What you need to know about COVID-19
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new disease that causes respiratory sickness in people and can spread from person to person. People of all ages can be infected. Older adults and people with pre-existing health issues like asthma, diabetes and heart disease may be more likely to become very ill if infected. Many facts about this disease are still unknown, such as:
- Treatment choices
- How the virus works
- The impact of the sickness
- Many other factors
What is the coronavirus?
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease. It is caused by a new virus called a coronavirus. The number of cases still grow nationwide and globally. It may be contagious before a person has symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of coronavirus are mild to harsh respiratory symptoms. COVID-19 can be contagious before a person starts showing symptoms. Other symptoms are:
- Hard to breathe
- Lower respiratory sickness
What else causes similar symptoms?
The flu is a contagious respiratory sickness caused by the flu viruses (Type A and Type B). It has high activity in the U.S. in the Fall/Winter months. All people 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine annually. Vaccines are free for Nebraska Total Care members.
I may have symptoms. What do I do?
If you have been exposed or start showing symptoms, call your healthcare provider or health department right away.
Protect yourself and your community.
We all have a role to play in protecting our communities and families from the spread of coronavirus. It is like other sickness. You can also follow these tips to stop infection:
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizing rub. It must be at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Wear a face covering/mask when in public and/or around others who do not live in your home.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Cough/sneeze into your elbow.
- Promptly throw away tissues in a wastebasket after use.
- Clean public surfaces fully.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Skip shaking hands.
- Skip close contact with people who are sick.
- Get a flu vaccine annually.
Does my plan cover COVID-19 testing, screening and treatment services?
Yes. When medically necessary diagnostic testing or health screening services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider, we will cover the cost of medically necessary COVID-19 tests and the associated doctor’s visit. If applicable, your plan’s copayment, coinsurance and/or deductible cost-sharing will be waived for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing and/or health screening services and treatment.
Free Community Testing Sites. Find a health center near you for available Covid-19 testing. Please call the health center for more information about availability of free testing.
Pick Up an At-Home Test. Covid-19 tests are available in pharmacies for in-person purchase. Members may get up to four tests per day. (There is a monthly limit of eight tests.) Covid-19 antigen tests require a prescription to be covered.
Home Delivery. Members may order up to four free at-home Covid-19 tests. This is limited to one order per address. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days. Place Your Order for Free At-Home Covid-19 Tests.
Is pre-approval needed for COVID-19 testing/screening services under my plan coverage?
No. We will not need pre-approval, prior certification, prior notice and/or step therapy protocols for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, health screening services and treatment, when medically necessary services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider.
Where may I get COVID-19 testing, screening services, and treatment under my plan coverage?
Medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing and/or health screening services and treatment and the associated doctor’s visit will be covered when ordered, referred and/or performed in the following In-Network places:
- Doctor’s/Practitioner’s Office
- Independent Lab/Diagnostic Facility
- Urgent Care Facility
- Emergency Department Facility
Are you unsure if you have been exposed to or at-risk of being infected with COVID-19? Schedule a virtual care visit with a provider. It is a good choice for non-urgent care to limit potential exposure in a doctor’s office or other healthcare facility.
Will I be responsible for any out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing/screening services?
No. We will cover medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing and/or health screening services and treatment at no charge to you, when such services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider. If applicable, your plan’s copayment, coinsurance and/or deductible cost-sharing will be waived for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing and/or health screening services and treatment along with the associated doctor’s visit.
If I need treatment for coronavirus, is that covered by my plan?
Any medically necessary treatment related to COVID-19 would be considered a covered benefit. We are committed to ensuring access to COVID-19 treatment services in accordance with federal and state law.
Will I be able to refill my meds before the refill date?
Yes, members will be able to refill meds before the refill date.
Are there strategies for coping with the COVID-19 outbreak?
Worry and anxiety can rise about the spread of COVID-19. Worry for friends and family who live in places where COVID-19 is spreading or the growth of the disease is normal.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate.
- Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Keep healthy relationships and a sense of hope and positive thinking.
- Share the facts about COVID-19 and the real risk to others. People who have returned from areas of ongoing spread more than 14 days ago and do not have symptoms of COVID-19 do not put others at risk.
- For more info, see the CDC’s ideas for mental health and coping during COVID-19.
COVID-19 Public Health Emergency extended by federal government.
On July 23, 2020, HHS Secretary Alex Azar renewed the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). This extends flexibilities and funding tied to the PHE to continue for another 90 days.
With this renewal the various testing, screening, billing, and telehealth coverages that were implemented in response to the COVID-19 PHE earlier this year will be extended to our members. This extension will go through late October, until the PHE is either terminated or extended again. This extension does not affect coverages that had already been made effective through December 31, 2020.
Do you have any questions about this extension or the covered benefits impacted by it? Please contact Member Services.
For more information, including travel advisories, please visit CDC.gov.
Find Help in Your Area
Search for free or reduced cost COVID-19 specific services in your community such as unemployment, food, housing, care and more through our partnership with the findhelp zip code lookup tool.