Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Cover Telehealth?
- Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plans may cover telehealth services such as certain doctor's office visits, mental health therapy, diabetes management and more. Learn how to find and compare Anthem BCBS Medicare telehealth coverage options.
Telehealth is playing an increasing role in the health care of older adults, and many Medicare beneficiaries may wonder if their Medicare plan pays for telehealth and telemedicine. If you’re enrolled in an Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plan, you can rest easy.
These types of private Medicare plans cover at least the same telehealth services that are covered by Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B), and some plans may offer expanded telehealth benefits beyond what Medicare covers.
Compare Anthem Blue Cross Medicare Advantage plans where you live to find out what types of Medicare telehealth coverage is available where you live, including how much it costs and whether you can see your preferred doctor.
What Telehealth Services Are Covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Plans?
At a minimum, Blue Cross Blue Shield plans will cover all of the same telehealth services that are covered by Medicare Part B. A list of those services can be downloaded at the CMS.gov “List of Telehealth Services for Calendar Year 2023.” The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is the federal body that administers the Medicare program.
Some of the telehealth services Original Medicare covers may include:
- Doctor’s office visits
- Psychotherapy and counseling
Medicare Advantage plans have the flexibility to offer additional coverage that goes above and beyond Original Medicare’s limit, so a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan may offer more thorough coverage for telehealth services than Medicare or coverage for additional telehealth services not covered by Medicare.
For example, some Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare plans may cover telehealth services such as the following for low or even $0 copays:
- Primary care physician services
- Diabetes management
- Opioid treatment
- Individual and group mental health services
- Psychiatric care
- Substance abuse
- End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) services
- Stroke diagnosis and treatment
- Kidney disease education
It’s important to note that plan availability varies and not all benefits are available in all areas.
Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates may offer plans with slightly different services and coverage, depending on where you live.
- For example, Florida Blue (the Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliate in the state of Florida) plans may offerf free mental health (“telemental”) services via telehealth.
- In Massachusetts, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts plans may cover certain dental care services via telehealth.
These represent just some of the examples of how Blue Cross Blue Shield telehealth coverage can vary between states and plans.
Current Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare plan members should contact their carrier directly to discuss the telehealth benefits included in their specific plan.
What Is the Blue Cross Blue Shield Telehealth Number?
There is no phone number to call to inquire specifically about Blue Cross Blue Shield telehealth coverage. You may use the phone number on your plan ID card to speak to a Blue Cross Blue Shield representative about your telehealth benefits, or you may log into your Blue Cross Blue Shield online account to check your benefits summary.
When contacting Blue Cross Blue Shield, you may also confirm that the health care provider administering your telehealth is part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield network of participating providers.
Depending on the type of Medicare Advantage plan you have and the type of telehealth service you are receiving, you may be required to schedule your telehealth with an in-network provider.
What Are the Benefits of Medicare Telehealth?
Telehealth describes the use of a computer, tablet or smartphone to conduct virtual meetings with doctors and other health care providers from a remote location.
The benefits of telehealth include:
- Saving time and money on travel
- Avoiding exposure to other sick and potentially contagious patients that frequent a medical facility.
Telehealth is also valuable to those with mobility issues who would otherwise have a difficult time meeting with a doctor.
How Can I Find a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Plan That Covers Telehealth?
Learn about the Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plans available in your area and request a free plan quote. If you’d rather speak to a live person who can answer your questions, help you review your plan options and guide you through the enrollment process, call to speak with a licensed insurance agent.