Telemedicine – Future State

October 12, 2020

Post-COVID-19 Accommodations

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) expanded access to telemedicine services to give our members greater access to care. Moving into 2021 as the COVID-19 accommodations expire, telemedicine will continue to be a standard offering for our members. Members will be able to access their medically necessary, covered benefits through providers who deliver services through telemedicine.

Cost Share Waiver Ending

We also waived all cost share associated with telemedicine visits during the COVID-19 crisis. The cost-share waiver will end on Dec. 31, 2020. Starting Jan. 1, 2021, copays, deductibles and coinsurance will be applicable to telemedicine visits

The cost share varies according to the member’s benefit plans. Some telemedicine care will require referrals and prior authorizations in accordance with the member’s benefit plan. Check eligibility and benefits for each member for details.


The cost share waiver for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement members will end on Dec. 31, 2020. Starting Jan. 1, 2021, copays, deductibles and coinsurance will apply to telemedicine visits.

What is covered?

Coverage is based on the terms of the member’s benefit plan and applicable law. After COVID-19 accommodations expire, we will cover telemedicine codes consistent with the code lists from:

This does not include CMS’ list of telehealth services for the public health emergency.

Our self-funded employer group customers make decisions for their employee benefit plans. Check eligibility and benefits for any variations in member benefit plans.

CMS identifies covered services for Medicare Learn more about third-party links members.

We recommend the following:

  • Consider telemedicine a mode of care delivery to be used when it can reasonably provide equivalent outcomes as face-to-face visits.
  • Choose telemedicine when it enhances the continuity of care and care integration if you have an established patient-provider relationship with members.
  • Integrate telemedicine records into electronic medical record systems to enhance continuity of care, maintain robust clinical documentation and improve patient outcomes.

Eligible Members

Providers can use telemedicine for members with the following benefit plans:

  • State-regulated fully insured HMO and PPO plans, and IBAC plans.
  • Blue Cross Medicare Advantage (excluding Part D) and Medicare Supplement
  • Self-insured employer group plans

We will continue to follow applicable state and federal requirements.

Medicare and Medicaid

Telemedicine benefits for our Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement members will continue until CMS directs.

We will follow the applicable guidelines of the New Mexico Human Services Department and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as appropriate for Blue Cross Community CentennialSM (Medicaid Plans) and Blue Cross Medicare Advantage (PPO)SM members.

The New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) has added new codes for both medical and behavioral health services for New Mexico Medicaid members to encourage the use of telephonic visits and e-visits. These codes and payment rates can be found in HSD Letter of Direction #31 Learn more about third-party links.

Eligible Providers

Providers of telemedicine may include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Physicians
  • Physician assistants
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs)
  • Licensed behavioral health
  • Nutritionists
  • Dieticians

Delivery Methods

Available telemedicine visits with BCBSNM providers include:

  • 2-way, live interactive telephone communication and real time audio and video consultations
  • Asynchronous telecommunication via image and video not provided in real-time (a service is recorded as video or captured as an image; the provider evaluates it later)
  • Other methods allowed by state and federal laws, which can allow members to connect with physicians while reducing the risk of exposure to contagious viruses or further illness

Providers can find the latest guidance on acceptable HIPAA-compliant remote technologies issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights in Action. Learn more about third-party links

Submitting claims

Submit claims for medically necessary services delivered via telemedicine with the appropriate modifiers (95, GT, GQ) and Place of Service (POS) 02 or POS that would have been billed had the services been delivered face to face.

Note: If a claim is submitted using a telemedicine code, the modifier 95 is not necessary. Only codes that are not traditional telemedicine codes require the modifier.

Member benefit and eligibility assistance

Check eligibility and benefits for each member at every visit prior to rendering services. Providers may:

  • Verify general coverage by submitting an electronic 270 transaction through Availity® or your preferred vendor.
  • Connect with a Customer Advocate to check eligibility and telemedicine benefits by calling our Provider Customer Service Center at 888-349-3706.

Learn more about third-party links By clicking this link, you will go to a new website/app (“site”). This new site may be offered by a vendor or an independent third party. The site may also contain non-Medicare related information. In addition, some sites may require you to agree to their terms of use and privacy policy.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, , an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association