Consistent with regular benefits, no cost share for COVID treatment
  • Pre-authorization is waived for inpatient, outpatient hospital services, skilled nursing facilities and home care agencies following an inpatient stay from March 20, 2020 – June 18, 2020
  • If you have been paying your premium on time, but are having trouble paying your April premium, we will extend your grace period to June 1, 2020
  • Early medication refills available for prescriptions during state of emergency
  • Waiver of early refills limits for 30 or 90-day supplies of medications
  • Home delivery available for up to 90-day supply of medication at one time
  • Waiver of cost share for outpatient mental health services for essential workers from May 2, 2020 through July 31, 2020.

Qualified Health Plan Members

  • No cost to members for viral COVID-19 testing
  • No cost to members for office, urgent care, or ER Visits related to COVID-19
  • No cost to members for telehealth visits
  • No cost for treatment, including inpatient care for confirmed COVID-19 cases
  • Pre-authorization is waived for inpatient, outpatient hospital services, skilled nursing facilities and home care agencies following an inpatient stay from March 20, 2020 – June 18, 2020
  • If you have been paying your premium on time, but are having trouble paying your April premium, we will extend your grace period to June 1, 2020
  • Early medication refills available for prescriptions during state of emergency
  • Waiver of early refills limits for 30 or 90-day supplies of medications
  • Home delivery available for up to 90-day supply of medication at one time
  • Waiver of cost share for outpatient mental health services for essential workers from May 2, 2020 through July 31, 2020.
No-Cost Telehealth Visits During the State of Emergency

To help alleviate the burden on provider offices, urgent care centers and hospitals, telehealth visits will be covered at no cost to members for the next 90 days (effective March 13, 2020).

You should ask your provider in advance if they are equipped to conduct telehealth visits via telephone, e-mail, or video chat.

Some common conditions for telehealth visits include:

  • Adults: allergies, cold and flu, ear infections, fever, headaches, joint aches and pains, nausea and vomiting, pink eye, rashes, sinus infections, urinary tract infections; behavioral health conditions such as addiction, stress, depression, and PTSD.
  • Children: cold and flu, constipation, earache, fever, nausea and vomiting, pink eye
  • Certain conditions requiring specialized care such as dermatology, acute chiropractic care, and nutrition consulting can also be treated with a telehealth visit. Check with your specialist to see if they offer this option.

When your doctor isn’t available, telemedicine may be an option for you. Whether you need a consultation for acute, non-emergency conditions, or someone to talk to during a challenging time, our partnership with MDLIVE gives you convenient access to medical and behavioral health care 24/7/365 from the comfort of your home. Note: At this time MDLive is unable to order COVID-19 tests. Please contact your doctor or local county health department if you believe you have COVID-19 symptoms.

Learn about Telemedicine and Schedule Appointment
Mental & Emotional Health Resources

Physical barriers should never get in the way of human connections.  That’s why at Excellus BCBS, you have access to extra support for emotional well being in several different ways:

  • If you already have a therapist or mental health clinician:  Ask your provider in advance if they are equipped to conduct telehealth visits via telephone, e-mail or video chat.  Telehealth visits are covered at no charge for 90 days beginning March 13, 2020.
  • Our telemedicine partner, MDLive offers access to licensed therapists for video chat by appointment.  Telemedicine visits are covered at no charge for 90 days beginning March 13, 2020.
  • Download the free Wellframe app to chat via text with a Excellus BCBS Health Coach or Nurse who can provide access to our team of behavioral health specialists for support and access to resources.
  • Our 24/7 Nurse Line provides access to nurses available to speak with you whenever you need it.

You’re not alone. Excellus BCBS is here to support you when you need it most.

Additional Options for Mental & Emotional HealthSupport Resource Articles
Wellframe: Health Care Experts and Support at Your Fingertips

Free to all members, our nurses and health coaches are available to chat with you via text through the Wellframe app. Wellframe is also a helpful resource to manage conditions such as pre-diabetes, diabetes, obesity, and more.

  • Connect with a dedicated nurse care manager
  • Conveniently text with health care professionals when you need it
  • Create a personalized health plan and track progress
  • Receive daily tips, reminders, and videos on a host of different topics

Downloading the Wellframe app is simple and easy. Use Access Code Excellus when registering. For more information, log into your online account to get started.

24/7 Nurse Call Line

Outside of this COVID-19 crisis, we know that access to care for routine health information is difficult to find right now. Because we’re focused on your health and well-being, our team of nurses, social workers, respiratory therapists and mental health coaches are here to support you.

24/7 Nurse Line: You can contact an Excellus BCBS nurse by phone anytime – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our specially trained registered nurses can provide support and education for members.

Ask a Nurse Today! Call 1-800-348-9786 (TDD/TTY 1-800-662-1220).

The 24/7 Nurse Call Line is a service provided to our members to support their relationship with their health care providers. The information provided is intended to help educate members, not to replace the advice of a medical professional. If you are experiencing severe symptoms such as sharp pains, fever, loss of bodily function control, vomiting or any other immediate medical concern, dial 911 or contact a physician directly.

Early Prescription Refills

Our pharmacy team has been closely monitoring the supply of medications that are available during the COVID-19 outbreak. We’re taking several actions to ensure our members have access to clinically appropriate medications.

  • Waiving early medication refill limits on 30 or 90-day prescription maintenance medications (consistent with your benefit plan) during state of emergency.
  • Obtain up to a 90-day supply of your medication at one time by using safe and easy home delivery. Your medications will be delivered right to your home.
  • If you’re a Medicare member, get started with home delivery service.
  • All other members, connect with a mail service pharmacy.
Community Resources

If you need assistance unrelated to health insurance, or you’re seeking ways to help others near you, try these sites to find resources in your area: 

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The best way to stay informed and have access to your coverage is online. Let’s get you set up online today. For help or questions with your insurance plan, call the number on your Member Card for personalized care, or contact us.
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