Understanding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak
Thought to originate in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019, COVID-19 has defied containment efforts and has spread now to more than 84 countries with the number of confirmed cases approaching 100,000. The CDC has indicated that China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea are currently experiencing sustained community transmission (CDC Level 2 or higher), with additional countries likely to be added over time.
Medically-necessary COVID-19 Testing
To offer protection and resources to keep their members safe, GeoBlue announced several steps in response to the outbreak. Effective immediately, the following resources are available to GeoBlue members enrolled in theirr fully-insured plans. Self-funded plans will be able to opt-out of this program:
- GeoBlue will cover, with no cost-share to members, medically-necessary, prescribed diagnostic testing for the virus, known officially as COVID-19, consistent with U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.
- This coverage includes the cost of the COVID-19 test, physician/doctor consultation fee and associated costs related to administering the COVID-19 test.
- GeoBlue will waive prior authorizations for medically-necessary, prescribed tests and covered services related to COVID-19, consistent with CDC guidelines.
- To help reduce potential exposure, GeoBlue encourages members to utilize our telemedicine service, Global TeleMD™, which provides 24/7 confidential access to a global network of doctors around the world via telephone or secure video call. Global TeleMD is available to GeoBlue's corporate, scholastic and individual enrolled members at no additional cost. For a limited time, we are expanding access to Global TeleMD to Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Traveler members as well.
- The above actions apply to all plans with medical benefits underwritten by 4 Ever Life Insurance Company or 4 Ever Life International Limited.
Impact to Short-term Plan Coverage of Eligible Members
No benefits are impacted with the exception of Trip Interruption coverage on the Voyager plans as noted below. For eligible members who contract COVID-19, GeoBlue short-term medical plans would cover eligible medical costs, including quarantine in a hospital/medical setting before it was a foreseen event. Preventive quarantine in a hotel, cruise ship or any other location would not be covered. The plan would cover medical evacuation if deemed medically appropriate for the illness/injury, subject to the usual plan provisions.
Voyager Choice and Essential: Post-departure Trip Interruption Coverage: Unforeseen events transitioning to foreseen
Per the CDC determination, the countries listed below have transitioned from locations with no foreseen events to a notable, current foreseen event in action. There is no impact to Trip Interruption coverage for eligible members who purchased a GeoBlue Voyager plan prior to the listed dates and have travelled or are planning travel to one of the listed countries; members who meet this criteria may use the Trip Interruption benefit as needed ($500 max). If a member purchased a GeoBlue Voyager plan after the listed dates and has travelled or is planning travel to one of the listed countries, the Trip Interruption coverage benefit will not be available as the outbreak is classified as a foreseen event.
||Transition from "Unforeseen" to "Foreseen" event
||January 6, 2020
||February 19, 2020
||February 24, 2020
||February 28, 2020
||February 28, 2020
Impact to Long-term Coverage of Eligible Members
For existing members with long-term coverage, there is no impact. For new long-term applicants who have noted China, South Korea, or Italy as the Host Country, there is currently a pend status in underwriting review.
Here to Support You
GeoBlue's team, including their global medical experts, have been continually monitoring the situation. GeoBlue is committed to keeping their valued partners informed of new developments related to this situation. Please continue to count on GeoBlue for ongoing support and information.
Please refer to this coronavirus flyer which provides information and resources for members about the coronavirus situation.
For more information on the novel coronavirus and to learn what you can do to protect yourself, we recommend visiting the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.