Blue Cross Blue Shield Dropping Cvs Coverage Some Plans Unaffected
– Major changes are coming for Blue Cross Blue Shield members. The insurance company has announced they’ll be d ropping CVS prescriptions from their coverage, but your insurance might not be impacted.
“This change was made to help offset the continuous rise in prescription drug costs and provide our customers the best medications for the best price,” said Blue Cross Blue Shield spokeswoman Koko Mackin. “Currently 390,000 of our 2.9 million members will be affected.”
Individual and small business plans will be affected, as well as anyone who enrolled through the Health Insurance Marketplace established through the Affordable Care Act.
But according to CVS, all commercial plans offered by BCBS Alabama will continue to be accepted.
These BCBS plans are typically through large employers with more than 50 participants,
“Our larger employer groups will have the option to select one of the new pharmacy networks or keep their existing pharmacy network,” said Mackin.
Mackin said any changes to pharmacy networks affecting members who receive coverage through larger employers will occur throughout the year at the employer’s renewal date.
One of those plans, the Public Education Employees Health Insurance Plan, will not be affected by the change.
“There is no cost to transfer a prescription. What the member pays for a covered drug will depend on their pharmacy benefit coverage and copays,” said Mackin.
Mackin also said BCBS has several other pharmacy networks you can turn to.
Get A Flu Shot At No Cost To You
Flu season is here. The flu is a serious, contagious disease. It can lead to hospitalization and even death. Protect yourself and those around you by getting a yearly flu shot. This vaccine can help reduce flu illnesses, provider visits, and missed work or school.
Get a flu shot at an in-network provider or at an in-network pharmacy.
Join Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico in fighting the flu! BCBSNMs Care Van program provides no-cost flu shots throughout the state. To learn more about some of our upcoming Care Van events, please follow BCBSNM on Facebook and Twitter.
Such services are funded in part with the State of New Mexico.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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Getting Shots And Vaccines With Your Health Insurance
Vaccines are important for protecting you from preventable diseases like measles, meningitis, and the flu. Vaccines prepare your immune system to fight diseases without making you sick, so that when you’re exposed to the real thing, you can save your days off of work for something more fun than lying in bed with a splitting headache and a burning throat.
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Caring For The Community
If the human body is not well-prepared to fight a dual flu-coronavirus infection, neither is the public health system.
We dont yet know whether or how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact the upcoming flu season in the U.S., wrote Jasmine Reed, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control in an email to Coverage, but we do know that a potential co-circulation of COVID-19 and flu could place a tremendous burden on our nations healthcare system.
During the coronavirus surge of the spring, Massachusetts halted elective surgeries and routine medical visits, opened field hospitals and converted hospital wards to ICUs to care for COVID-19 patients, as well as closing many businesses and issuing a stay at home advisory. Physicians and nurses worked overtime for weeks, many living apart from their families. Health experts are eager to spare the public, the business community and the health system the strain of a second surge of coronavirus patients as well as patients suffering severe but preventable illness from the seasonal flu.
We dont want to spend finite health care resources fighting influenza, a disease that can often be prevented with a simple shot, Colbert said.
What You Need To Know About Your Annual Flu Shot
Getting a flu shot every year is the best way to protect yourself, your community and those you love from the flu. You won’t get the flu from the flu shot. But it does spur your body to produce antibodies that will protect you from the illness. It takes about two weeks from the time you get your flu shot for it to work. Thats why its so important to get your flu shot early in the flu season.
You can get a flu shot from your primary care doctor. Many other places offer flu shots too, like your local pharmacy, health fairs or your local Florida Blue Center.
Why You Need It
Think you don’t need a flu shot? Think again. People talk themselves and others out of getting a flu shot but they put themselvesand their family and friendsat risk. If you have grandchildren, getting a flu shot helps protect them because children are particularly susceptible to getting very sick from the flu.
The flu is a serious illness. People over age 65 face a greater risk of developing dangerous complications when they catch the flu. In fact, 70 to 85 percent of flu-related deaths occur in adults over age 65. Having a condition like asthma, COPD, chronic bronchitis, heart disease or diabetes also increases your risk of complications from the flu. Pneumonia is the most common and deadly complication of the flu. But did you know having the flu also increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke?
How Much Does It Cost?
What Should You Expect?
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Who Should Get The Flu Shot
The CDC recommends that anyone over the age of six months should get a flu shot.
Some people have a higher risk for developing flu-related complications. If you have chronic conditions such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes or chronic kidney disease you should make getting the flu shot a high priority. The same is true for people who are 65 and older.
Other Flu Shot Options
You may also be able to get a flu shot at your doctors office or at a health clinic, such as a convenience clinic at a retail pharmacy.
In such settings, coverage would be under your preventive care benefits and the terms of your specific health plan would apply. You may need to pay some out-of-pockets costs. For instance, you may need to pay a fee for administration of the vaccine.
Additionally, some employers sponsor annual flu vaccines. Check with your Human Resources department to find out if this is an option for you.
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How Much Do Vaccines And Shots Cost With Insurance
Without health insurance, shots and vaccines are paid out-of-pocket. This means something like the shingles vaccine could cost you around $200 if you are uninsured.
With insurance, many preventive shots are covered, although you are still responsible for any copay or deductible your health plan has. The cost of vaccines and shots depends on two factors: the type of shot or vaccine, and your insurance coverage.
For Blue Cross Blue Shield plans offered by CareFirst, vaccinations are completely free. You will pay no out-of-pocket copayment or coinsurance, and you will not have to pay toward your deductible.
Get Your Flu Shot Early During Covid
Getting a flu shot early has long made sense to Dr. Paul Kaplan. But in the year of COVID-19, he believes its a no-brainer.
Kaplan gets his shot each September to make sure hes protected by the time early flu season arrives in October. It also keeps him safe when hes around others during Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holiday gatherings, as well as for the rest of flu season.
As with so many other things in our lives today, there are several COVID-19 ties to why its especially critical to get your flu shot early this year. The flu and COVID-19 share many symptoms, such as a cough, sore throat and difficulty breathing. That can make it hard for a doctor to quickly distinguish between the two viruses, said Kaplan, a senior medical director for Florida Blue Medicare.
For example, if you havent had a flu shot, the doctor may first treat you for the flu. That could cause a delay if youre actually sick with COVID-19. But if youve gotten a flu shot, that gives doctors a higher degree of confidence that they can trust a negative test for influenza.
Worst-case scenario is getting the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. Two different potentially deadly illnesses attacking your body simultaneously. No one knows yet how bad the two can be together. A flu shot may be able to prevent that from happening.
The most important thing is getting a flu shot, even if you dont get it early.
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When Should I Get The Flu Shot
Early fall is the best time to get your flu shot. Getting vaccinated early is important, because the flu is highly contagious and spreads rapidly.
Getting the shot before the flu season is in full force gives the body a chance to protect itself. Peak months for the flu season in Michigan are November, December, January, February, March and April.
Are Flu Shots Covered By My Blue Cross Plan
If you have an HMO plan, your annual flu shot is free.
For many PPO members, getting an annual flu shot also comes at no cost. Heres how you can see:
- Log in to your online account on bcbsm.com and search for immunizations or
If youre not sure which type of plan you have, your ID card will tell you.
Can I get reimbursed for a flu shot?
Reimbursements for flu shots depend on what plan you have. If you have Non-Medicare Blue Preferred PPOSM, or if you’re a BCN member, you may be eligible for a flu shot reimbursement.
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Talk To Your Doctor Or Pharmacist
Various factors, such as age and lifestyle, determine when adults and children should get immunizations. Talk to your doctor for more information about recommended immunizations for you and your covered family members. Pharmacists in New Jersey are limited to providing immunizations to members based on age and other criteria. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Minute Clinic® is a registered mark of CVS Health.
Disclaimer for Third Party Web Sites
Please be aware you have clicked on a link to a visit another site operated by a third party. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield provides such links for your convenience and reference only. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, and its subsidiary companies do not control these sites, and are not responsible for their content or the products and services offered therein.
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
Information in Other Languages
Free Flu Shots Through Clinics Community Organizations And Public Health Departments
Many health departments and free clinics offer low-cost or free flu shots across the U.S. Here are a few examples:
Most colleges offer free flu shots for their students. Check on your schools website to confirm.
Military veterans enrolled in health care through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can get a flu shot at their nearest VA health care facility. This program does not apply to family members of veterans.
Many county health departments offer free, or discounted, flu vaccinations during flu season. Examples include:
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, in partnership with select LA County Libraries, will offer free flu shots through November.
The San Francisco Health Department offers convenient locations for members of the public to easily access free or low-cost flu vaccines.
The Houston Health Department offers flu shots to uninsured and underinsured people on a sliding scale that ranges from free to $15.
Cant find a location near you on this list? Watch for announcements on your local news station or in your local newspaper or search online for free flu shots in your area or through your citys health department.
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Why The Flu Shot Is Particularly Important This Year
Where To Get A Flu Shot
Most Blue Shield of California and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan members can get their flu shot at no extra cost as part of their preventive care benefits.
Some members may have to pay a low out-of-pocket cost for the shot. This applies to:
- Some pre-Affordable Care Act or grandfathered plans
- Some employer-sponsored, self-funded, or administrative services only plans
To check how much a flu shot may cost, please log in to your account. You can view your preventive care benefits by clicking Benefits under the myblueshield tab.
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What Do I Need To Know About Flu Shots
Who is this for?
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network members under age 65. If you’re a Medicare member, please visit our Medicare flu and pneumonia shots page to learn more.
There’s never been a more important time to get your flu shot. You can learn about it here. You might also want to know the symptoms of the flu versus COVID-19.
Learn More About How Vaccines Work
Even if the flu vaccine is not a perfect match for the virus, a CDC-supported study indicates its still worth it. According to the research conducted over multiple flu seasons, people who got the flu vaccine and still got sick had a 37% reduced risk of being admitted to the hospital for treatment and reduced their risk of admission to an intensive care unit by 82%.
The universal precautions we all should be taking to prevent the spread of the coronavirus wearing a mask, keeping physically distant and regular handwashing may help slow the spread of flu, Colbert said.
Still, he says, nothing beats a vaccine when it comes to stopping the spread of a serious illness.
State and federal health care officials are supporting local health departments and immunization providers with detailed guidance for health care providers on how to safely hold flu clinics while COVID-19 is still circulating, said DPHs Talebian, adding that there will also be messaging this fall to encourage people to get a flu shot and why this year it is more important than ever.
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Tips For Fighting Winter Colds And Flu
As winter approaches, so does the cold and flu season. Help keep yourself and your family healthy and happy with these five simple tips.