Anthem’s health plans waive member costs for COVID-19 testing
There’s a lot in the news lately about coronavirus and COVID-19. Here’s some information you can use to help protect yourself and the people you care about. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes the immediate risk to the American public is low right now, but they’re asking everyone to help reduce the risk of infections spreading. Check the CDC website for up-to-date information, especially if traveling.
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?
The most common early symptoms appear between 2 and 14 days after being infected. Symptoms can be mild to severe. They include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. 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.
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.
Do I need to wear a face mask?It’s best to follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- If you’re not sick, the CDC does not recommend wearing a facemask to protect yourself from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- If you’re sick with COVID-19, or being evaluated for COVID-19, you should wear a facemask when you are around other people to help prevent spreading the disease to others.
- If you’re taking care of someone who has COVID-19, you should wear a facemask to protect yourself when you are in close contact with a person who is sick with COVID-19, or being evaluated for COVID-19. CDC information for household members and caregivers can be found here.
What if I have symptoms?Call your doctor if you develop a fever, have a cough, or have difficulty breathing. And let them know if you’ve been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area where the virus has spread. You can also check to see if your plan offers telehealth benefits to see a doctor online. If you think you’re infected, using telehealth helps to prevent spreading a virus. Are there any prescription drugs that can be used to treat COVID-19?Right now, there are no prescription drugs that are approved to treat this virus. Scientists are working quickly to develop treatment, so we are closely monitoring CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) guidance for updates on the best treatments. 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 your benefits will work
What will my Anthem benefits cover for services related to COVID-19 testing and care?Your Anthem health plan will cover the care you get if you’re diagnosed as having COVID-19. For those who have fully insured, individual, Medicare and Medicaid plans, it’ll also waive your out-of-pocket expenses for the focused test used to diagnose COVID-19. You can call the number on the back of your identification card to confirm coverage. You’ll pay any other out-of-pocket expenses your plan requires related to COVID-19, unless otherwise determined by state law or regulation. How much will a COVID-19 test cost me?It shouldn’t cost you anything if you receive a test from the Centers for Disease Control or if you have a fully insured, Medicare or Medicaid plan. I’m worried about running out of my medication. What can I do?We know how important it is to continue taking your prescriptions as directed by your doctor. If you are worried about having enough of your prescribed medication on hand, and your Anthem plan allows for a 90-day supplies of prescriptions, this is a great time to think about changing any prescription medicines you take on a regular basis from a 30-day supply. If you don’t have a prescription for a 90-day supply, talk to your doctor to see if a 90-day supply would work for you. You can even get them through home delivery pharmacy. If you have specific questions about the medicine you take, call the pharmacy services number on your member ID card.* If there’s an epidemic, how will you ensure that the doctors in my plan can still provide care?Anthem is committed to making sure you can get the care you need. We’re working closely with the doctors and other health care professionals in our plans 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 main page on Anthem.com to log in and search for a doctor, or call the Member Services number on your ID card. For more information, check the CDC website for up-to-date details and recommendations about COVID-19.
*Applies only for members with Anthem pharmacy benefits. SourcesCenters for Disease Control and Prevention: About 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) (January 28, 2020): www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.htmlCenters for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary (March 3, 2020): www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html