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Coronavirus (COVID‑19) Information for UniCare Members

It's normal to have some questions about what COVID‑19 is and to think about protecting yourself and the people you care about the most. After all, there's a lot of information going around about it right now.

Let's take a look at what COVID‑19 is, how it affects us, and what we can do to look after ourselves and each other.

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

Stay informed about how your benefits will work — Basic, PLUS and Community Choice members

Get COVID‑19 treatment at no cost +

We know these are challenging times, and want you to know that UniCare remains deeply committed to supporting you and the communities we serve as we join together to weather this health crisis.

A big part of our commitment to you includes making sure you won't have to worry about paying for treatment for this disease. As a result, you won't have to pay for COVID‑19 treatment from doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals. Your COVID‑19 testing is covered, too. You'll also pay nothing if you have a telehealth visit with a doctor.

We know you already have enough things to worry about these days. We want you to focus on your health and care for your loved ones instead. And if you need help, we're here for you. The following information explains how.

Get a COVID‑19 test at no cost. UniCare covers COVID‑19 testing and the care visit where the test takes place with no out-of-pocket costs. Find a COVID‑19 testing location near you by using the test facility finder. But make sure you talk to a doctor first to be certain you need a COVID‑19 test. A doctor must order a COVID‑19 test for you.

Get COVID‑19 treatment at no cost. If you're diagnosed as having COVID‑19, you won't have any out-of-pocket costs for COVID‑19 treatment from doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals.

Use telehealth to help minimize your risk of COVID‑19 +

To help our members stay safe at home, UniCare is covering telehealth visits without any member costs for both medical and behavioral health care. Telehealth lets you see a doctor through live chat or video on your phone, tablet, or computer. Your doctor may be able to see you using a telehealth option, or you can use LiveHealth Online.

Get the LiveHealth Online App

Take advantage of emotional and mental health support +

It's also important to take care of your emotional and social needs. That's why we've added benefits that provide you resources for dealing with the challenges you may be facing right now.

Stay informed about how your benefits will work — Medicare Extension members

Medicare covers "virtual check-ins" so you can connect with your doctor by phone or video, or even an online patient portal, to see whether you need to come in for a visit. For more information, go to medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus#400 and choose Telehealth and related services.

About coronavirus and COVID‑19

What is coronavirus and COVID‑19? +

Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes respiratory illness — an infection of the airways and lungs. COVID‑19 is a new strain of coronavirus. It's part of the same family of coronaviruses that includes the common cold.

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 does the virus spread? +

Right now, medical experts think that COVID‑19 spreads from person-to-person through a cough, sneeze or kiss. However, since COVID‑19 is a new disease, scientists around the globe are racing to learn more about it.

Are certain people at greater risk than others for 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 for more serious COVID‑19 illness.

Prevention and treatment

How can I help protect myself? +

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID‑19. Check the CDC website for up-to-date information. If you're traveling, you'll want to visit the CDC travel page for their most current travel guidelines.

Good health habits can also help prevent and fight COVID‑19. You should:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when sick. This includes staying home from work, school, errands, and travel for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone.
  • Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces like phones, keyboards, and doorknobs.
  • Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, drink lots of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
What can I do to protect someone I am caring for? +

If you're caring for someone, be sure to take care to avoid causing any extra risk to you or them. Keep hand sanitizer by the door or wash your hands when you come in. Wash your hands thoroughly and use hand sanitizer before and after touching or feeding someone, or touching any mobility devices or equipment.

Do I need to wear a face mask? +

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

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.

UniCare is covering telehealth visits without any member costs. Telehealth lets you see a doctor through live chat or video on your phone, tablet, or computer. Your doctor may be able to see you using a telehealth option, or you can use LiveHealth Online or another telehealth service.

Are there any prescription drugs that can be used to treat COVID‑19? +

No. Several recent media reports have focused on new and existing antiviral drugs being tested for use in treating COVID‑19. None of these drugs is approved for use with COVID‑19, and many are still being investigated. We're monitoring developments in this area closely and will evaluate how benefits will cover treatments once treatments are approved.

Are there any vaccines available to prevent COVID‑19? +

Not yet. Several vaccines are being tested, but they're still in the very early stages of development. After that, they'll need to go through clinical trials to be sure they are both safe and effective before they'd be ready for the public.

How will you ensure that the providers I use can still provide care? +

UniCare is committed to making sure you can get the care you need. We're working closely with doctors and other health care professionals to prepare for more calls and visits. If your doctor isn't available for some reason, we'll help you find alternate care. Go to the Members page at unicarestateplan.com and choose Find a doctor, or call the Member Services number on your ID card.

Other Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID‑19

U.S. Department of State China Travel Advisory

World Health Organization, Coronavirus

Administration for Community Living, Coronavirus

Coronavirus.gov

Workplace, School and Home Guidance

LiveHealth Online

Sources


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