HELENA – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) is contributing $1 million to support community action and health care access across the state in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 Community Collaborative Grant Fund was established to provide support in areas where communities need it most: social services; access to care; food security; and child and senior care. The direct organizations to receive funding will be announced at a later date.
“We are all in this together and we are proud to stand with Montanans in this fight against COVID-19,” BCBSMT President Collette Hanson said. “Now more than ever, we need to support our friends, neighbors and communities. We are confident this money can help providers continue their heroic work and ensure that a community safety net remains in place for those in need.”
BCBSMT has a long history of partnering with local organizations to address the most pressing issues that impact Montana communities. BCBSMT, the state’s largest and longest-standing customer-owned health insurer annually commits nearly $1 million in financial support to address a broad range of social determinants of health that impact community health and well-being and the cost of health care.
“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana has always been committed to the communities we serve, and our commitment to doing the right thing for our members – and for all Montanans – is stronger than ever,” Hanson said.
As the coronavirus pandemic spread across the nation and across Montana, BCBSMT immediately put in place measures to better serve its members, provider partners and employees.
For its members, BCBSMT eliminated co-pays, deductibles and other cost-sharing provisions related to testing for COVID-19 and any related treatment. Additionally, it lifted restrictions on early refills for prescription drugs and has distributed ongoing education to inform members of the latest updates on how to remain safe. The company also created a go-to source for COVID-19 information at www.bcbsmt.com to keep members and the public informed of important updates to public health and health insurance benefits.
For its members and provider partners, BCBSMT is temporarily expanding telemedicine visits to include phone calls and is eliminating member cost-sharing for in-network clinically appropriate, covered medical and behavioral health services delivered via telemedicine. This applies to all fully insured members and includes services through April 30, 2020. At that time, it will consider whether to extend the timeframe.
For its employees, BCBSMT implemented an alternative work strategy for all work locations across Montana. Keeping its employees as safe and healthy as possible is a priority so they can continue to provide top-quality member service during this time.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) is a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSMT is the largest and longest-standing statewide, customer-owned health insurer and full-service health benefits administrator in Montana. BCBSMT has provided high-quality health insurance plans and administrative services to Montanans for 80 years. BCBSMT’s purpose is to stand with its members in sickness and in health.