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A look back at an unprecedented public health emergency

These videos tell the story of how we helped our members, providers, customers and community navigate COVID-19.


Member Experience


As COVID-19 began to spread in the U.S., the Northeast was among the earliest and hardest hit regions, and New Jerseyans quickly felt the impact.

Throughout the spring and summer of 2020, as more and more people contracted COVID-19 or were exposed to the virus, the need for diagnosis, treatment and testing grew exponentially.

Many families and employers faced financial difficulties as non-essential businesses were closed or their operations were severely limited.

To help members get care without worrying about how much it would cost, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey waived cost sharing for diagnostic testing, COVID-19 treatment and, by the end of 2020, vaccination for COVID-19.

With many doctors closing offices or limiting capacity — and many patients concerned about exposure to the virus — members needed a way to get medical and behavioral health care from the safety and comfort of their own homes.

By expanding our telemedicine service, Horizon CareOnlineSM, and launching additional telemedicine capabilities, our members, including— for the first time — our Medicaid members, were able to see board-certified doctors via video chat or phone for care, often at no cost to them.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is here when our members need us most.

Connect with us to learn more.


Community Experience


COVID-19 has put the communities we serve under tremendous pressure, not only from a health and well-being standpoint, but from a financial one as well.

In 2020, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey contributed 4.35 million dollars in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including a 2 million dollar donation to the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, the purchase of personal protective equipment for health care workers, as well as food and social services for those in need.

In addition, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey provided over 800,000 dollars in grants to nonprofit organizations significantly disrupted by the pandemic to address basic needs, access to health services, and assistance with childcare services.

We knew our neighbors needed not only financial help, but also our time and expertise.

Since the pandemic began, 148 employees have volunteered at in-person events with The Community FoodBank of New Jersey and The Salvation Army at locations throughout the state, and have contributed thousands of dollars to nonprofit organizations.

Over 70 of our doctors, nurses, pharmacists and health clinicians answered Governor Murphy’s Healthcare Professionals Call to Serve.

And to help spur innovation, we sponsored the XPRIZE competition focused on creating a better COVID-19 testing program to help schools and businesses open safely.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is here when our community needs us most.

Connect with us to learn more.


Group Customer Experience


For our group customers, it’s been far from business as usual. Some closed temporarily and were forced to furlough workers.

Others remained open, but faced financial difficulty while protecting the health and safety of their workers and customers.

Benefits administrators and HR personnel needed to know what was happening with employee health coverage as the COVID-19 pandemic progressed, without sorting through numerous communications.

The COVID-19 Resource Guide has become the go-to source for the latest in group employer coverage information.

To help ensure workers could stay on their company’s insurance, we waived actively-at-work and waiting period requirements for health, dental and vision coverage.

This way, if an employer needed to furlough workers or cut hours, their employees could still qualify for coverage.

We also offered an emergency grace period premium deferral, as well as a 25 percent dental premium reduction, for eligible employer group customers to make sure our group members retained their coverage during this critical time.

To help ensure there was no disruption to our customers’ annual open enrollment for their employees, our sales and IT teams worked together to create a virtual benefit education and plan selection experience.

This way, our group customers and their employees had everything they needed to make important decisions about their health coverage.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is here when our group customers and their employees need us most.

Connect with us to learn more.


Provider Experience


Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is grateful for the care doctors, nurses, EMTs and other health care professionals have given our members and the community during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

To help ensure our members had continued access to care, and to help reduce the strain on the health care system, we invited health care professionals licensed in states outside of our local service area, and those who were retired, to temporarily join our network to care for our members.

Even though medical care was considered an essential service, some practices closed their offices to protect the health and safety of their staff and patients.

To help facilitate care, we relaxed the telemedicine rules so phone-only visits were covered, and enabled teledentistry for certain services.

To help ease their administrative burden, we paused implementing new medical policies, waived certain prior authorization and referral requirements, and provided regular updates on coding changes so claims could be reimbursed quickly and correctly.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is here when our frontline health care heroes need us most.

Connect with us to learn more.

Published on: June 18, 2021, 12:20 p.m. ET
Last updated on: November 1, 2021, 11:23 a.m. ET