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Coronavirus live blog, April 2: Shelby County at 638 cases, 7 deaths

Here’s the latest from Memphis and Shelby County, below, when it comes to dealing with the novel coronavirus. To view our full coverage, check out The Daily Memphian’s  coronavirus landing page.

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BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee will waive all member cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatments, Latest Memphis News including hospitalizations, through May 31, 2020, the company announced Thursday, April 2.

“As part of our mission, our first priority is the health of our members and the communities we serve,” said JD Hickey, M.D., president and CEO. “And since the COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything our members have faced in recent memory, we want to make sure we remove any barriers to receiving the care they need.”

If a BlueCross member is diagnosed as having COVID-19, they will not have to pay any out-of-pocket costs for testing and treatment administered through in-network providers, including at a doctor’s office, urgent care facility and emergency room, as well as related inpatient hospital stays, through May 31.

The benefit is available for BlueCross members in fully insured group, individual, Medicare Advantage and BlueCare Tennessee plans.

BlueCross will encourage its self-funded employer group customers to participate in waiving cost sharing for COVID-19 treatments for their employees during the health crisis. Press Release Distribution Service Self-funded groups will have the ability to opt-out of this decision.

The announcement follows other steps BlueCross has taken recently to support members including:

 - Allowing early prescription refills and 90-day prescriptions to avoid increased risk of exposure

 - Expanding access to telehealth services by making PhysicianNow visits available at no cost and by covering virtual visits with network providers

 - And waiving member costs for any appropriate FDA-aligned test.

The BlueCross Foundation also has donated $3.25 million to food banks across the state to meet increased needs related to the pandemic and made donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) to some Tennessee health systems.

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