The Ritz Herald
A researcher works in a lab that is developing testing for the COVID-19 at Hackensack Meridian Health Center. © Kena Betancur

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas to Cover Cost of Coronavirus Tests for Members

The CDC is also offering testing at no cost

Published on March 09, 2020

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) members will have access to coronavirus (COVID-19) testing as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and prescribed by health providers. Effective immediately, BCBSTX will not require preauthorization and will not apply members’ co-pays or deductibles for testing to diagnose COVID-19 when medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidelines.

“Supporting our members in sickness and in health is paramount, which is why we have joined stakeholders in the healthcare system to do our part in contributing to this necessary and collective global effort to help contain and abate COVID-19,” said Dr. Dan McCoy, president of BCBSTX. “We are closely monitoring developments of COVID-19, and stand ready to assist doctors, hospitals and federal, state and local public health organizations in serving our members, our community and employees.”

BCBSTX members who have questions about their coverage should call the number on the back of their ID card.

The state of Texas now has six public health labs within its Laboratory Response Network that are equipped to perform COVID-19 testing, according Gov. Greg Abbott. The Laboratory Response Network exists to provide laboratory diagnostics and maintain the capacity to respond to biological and chemical threats and other public health emergencies. The CDC is also offering testing at no cost.

The CDC recommends these actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth;
  • Stay home when you are sick;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe; and
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
Associate Writer