COVID-19 tests

Those with health insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming can continue using telemedicine to access health care.

The insurance provider announced Tuesday that it will extend waivers for telemedicine and necessary COVID-19 treatment through Aug. 31.

“Nationally, data shows that individuals may have delayed regular, necessary and routine health care due to their concern about COVID-19,” a press release said. “The use of telemedicine assures that normal health care needs or monitoring of chronic disease can continue safely, through telemedicine services.”

Anecdotally, St. John’s Health administrators have said fewer people have been accessing their normal care because of the coronavirus. Some of that they attribute to a halt in elective surgeries during the pandemic, but it may also be due to patient fears of catching COVID-19 at the hospital, despite the slate of safety precautions that are in place.

Blue Cross is also waiving member cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment, meaning it will shoulder the full costs even when members haven’t met their deductibles.

“We have likely not seen the end of COVID-19 in Wyoming,” Blue Cross CEO Diane Gore said in the press release, “and there shouldn’t be any cost barriers for those who may need treatment for the disease.”

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or thallberg@jhnewsandguide.com.

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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