As we continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation around the coronavirus (COVID-19), our first thought is for the safety and well-being of our employees and the members, communities and businesses we serve. During these uncertain times, we want you to know that Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its affiliate companies (Health Advantage and BlueAdvantage Administrators of Arkansas) are here for you and the employees who are depending on you.
Like most employers, we have activated our pandemic preparedness plan. Here’s how we are taking steps to support your company and your covered employees:
We will continue to support you and proactively meet your coverage needs. The health of our employees is essential to our ability to serve you. And while our teams are primarily working remotely now, our sales and service reps remain accessible to you by telephone or email about all benefit management issues.
We will provide frequent communication personally and formally through our digital newsletter. We also are keeping our agents/brokers updated, so communication is consistent and clear. We have frequent updates to our website about COVID-19 developments that are accessible to everyone.
Please rest assured we will be working hard to maintain the high-quality customer service you and your employees have come to expect from us. Our customer service representatives are here to assist your employees with any health insurance benefits and related questions.
Our claims processing teams work from home most days and almost exclusively during this time so privacy and security measures are firmly in place and we are best positioned to continue to process the claims we receive. We recognize as the environment continues to change, we will adjust accordingly. But, we remain flexible and vigilant to ensure accurate, timely payment for health services rendered on behalf of our members.
Information Technology and Security
Our IT/IS team is working around the clock to ensure our staff remains connected and your information remains secure. They have done an outstanding job of transitioning our workforce to continue normal business during this time.
Fully Insured Groups
Our members will be covered for the tests and treatments they need to treat COVID-19. We have increased access and reduced cost sharing to help our fully insured members get coverage for the care they need, when they need it. We have increased access to virtual health services (telemedicine/telehealth). We also have enhanced access to maintenance prescription medications and extended prior authorizations on many medications for 90 days for our fully insured members.
We also recognize that COVID-19 has added to our members’ stress and anxiety, possibly taking a toll on our member’s emotional well-being. We’ve increased access to behavioral/mental health professionals for telephone-based visit, and waived copays, coinsurance and deductibles for these services through at least May 15.
We are working with our self-funded group employers to ensure their coverage requirements are facilitated correctly during this health crisis. We are working closely to ensure any adjustments to benefits due to these unprecedented circumstances are applied as quickly as possible to ensure accurate administration.
Members needing assistance always can contact us directly by calling the number on the back of their member ID card for assistance. Most members can also get self-service information through the My Blueprint member portal. It’s easy to register and provides access to claims history, policy information and even virtual health.
While we have a lot yet to learn and miles to go before it’s over, we are here for you, and we will get through this together. Please keep us posted on issues as you become aware, and we will respond as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
We know that you are shouldering a lot right now. Our hope is health and safety for you, your family members, friends, colleagues, neighbors, employees and communities, and a quick end to this health crisis.
Giving peace of mind to the members and communities we serve is a central theme of our daily work. And it’s the reason we plan for the worst and work for the best – now and always.
We are working with the Arkansas Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and health experts in our state and throughout the nation to share information, mitigate health risks and keep you informed. We are:
- Directing members to the CDC for information.
- Tracking symptoms and patterns that may become apparent through data from electronic medical records, phone calls to nurse call centers and clinic visits.
- Collaborating with federal agencies and local public health officials to help contain any outbreak.
- Supporting infection-control efforts, including those already in place for hospitals, healthcare facilities and other sites of care.
- Continuously monitoring COVID-19 developments and assessing whether additional modifications to our practices need to be implemented.
We strongly encourage all of our members to follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the direction or our state and national leaders as we work our way through this COVID-19 pandemic.
Benefit change details and updates are online at arkansasbluecross.com and healthadvantage-hmo.com. We are working closely with our BlueAdvantage groups to post needed information on their requested sites.