Telemedicine has been expanded in Michigan. Medicaid beneficiaries will immediately be allowed to receive services in their homes. This effort is in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Private insurance plans will also cover and encourage the use of virtual care and telemedicine, according to a press release from the Governor’s office. Those plans include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Care Network of Michigan, Priority Health, Meridian, CVS Health, McLaren, and Health Alliance Plan.
Telemedicine uses technology such as webcams, Skype and similar apps and programs to connect patients with doctors without making an actual physical visit to the doctor’s office. The private insurance companies also agreed to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing. Michigan Department of Health and Human services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon said that by doing this, it “can help reduce the number of Michiganders who need to visit their health care provider in person, which will help slow the spread of disease and ensure our health facilities have adequate staff and resources to care for those who are sick.”