Premera Blue Cross expands telehealth offerings at little to no cost to members during COVID-19 pandemic
By Lisa Padilla -
Wednesday Mar 25, 2020
Premera Blue Cross, a leading health plan in the Pacific Northwest, today announced a major expansion of its telehealth services at little to no cost to its members in response to the unprecedented demand for virtual care ignited by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company has signed agreements with 98point6 and Doctor On Demand to deliver text- and video-based virtual care to nearly all 2.3 million Premera and LifeWise Health Plan of Washington members for at least 90 days.
â€œDemand for virtual healthcare services has skyrocketed and will only continue to increase as the pandemic continues. Our goal is to relieve some of the anxiety our members may face by giving them access to care at little or no cost from the safety and comfort of their homes,â€ said Rick Abbott, VP of Product and Market Solutions for Premera.
The services will be available to members who purchase their health insurance through their employers as stipulated in their plan or to members who purchase their insurance on the individual market.
Cost shares will be waived for all medically necessary COVID-19 treatment telehealth services, as well as all telehealth appointments for members enrolled in PPO plans.
Outside of this, cost shares will be waived where appropriate, per IRS guidance. As legislative and regulatory agencies continue to revise their guidance to meet the evolving needs of the crisis, Premera will quickly apply such direction to meet the needs of our customers.
On behalf of Premera Blue Cross, 98point6 and Doctor On Demand are independent companies that provide telehealth services to Premera customers.
In addition to this, traditional providers in Washington state and Alaska are expanding their own telemedicine services to offer virtual appointments, when possible. Contact your primary care provider to learn about their offerings.
Learn more about Premera's response to the COVID-19 outbreak for our customers.
About Premera Blue Cross
Premera Blue Cross is a leading health plan in the Pacific Northwest, providing comprehensive health benefits and tailored services to about 2 million people, from individuals to Fortune 100 companies.
Founded in 2015, 98point6 is pioneering a new approach to primary care. By pairing AI and machine learning with board-certified physicians, our vision is to make primary care more accessible and affordable leading to better health. We meet consumers where they are by offering private, text-based diagnosis and treatment via a mobile app. For employers and health plans, 98point6 increases primary care utilization among those not actively or appropriately engaged in their healthâ€”enabling earlier medical intervention and reducing the overall cost of care. For more information about 98point6, visit http://www.98point6.com.
About Doctor On Demand
Doctor On Demand is a nationwide virtual care practice that provides video visits with board-certified physicians, psychiatrists and licensed psychologists via smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers. Patients download the Doctor On Demand app or visit http://www.doctorondemand.com, provide a medical history, and are connected for a video visit within minutes. Prescriptions, if needed, are sent directly to the pharmacy of choice. Doctor On Demand physicians can also order lab work, allowing for the treatment of a broader range of conditions and chronic care management.
Through its 5-star rated mobile application and website, consumers can access board-certified physicians in all 50 states and the District of Columbia with an average wait time of 5 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Doctor On Demand delivers services through employers, health plans, and directly to consumers. While insurance isnâ€™t required, tens of millions of Americans enjoy covered medical and mental health visits.
Doctor On Demand is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. To access Doctor On Demand, download the app (iTunes or Google Play) or visit http://www.doctorondemand.com.