BlueChoice to Cover Member Cost for COVID-19 Test and Waive Prior Authorizations When Prescribed by Health Providers

March 11, 2020


BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and BlueChoice® HealthPlan of South Carolina will cover testing to diagnose COVID-19 for its members when medically necessary and prescribed by health providers. Any subsequent needed care will be done in close coordination with federal, state and public health authorities.

The health insurers will cover members’ copays, co-insurance and deductibles to diagnose COVID-19 when consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, and where it is not covered as part of the Public Health Service response. 

In addition, the companies will waive prior authorizations for diagnostic tests and for covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance for members diagnosed with COVID-19.

The organizations are closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic situation and working closely with state agencies. “The health and well-being of our members remains our highest priority,” said Matthew Bartels, M.D., vice president and chief medical officer at BlueCross. “We want to remove worry for members around testing coverage questions and reinforce that members who need to be tested for COVID-19 can do so.”

Members who have questions about their coverage should call the number on the back of their ID Cards. 

The CDC has made test kits available for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Public Health Laboratory to test for COVID-19. At this time, testing in South Carolina must be coordinated through SCDHEC. 

Individuals who are concerned that they may have the virus are encouraged to call their health care providers. Additional reliable information is available through the SCDHEC Care Line at 855-472-3432, the SCDHEC website at, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control are independent organizations that offer health information you may find helpful.