Skip to main content
March 09, 2020

DES MOINES, IA – Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced important health plan updates today regarding coronavirus (COVID-19). Wellmark is taking the following steps to help members:

  • Waiving prior authorization process. Wellmark will waive prior authorization processes for covered services related to COVID-19 to ensure patients receive the right care at the right time and location.
  • Covering diagnostic tests for COVID-19. Members will have no cost-share for appropriate testing to establish the diagnosis of COVID-19.
  • Increasing access to prescription medications. Wellmark prescription drug benefit plans allow for early refill (up to 30 days of medication), and we encourage the use of your 90-day retail and mail order benefits for drug maintenance. We also will ensure formulary flexibility if there are medication shortages or other access issues. Members will not be liable for any additional charges if they receive a non-formulary medication as a result of a shortage of their current medication.
  • Offering virtual health care visits and 24/7 help. We encourage members to take advantage of virtual visits – a covered benefit for most Wellmark members when they use Doctor On Demand® External Site – to avoid the spread of germs. Members also have access to Wellmark's BeWell 24/7SM Opens new window service which connects members to real people who can help with a variety of health-related concerns 24/7.

"Our top priority is to ensure the health and well-being of members and the communities we serve," said Dr. Tim Gutshall, Wellmark's vice president and chief medical officer. "With these steps in place, our members can feel secure in knowing they can obtain the proper testing and care in this time of concern."

Steps you can take to minimize exposure

While there is currently no vaccine or medicines to protect against COVID-19, the World Health Organization External Site and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention External Site recommend you take the same preventive measures as you would with the flu – frequent handwashing or use of an alcohol-based sanitizer, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow, and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Members can find additional information at