Immunocompromised members seeking additional vaccine dose will not have any out-of-pocket charges
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee wants members to know that it will cover the administration cost for a COVID-19 booster for those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, including those undergoing cancer treatment.
“We want to ensure those needing a COVID-19 booster understand their costs are covered,” said Dr. Andrea Willis, chief medical officer for BlueCross. “It’s our responsibility to support members seeking to protect themselves against COVID-19. Research has demonstrated the clear value of a booster to reduce risk, which ultimately will help communities facing the Delta variant surge.”
For commercial Blue Network S, P and L members, BlueCross will cover the cost of the fees associated with receiving the COVID-19 booster. If a BlueCross member is charged for their vaccine visit, they can call the Member Services number on the back of their Member ID card for help.
Medicare Advantage, BlueCare Tennessee and BlueCare Plus Tennessee members will also be able to get a booster without any out-of-pocket costs.
“As a BlueCross member and public health advocate, I strongly encourage all eligible Tennesseans to get a COVID-19 vaccine – and a booster when it’s recommended for them,” Dr. Willis said. “These vaccines are safe, and they’re saving lives across Tennessee and around the country.”
According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccine boosters may be recommended for those who:
- Are receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
- Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Have a moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- Have an advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Are undergoing active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress their immune response
The Delta variant has proven to be more contagious and more severe than the original virus, so members should continue practicing safety measures like wearing a mask, washing your hands, and social distancing.”
In addition to covering costs of the COVID-19 booster for immunocompromised members, BlueCross continues to support a variety of efforts to encourage better health for its members throughout the national public health emergency. These include:
- Waiving member costs for medically necessary COVID-19 testing until the end of the national public health emergency
- Making coverage of in-network telehealth visits permanent for members with employer-based or individual plans
- Sharing essential public health information such as the importance of social distancing and mask-wearing.
To date, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation has given nearly $9 million to communities across the state throughout the pandemic, including:
- $5 million to food banks statewide
- $1.7 million in grants for efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccinations in Tennessee, including in communities of color
For additional information on the BlueCross response to COVID-19, visit BCBSTUpdates.com.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is a taxpaying, not-for-profit health plan serving more than 3.4 million members in Tennessee and around the country. The Chattanooga-based company was founded in 1945 and is celebrating its 75th anniversary of bringing peace of mind to its members and local communities. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company’s news center at bcbstnews.com.
About BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation, Inc.
The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation organized to promote the philanthropic mission of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. It has awarded $120 million in grants since 2005. The foundation provides funding for the BlueCross Healthy Place program, which creates active, healthy spaces across Tennessee.