Health Plans Extend Telemedicine, Cost-Share Waivers
By David Doolittle


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, health plans in Texas have adopted various temporary deadlines and extensions as part of their coronavirus policies.

The following payers have published recent extensions: 

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) says state-regulated, fully insured HMO, PPO, and Medicare members’ cost-share will be waived for COVID-19 testing during the public health emergency. Two new telemedicine medical services and telehealth service policies are posted, effective Jan. 1 and Feb. 12.
  • Cigna has extended customer cost-share waivers for testing and related office visits until Jan. 21. Treatment cost-share waivers are extended to Feb. 15 and other interim accommodations (e.g., credentialing) to March 31. In addition, a new virtual care policy is now available.
  • UnitedHealthcare says its cost-share waiver for testing and testing-related visits has been extended to Jan. 20. Cost-share for treatment is extended until Jan. 31. for Medicare Advantage members. In addition, updates to COVID-19-related visits via telemedicine, including audio-only, can be found in their updated policy effective Jan. 1.
  • Aetna has updated its telemedicine policy, available at The health insurer extended its telemedicine coverage, including audio-only, until further notice. For commercial plans, cost-share will be waived for in-network behavioral health real-time virtual visits through Jan. 31. Cost-share for Medicare Advantage plan members is waived for primary care and specialist visits, including behavioral health.
  • Humana continues to extend cost-sharing waivers for Medicare members regarding treatment for the 2021 plan year. Employer group members’ treatment cost-share waiver ended Dec. 31.

The Texas Medical Association has been tracking health plans’ various waivers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as state and federal deadlines and program extensions.

Find more information, tools, and resources on the COVID-19 Resource Center and Practice Viability pages, which are updated frequently.

Last Updated On

January 05, 2021

Originally Published On

August 27, 2020

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