COVID-19 info for Blue KC Medicare members
Free at-home COVID-19 tests
UPDATE: Original Medicare Now Covers COVID-19 Home Tests
Effective April 4, 2022, Original Medicare now covers eight free COVID-19 home tests each month from pharmacies at more than a dozen national and regional chains. Previously, your Blue Medicare Advantage plan covered the cost of the at-home COVID-19 tests, but with the recent announcement from Medicare, these tests are now covered by Original Medicare through participating pharmacies.
Participating pharmacy chains in this initiative, include, but are not limited to: Costco Pharmacy, CVS, Hy-Vee Pharmacy, Walgreens, and Walmart. A partial list of participating pharmacies can be found at Medicare.gov. You can also ask your pharmacy or provider if they are participating. When checking out at the pharmacy counter, please show your red, white, and blue Medicare card.
Blue Medicare Advantage will continue to cover at-home COVID-19 tests purchased between January 15, 2022, and April 3, 2022, by submitting your receipt(s) for reimbursement to Blue Medicare Advantage, ATTN: Government Program Claims, 2301 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64108. Beginning April 4, COVID-19 at-home test coverage should be directed to Original Medicare.
For helpful resources regarding COVID-19 tests, visit COVID.gov/tests.
Blue Medicare Advantage will continue to pay for COVID-19 diagnostic tests performed by a laboratory, such as PCR and antigen tests, when the test is ordered by a physician, non-physician practitioner, pharmacist, or other authorized health care professional. Blue Medicare Advantage also pays for the pixel by LabCorp at home testing kit.
Blue KC will continue to monitor COVID-19 vaccine developments and share additional information as it becomes available.
- Vaccines have received FDA authorization and are now available.
- For the latest information about COVID-19 vaccines, please visit the CDC’s website or:
- For information specific to Missouri vaccines.
- For information specific to Kansas vaccines.
- The COVID-19 vaccine is covered at no cost through your Blue Medicare Advantage plan. Your provider will bill Blue Medicare Advantage for the vaccine and administration.
Option 1: Check with your primary care physician (PCP) or local hospital.
Option 2: If you are unable to secure an appointment through the help of your PCP or hospital, go to vaccinefinder.org.
Option 3: Your local library can help you to schedule an appointment.
Option 4: Contact your local Area Agency on Aging. These organizations may also offer transportation assistance, if needed.
|Organization||Service area||How they can help you|
|Vaccinefinder.org||National vaccine locator that helps find clinics, pharmacies and other locations that offer COVID-19 vaccines.||Enter your zip code to find available vaccine appointments near you. From there you can register for an appointment.|
Local area agencies on aging
|Organization||Service area||How they can help you|
|Mid-America Regional Council
|In Missouri: Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte, and Ray counties
In Kansas: Johnson and Wyandotte
|They will assist you with registering for a vaccination appointment. In addition, they may be able to help with transportation, if needed.|
|Northwest Missouri Area Agency on Aging
|Clinton and Buchanan||They will assist you with registering for a vaccination appointment. In addition, they may be able to help with transportation, if needed.|
|Care Connection for Aging
|Lafayette and surrounding counties||They will assist you with registering for a vaccination appointment. In addition, they may be able to help with transportation, if needed.|
Additional coverage information
The following coverage changes are in place until further notice. Keep checking this page for the latest updates. Blue KC will continue to evaluate based on COVID-19 developments.
- Removing cost-sharing for the COVID-19 test.*
- Removing prior authorizations for COVID-19 diagnostic tests and covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance if diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Expanding our benefits to cover telehealth services. Members will pay $0 for telehealth.
- Removing early medication refill limits, prior authorizations and step therapy requirements.
- Prescription refills from out-of-network pharmacies are available.
IMPORTANT: Members are responsible for deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance and any other cost sharing as outlined in their Evidence of Coverage for covered inpatient and outpatient medical services, excluding medical visits related to the evaluation of a COVID-19 diagnosis and/or administration of COVID-19 laboratory test.
*Cost share means deductible, copayments and coinsurance.
Precautions to protect you and your family
- Stay home when you’re sick. That includes staying home from work, errands and travel.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when washing isn’t an option.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces.
- Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as phones, keyboards and doorknobs.
- Get plenty of sleep, exercise, drink a lot of fluids and eat nutritious food.
- The CDC is issuing new travel guidance regularly as developments occur.
- Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues should avoid situations that put you at increased risk for more severe disease.
- Visit the CDC Travel page for all travel-related updates.
- The CDC recommends that you put off all cruise ship travel worldwide, particularly if you also have underlying health issues.
- If you have recently traveled to a high-risk area or plan to do so, follow the recommendations on the CDC website regarding self-monitoring for infection and self-quarantine.
We want to give you access to tools that will help you stay COVID-19 free. Telehealth visits allow doctors to provide care to patients at home via phone or online video consultation, minimizing the spread of infection in the provider’s office.
We will cover telehealth visits with no fees for our members.
Telehealth through your provider
Your doctor may encourage you to participate in telehealth visits as an alternative to certain office visits that don’t require in-person services. This includes but is not limited to urgent/sick visits and yearly wellness visits. Telehealth visits through your provider are now covered.
Blue KC Virtual Care
If you need care and your doctor is not available, Blue KC Virtual Care connects you with doctors via online video, and it can be used on your mobile device or computer. Simply go to BlueKCVirtualCare.com. Blue KC’s Virtual Care doctors have undergone additional training for COVID-19.
- COVID-19 information:
- Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services
- City of Kansas City
- National Council on Aging (NCOA)
Stay connected, manage anxiety, and cope with stress:
- New Directions Behavioral Health – Important Resources When Dealing with a Crisis
- Harvard Health Publishing – Coping with Coronavirus Anxiety
We’re one call away, right here in Kansas City, ready to assist you 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week. You can also text #BKC4HELP to 543210 for a callback.