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COVID-19 Update: Eliminating Cost Sharing for Qualified In-Network Telemedicine Services

March 18, 2020

In an effort to promote social distancing and to support the public health effort to slow community transmission of COVID-19, effective immediately and through June 13, 2020, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) is waiving member cost-sharing obligations for covered telemedicine services delivered by an in-network doctor or through Horizon BCBSNJ’s telemedicine platforms.

The waiver applies to qualified telemedicine visits for any covered purpose, including diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19, routine care or mental health care. The waiver does not alter the benefits included in any member’s plan; it only eliminates cost as a potential barrier to using telemedicine to get care.

As with the previously announcedcost-sharing changes, the waiver change applies to Horizon BCBSNJ’s fully insured members, and members covered by the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) and School Employees’ Health Benefits Program (SEHBP).

Effective immediately and through June 13, 2020, Horizon BCBSNJ is waiving member cost sharing for qualified telemedicine services:

  • Provided by an in-network doctor or in-network mental health professional including primary care doctors, specialists, therapists, LCSWs or urgent care doctors when conducted according to standards established by N.J.S.A. 45:1-61 et seq.
  • Provided through Horizon CareOnline℠, our telemedicine service.

As with all routine, primary care, mental health or follow-up office visits, no prior authorization is required.

Additional resources for your employees

Members also have free, 24/7 access to licensed nurses who can talk with members and direct to reliable sources for the latest information about COVID-19. Members enrolled in fully insured Commercial health plans can access this service by calling 1-888-624-3096. Members covered by the SHBP/SEHBP can access this service, as well as their Horizon Health Guide service, by calling 1-800-414-SHBP (7427).

Depending on the specific benefits included in a member’s plan, additional telemedicine services, such as Chat for Care, may be available at no cost through Horizon BCBSNJ’s free Horizon Blue app and by signing in to our secure member web portal at

Published on: March 18, 2020, 00:52 a.m. ET
Last updated on: April 27, 2021, 02:23 a.m. ET