Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has services available to help members affected by 2021 hurricanes stay on top of their healthcare needs
- Premium payment grace period in effect: In keeping with Louisiana Department of Insurance Emergency Rule 47 related to Hurricane Ida, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is extending grace periods for premium payment due in September. Members and groups could have until Oct. 24, 2021 to avoid insurance coverage cancellation for non-payment. However, grace periods cannot be extended more than 60 days total, so the date when your grace period ends depends on your billing date and when your premium payment was due. Employer groups with questions should contact their Blue Cross account representative for more information. Members with questions should contact Customer Service at the number on their ID cards to ask when their premium grace period ends.
The grace period applies to health insurance plan premiums, as well as premiums for dental plans, vision plans, Southern National Life plans and Equitable life and disability plans. Members should be aware that their claims could pend if their policies are not up to date. Blue Cross’ system-generated notices about premium payments may still be sent as previously scheduled, but Blue Cross will not cancel a plan for non-payment of premiums while a grace period is in effect. To keep insurance active after the grace period ends, it is important that you pay your premium in full to avoid a drop in coverage because of non-payment.
- Early prescription medicine refills for a limited time. Members who have trouble refilling a prescription can call the Pharmacy number on their ID cards for help.
- Telehealth services so you can be treated online. Blue Cross customers can have 24/7 online doctor visits with BlueCare, the insurer’s telehealth platform. BlueCare works on any device with internet and a camera, like a smartphone, laptop, tablet or computer, and is a good option to treat routine, non-emergency medical conditions like pink eye, mild stomach viruses, bladder infections, rashes and more.
BlueCare is available in all 50 states, and BlueCare providers can write prescriptions to treat many conditions via telehealth. BlueCare is easy to use and costs less than ER or urgent care visits. What you pay for a BlueCare visit depends on your plan type and benefits. Before your visit begins, you’ll see what it will cost. You will not be charged until your visit is finished. Create your BlueCare account at www.BlueCareLA.com or with the BlueCare (one word) mobile app for Apple and Android devices.
Members should also ask their regular healthcare providers if they offer telehealth services, either online or by phone.
- Replacing certain medical supplies and equipment such as hearing aids, walkers or prosthetic devices that were damaged in the storm. Members can call Customer Service at the number on their ID cards to report damaged supplies or equipment and see if it can be replaced.
- In response to the ongoing COVID-19 surge, Blue Cross has waived prior authorization requirements for urgent inpatient admissions and stays at in-network hospitals. This applies to all diagnoses. Coverage is subject to medical necessity as outlined in each member's plan. Members can call Customer Service at the number on their ID cards to ask about how this is covered on their plans. For more information, visit www.bcbsla.com/covid19.
Blue Cross reminds Louisianians to take precautions against COVID-19 during hurricane recovery. A statewide mask mandate is in effect for all indoor public places, which includes shelters. If you are staying with or are near people who do not live with you, wear a face mask and keep at least six feet apart to limit the spread of the virus.
How to Get Recovery Help or Support Those Affected
Blue Cross Community Relations has put together a list of resources to help people who need assistance with Hurricane Ida recovery, and for those who wish to support or donate to recovery efforts.