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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Last updated: August 1, 2020

It’s normal to have questions about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and protecting yourself and the people you care about. After all, there’s a lot of information out there right now. This page has the latest updates about your benefits and resources to help you stay healthy. So check this page often.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is asking everyone to help reduce the risk of spreading the infection. Check the CDC website for up-to-date information.

As a member of Anthem Blue Cross Cal MediConnect Plan (Medicare-Medicaid Plan), do I have to pay for the COVID-19 test?

Our MMP members do not have to pay anything for the COVID-19 test.

What is COVID-19?

An airway and lung infection, similar to a cold or the flu. COVID-19 is a disease caused by a novel coronavirus that hasn’t been seen in humans before.

What are the symptoms?

Similar to a cold or the flu. Mild to severe fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after being exposed to the virus.

How can I help protect myself?

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Check the CDC website for up-to-date information. If you are traveling, visit www.cdc.gov for the CDC’s most current travel guidelines.

Good health habits can also help prevent and fight COVID-19. Here are some tips:

  • Washing your hands is the best way to avoid getting sick:
    • Wash often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • If you can’t use soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Clean and disinfect items and surfaces you touch often with regular household cleaning spray or a wipe.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and throw away the tissue.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Do I need to wear a facemask?

It’s best to follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask. CDC information for household members and caregivers can be found here.

Are certain people at greater risk than others of getting COVID-19?

Older adults, people with disabilities, and people with diabetes or who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease seem to be at higher risk of getting COVID-19.

What can I do to protect someone I am caring for?

If you’re caring for someone who does not have COVID-19:
Take steps to avoid causing any extra risk to you or them.

  • Stay home if possible.
  • Keep hand sanitizer nearby and wash your hands when you come into their house or room.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and use hand sanitizer before and after touching or feeding someone, or touching any mobility devices or equipment.
  • Wipe down the surfaces of mobility devices, like a cane or walker or other frequently used equipment, with household cleaner every day.
  • Check the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus or call their doctor to find out if the person you care for is at a higher risk of getting COVID-19. If so, find out what steps you can take to minimize their risk.

If you’re caring for someone who has COVID-19:
Many people who have COVID-19 can recover at home, but it is important to monitor their symptoms.

  • Keep their doctor’s contact information where you can find it easily.
  • If their symptoms get worse, call their doctor.
  • If they have any emergency warning signs like trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest that won’t go away, confusion, a bluish color in the lips or face, or you can’t wake them up, call 911 right away. Make sure you tell the dispatcher they have COVID-19.

How to stop the spread while caring for someone with COVID-19:

  • As always, wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after being around them. If you can’t use soap and water, use hand sanitizer.
  • If possible, have the person who is sick stay in a separate room and have them use a separate bathroom, away from you and anyone else in the house.
  • Make sure you both wear a cloth covering, like a mask, which covers the nose, mouth and chin when you’re in the same room. That includes in the car if they have to go to the doctor and while at the doctor’s office.
  • If they can’t wear a cloth face covering, make sure to wear one when you’re around them. Wear gloves if you have them.
  • Clean surfaces you touch often every day. That includes things like countertops, doorknobs, light switches, faucets and more.

Check the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus for more information.

What if I have symptoms? Should I see my doctor?

Call your doctor right away if you’ve been around someone who has or may have COVID-19 and you have a fever, cough or hard time breathing. Before visiting your doctor, we suggest that you call ahead. This will help the doctor’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

What is telehealth, and should I use it?

Telehealth services are a safe and effective way for you to see a doctor to receive health guidance related to COVID-19 from your home via smart phone, tablet or computer if it has a web cam. You can video chat with a doctor at no cost using our telehealth service, LiveHealth Online*, as well as other telehealth providers delivering virtual care. Using telehealth services can keep you from getting the virus from others at an emergency room or doctor’s office. It can also help keep you from spreading the virus to others.

You may also consider these options if you are concerned about your health:

  • Contact your doctor to see if they offer telehealth services.
  • Telehealth can also be used for behavioral health visits and physical, occupational and speech therapies, when no equipment and/or direct physical hands-on interaction is needed.
  • Call the 24/7 NurseLine 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the number on the back of your member ID card. This call is free.

What if I need to see a doctor who is not in my plan?

You should try to see your PCP or a doctor in your plan. If your doctor offers telehealth visits, your plan will pay for those, too. We will pay for care you get from doctors outside your plan (called “out of network”) as long as the services are medically needed.

Do I have to get preapproval (prior authorization) for a COVID-19 test?

No, prior authorization is not required for COVID-19 testing.

Are there limits to the care or services I can get during an epidemic?

No. Your plan covers sick visits and tests.

I’m worried about running out of my medication. What can I do?

Do you have medicines you take regularly? Instead of refilling once a month, you may be able to get 90-day supplies of these drugs through our home delivery pharmacy, as well as at some drugstores. Call the Pharmacy Member Services number on your ID card to find out if you can get 90-day supplies.

Your health is important, so you should keep taking your medicines as prescribed, and get your refills on time.

Other resources

*LiveHealth Online is the trade name of Health Management Corporation, a separate company, providing telehealth services on behalf of this plan.

H6229_21_127763_U CMS Accepted 01/01/2021. Page last updated on 01/01/2021.