Coronavirus and Coverage

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is on everyone’s minds. We at Bright Health want you to know that we are staying current and keeping your health as our top priority. Education, prevention, and proper care are the best lines of defense. We’re responding quickly with important updates to your coverage so you can feel informed and prepared to deal with COVID-19.

Updates to your coverage

All COVID-19 screenings and diagnostics are free for Bright Health members.

Coverage During COVID-19

As part of our efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we’ve made sure you have the following coverage.

Changes are in effect until further notice.

  • No-cost COVID-19 diagnostic test

    If you have symptoms or were exposed to someone known to have the coronavirus, COVID-19 diagnostic testing and associated office visits are covered at no cost to our members, regardless of network. Testing for other purposes, such as return to work or checking one’s own antibody levels will not be covered through your health plan. Free diagnostic testing is available from departments of health and at many public health sites. You can find them by visiting your state’s department of health website or calling a local COVID-19 hotline.

  • Early medication refills

    If you are concerned about going to the pharmacy, you can refill current prescription(s) early. You may also be eligible to have all of your medications refilled at the same time to avoid multiple trips to the pharmacy. Or choose to take advantage of Bright Health’s mail-order benefit which allows up to 90 days of medication delivered directly to your home.

    To get your medication refilled early, contact your pharmacist. If you’re interested in enrolling in mail-order, call the telephone number on the back of your member ID card.

  • Transportation

    We are making non-emergency transportation available to all members and waiving ride limits for non-emergency visits to and from your doctor through 12/31/20.

  • Telehealth

    All telehealth services (online and virtual care) obtained in connection with doctor-ordered COVID-19 testing and diagnosis are now covered, at no cost to our members.

    If you choose to use a telehealth provider other than Doctor On Demand you may be required to pay upfront and submit a claim to be reimbursed by Bright Health. The reimbursement forms are located here for: Individual and Family  and Employer-sponsored health plans  or Medicare 

COVID-19 Vaccinations

As FDA-authorized vaccines for COVID-19 become available, there will be no cost to the member to receive a vaccine. That’s because Bright Health will cover the cost of the administration of the vaccine for our members and the vaccine itself will be available to providers at no cost until further notice. If other services are provided during the office visit where you are vaccinated, you may be responsible for those services.

Availability of the vaccine will vary by community. Each state will have different guidelines that determine who will have access to the vaccination first. In general, emergency responders, healthcare workers and the elderly will be first to receive the vaccine. Please reach out to your local health department, which can be found here, , and your provider or pharmacy to determine when you will be eligible to receive the vaccine.

Please work with your provider to receive the correct number of doses for the brand of vaccine available. As additional vaccine brands become available, some will require one dose and others will require two. You should return to the same provider or pharmacy for remaining doses if possible. You will receive a vaccination card from the vaccination site that will tell you when to return for a second dose. We will provide additional or updated information as it becomes available.

As COVID-19 continues to spread, it is vitally important to get a flu shot this year! Getting the two illnesses together greatly increases your chances of developing serious complications. Early information from other countries shows that getting a flu shot may actually make a coronavirus infection less severe. We believe anything you can do to lower your risk of experiencing severe coronavirus and/or influenza symptoms is well worth doing. Learn more about the flu shot here.

Where can I go for information?

First, make sure you are getting your facts from a trusted source. The CDC and your local health authorities are the best places to go for the most accurate, up-to-date information. Here are some resources we think you’ll find valuable:

CDC resources:

State or city hotline number Call 411 or check online to find out if your state or city department of health has an information hotline number

Visit your local hospital’s website

Always call your doctor before going to the doctor’s office. Call an urgent care or hospital if you can’t reach your doctor.

How is COVID-19 spread?

The virus is thought to be spread mainly from person to person through close contact (about 6 feet or less). The most likely way to get sick is to come into contact with the respiratory droplets from an infected person that they produce when they talk, sneeze, or cough. COVID-19 is also present in their stools.

However, it’s possible to get infected through handshakes or contact with infected surfaces or objects. Most common surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, toilets, phones, keyboards, keys, light switches, etc.

How do I prevent it?

As with other infectious conditions, these prevention basics are your best defense:

  • Wash your hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds (sing Happy Birthday twice)
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • Before eating
    • After going to the bathroom
    • Before touching your face
    • Any time your hands are dirty
  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content when soap and water are not available
    • Always wash with soap and water when your hands are dirty
  • Avoid touching mouth, eyes, and nose with unwashed hands
  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Stay home if you feel sick
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow if you don’t have a tissue on hand, then wash your clothes as soon as possible
  • Clean and sanitize objects and surfaces you frequently touch, using regular household cleaning sprays or wipes
  • Avoid large crowds and events as much as possible

Experiencing Symptoms?

COVID-19 can feel a lot like a cold or the flu. The main symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Less common symptoms include a sore throat, runny nose, and headache.

Should I go to the doctor?

If you’re concerned about your symptoms, call your doctor before going into the office. They are trained to ask the right questions and give you the best advice about any needed precautions or instructions. Be sure to mention:

  • Recent travel, especially out of the country
  • Possible contact with an infected person
  • Your symptoms

If you can’t reach your doctor, call an urgent care or hospital before visiting. If you’re directed to the emergency room, call them for any special instructions before you leave.

If you go to your doctor for any reason, even if you do not believe you’re at risk for COVID-19, call your doctor before going into the office. They may need to make special arrangements to protect other patients.

Can I get an online doctor’s appointment?

Ask your doctor or hospital if they offer virtual or online visits (telehealth) for flu symptom or COVID-19 evaluation and treatment, or click here  to be connected with Doctor On Demand.

How do I access a COVID-19 test?

There are diagnostic tests available for patients with symptoms who may have COVID-19 and for individuals who were exposed to someone known to have the coronavirus. A healthcare professional will determine if you should be tested. Your doctor is your best resource, but urgent care centers, hospitals, and emergency rooms have access to the test, too. Drive-through testing is available in many communities.

Antibody testing is not a diagnostic test and decisions about isolation and quarantine should not be based on it.

Testing for purposes such as return to work or checking antibody levels won’t be covered through your health plan. Free diagnostic testing is available through other community resources and can be found by visiting your state’s department of health website or calling a local COVID-19 hotline.

Should I use a facemask?

It is highly recommended to use cloth face coverings -- whether you have symptoms or not -- to help prevent the spread of infection. In many communities, facemasks are required to be worn in public. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders. Face coverings do not replace the need for social distancing. Homemade masks should be thick enough to prevent blowing out a candle or seeing light through it. For example, fleece gaiters are too thin to prevent viral particles from passing through them.

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Author: Bright Health

March 15, 2020