Horizon: COVID-19 Update as of June 1, 2021

Horizon COVID-19 Update – See Horizon’s Brief Notes Below

Note: Effective 7/1/2021 Horizon will end the cost-share waiver for COVID-19 treatment for fully insured groups.

Horizon BCBSNJ Brief Notes
Applies to: All Markets
COVID-19 Update as of June 1, 2021

Throughout our almost 90-year history, the health and well-being of our members have always been our top priorities. That’s why, during these unprecedented times, we’ve taken bold steps to help ensure our members can get the care they need. We want to give you an update on our response to COVID-19.

We’ve been here for our members and other customers when they’ve needed us most
For our members, we:

  • Expanded access to telemedicine services for medical and behavioral health care, including relaxing rules to allow the use of alternate platforms, such as FaceTime and Skype, and phone-only visits, and waived cost sharing so members can get care from in-network health care professionals from the safety of home.
  • Waived member cost sharing for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, and voluntarily waived cost sharing for treatment of COVID-19 provided by in-network health care professionals.
  • Are covering the cost of recommended COVID-19 vaccines.

For our employer group customers, we:

  • Made accommodations to help customers continue to offer coverage to their employees and dependents, including waiving actively-at-work and waiting-period requirements.
  • Provided members with timely information about coverage for testing, treatment and vaccines.

For our communities, we:

  • Contributed $4.35 million in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including a $2 million donation to The New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, and the purchase of personal protective equipment for health care workers, as well as food and social services for those in need.

For more information on the many ways we’ve helped our members and customers throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, you can view the updated COVID-19 Resource Guide.

We’ve reached a turning point in the fight against COVID-19

COVID-19 case numbers are shrinking thanks to increased COVID-19 vaccination rates, prompting state and federal governments to ease restrictions. Horizon BCBSNJ will adjust their response as the situation improves.

As previously communicated, Horizon BCBSNJ  will end the cost share waiver for members’ out-of-pocket costs (copays, deductibles and coinsurance) for claims for inpatient and outpatient treatment of COVID-19 after June 30, 2021.1 By this date, Horizon’s COVID-19 treatment cost share waiver will have been in place for almost 18 months. Other major health insurance carriers in New Jersey ended their waivers earlier this year, or never waived these costs at all.

Help for New Jersey’s essential workers
Please keep in mind, under New Jersey state law, essential workers diagnosed with COVID-19 may have treatment costs covered under Workers’ Compensation (WC) benefits.

WC covers 100 percent of medical costs, without copays or deductibles, from the first date of injury or illness to the date that maximum medical improvement is achieved. Under WC, this period may extend for one day or a lifetime. This is important since many COVID-19 cases appear to have long-lasting medical implications. More information about this is available at HorizonBlue.com/covid19

No member cost sharing for COVID-19 diagnostic testing or telehealth visits
COVID-19 diagnostic testing performed at doctors’ offices, urgent care centers, and in Emergency Rooms, and all telehealth visits (as per NJ PL 2020 c.7/c.47) will continue to be covered without member cost sharing. This waiver of member out-of-pocket costs will be in place for at least 90 days after the end of the declared public health emergency.

Vaccines are available at no cost
Horizon BCBSNJ encourages everyone to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New Jersey Department of Health to get a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized COVID-19 vaccination.

Horizon’s brochure, Every shot counts — the COVID-19 vaccines, is available in English and Spanish, and provides the facts on the COVID-19 vaccines. Please share this with your clients.

We’re proud of our work to support our members and health care professionals during the COVID-19 public health emergency. We will continue to work with doctors and hospitals to get our members access to care, including access to vaccinations, to stop the spread of COVID-19