Member Coronavirus Information
What you need to know about COVID-19
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus that causes respiratory illness in people. This means that the virus affects your lungs.
COVID-19 can spread from person to person. People of all ages can be infected. However, older adults and people with certain medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease may become very sick if they get COVID.
Here are some common questions and answers about COVID-19. We’ve broken them up into different topics so you can find what you’re looking for quickly.
CORONAVIRUS AND SYMPTOMS
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. That means it affects your lungs. The virus spreads mainly when people cough or sneeze. Anyone can become sick with COVID, which is why the virus has been a public health emergency around the world since 2019.
People who get COVID-19 may have many different symptoms. These symptoms can be mild or severe. They usually include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Feeling tired
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Symptoms usually start 2-14 days after you were close to someone else with the virus. COVID-19 can also spread BEFORE a person starts showing symptoms.
These symptoms can also be caused by influenza, also known as the flu. The flu is a respiratory illness. That means it affects your lungs. The flu is most active in the United States in the autumn and winter. That’s why everyone ages 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine (shot) each year.
If you start having COVID-19 symptoms, you should get tested. There are tests that you can do at home. These are called “self-tests.” However, these tests aren’t always accurate. You can also get what’s called a “PCR test.” These are usually done at a lab or doctor’s office.
To get a self-test, call your local pharmacy. You can also get free COVID tests to keep at home through the U.S. Mail. Click HERE to learn more.
To get a PCR test, call your provider or health department.
If you think you’re sick, you should also think about wearing a face mask and staying away from others. That helps slow the spread of COVID.
Some people may get very sick from COVID-19. Call your provider or go to the emergency room (ER) if you have any of these warning signs:
- Trouble breathing
- Chest pain or pressure
- New feelings of confusion
- Not able to wake up or stay away
- Pale, gray, or blue skin, lips, or fingernails
This isn’t a full list. If you’re very worried about how you or a loved one are feeling, call your provider or 9-1-1 right away.
Babylon is a convenient way for Home State Health members to obtain telehealth services. You will receive [24-hour] access to in-network healthcare providers for non-emergency medical issues. Get medical advice, a diagnosis or a prescription by video or phone. For more information about Home State Health services, please www.homestatehealth.com or call 1-855-694-(HOME) 4663
If you are having anxiety or stress or need emotional support, *Behavioral health services are available at the same link, 24/7 Access to a Doctor, Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST
All of us can help protect our families and our community from COVID-19. Follow these tips to help slow the spread of the virus:
- Get the COVID-19 vaccine (shot). Anyone ages 6 months and older can get the vaccine. It is a safe and effective way to prevent the virus. It can also help you from getting very sick.
- Wash your hands often. Use soap and water. Wash for at least 20 seconds.
- If you can’t wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Remember that it should have at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Wear a face mask. A “KN-95” mask offers some of the best protection. Wear a mask if you’re not feeling well or if you have to be around others who are sick. You should also wear a mask when you’re in crowded indoor spaces or if you’re travelling. People who are not fully vaccinated should wear a mask all the time.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze by coughing or sneezing into your elbow. If you cough or sneeze into your hands, be sure to wash with soap and water before touching anything.
- Throw out any used tissues right away.
- Clean public surfaces well.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid shaking hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Get a flu vaccine annually.
The COVID-19 outbreak has and continues to be a public health emergency around the world. It’s natural to feel worried about the virus or about the health of our friends and families. Here are a few things you can do:
- Take care of your body. Keep eating healthy and exercising when you can. Try deep breathing or meditation. Focus on the things you can control.
- Connect with others. Share your feelings with a friend or family member. If you’re feeling more worried than usual, think about talking to a therapist or mental health provider.
- Share facts about COVID-19 and the actual risk to others. Trust the science. Get your news and information from trustworthy sources.
- For more information, click HERE to see the CDC’s suggestions for mental health and coping during COVID-19.
YOUR HEALTHCARE COVERAGE
Your plan covers COVID-19 testing and treatment. This means we will pay for any tests, medical visits, or medications. Testing and treatment must be ordered by an in-network healthcare provider. If you have a copay or other costs, you should not have to pay them. For questions about what your plan covers, call the phone number on the back of your member ID card.
No, you do not need to get approval. This is sometimes called “prior authorization.” If you’re getting tested or treated by an in-network healthcare provider, you do not need to ask us for approval first. For questions about prior authorization, call the phone number on the back of your member ID card.
You should get testing and treatment for COVID-19 from an in-network healthcare provider. This means a medical provider who is in your health plan. To find an in-network provider, call the phone number on the back of your member ID card. You can also visit your health plan website and click on “Find a Provider.”
If you’re not sure if you have COVID, you can schedule a telehealth visit with your provider. This is a good option for non-urgent care. The best part is that you won’t even have to leave home!
No. Your plan covers COVID-19 testing and treatment. This means we will pay for any tests, medical visits, or medications. Testing and treatment must be ordered by an in-network healthcare provider. If you have a copay or other costs, you should not have to pay these amounts. For questions about what your plan covers, call the phone number on the back of your member ID card.
THE COVID-19 VACCINE
Yes, there are two COVID-19 vaccines that have been fully approved by the FDA! They are from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
Getting a vaccine is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are given in two shots. You will get your first shot, then go back for your second shot a few weeks later. Your provider will give you a reminder card to help you keep track of which vaccine you got and when to get your next dose. It is very important to get both doses.
Some vaccines also have a third or fourth shot called “boosters.” You may need a booster two to five months after your second shot, depending on your age or medical conditions. Talk to your provider for more information.
Yes! The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been fully approved by the FDA. This means that they have been thoroughly tested for safety. The vaccines are also very good at preventing the virus. They can help you from getting very sick. Side effects from the vaccine are usually mild. Serious side effects are rare.
Side effects are usually mild and go away in a few days. You may get a fever or feel run down. This is normal as your body gets ready to fight off COVID-19. The place where you got the shot may also be sore.
You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The vaccines do not use a live virus.
Yes! The FDA has approved the vaccine for children ages 6 months and older. Most children can get the COVID-19 shot without any serious problems. Talk to your child’s provider about what might be best for them.
Call your healthcare provider or your local pharmacy. You can also visit vaccinefinder.org to find a vaccine near you. Most providers will ask you to make an appointment to get your shots.
It depends. Many jobs and government agencies have rules about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. You may also have to get a vaccine if you plan to travel outside of the United States. Most people are able to get the COVID-19 shot without any serious problems. That’s why we strongly recommend the vaccine. It is the best way to protect yourself, your loved ones, and the community.
Yes. Even if you already had COVID-19, you should still get the vaccine. You can get COVID more than once. The vaccine can help you from getting the virus again. It can also help you from getting very sick.
A “booster” is usually another shot of the vaccine that is given after you get your initial shots. You may need a booster two to five months after your second shot, depending on your age or medical conditions. Talk to your provider for more information.
Yes! It is safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to get pregnant. People who get COVID during pregnancy are more likely to get very sick. That’s why getting a vaccine is the best thing you can do for yourself and your child. Most pregnant individuals can get the COVID-19 shot without any serious problems. Talk to your provider about what’s best for you.
You are considered “up to date” on your shots two weeks past your final dose. You should still wear a mask if you’re not feeling well or if you have to be around others who are sick. You should also wear a mask when you’re in crowded indoor spaces or if you’re travelling. A “KN-95” mask offers some of the best protection.
Some people should wear a mask all the time even after they get the COVID-19 vaccine. This depends on your age and medical conditions. Talk to your provider about what’s best for you.
A “breakthrough case” is when you get COVID-19 even after getting the vaccine. This happens to some people because of how the COVID-19 virus keeps changing. Experts continue to study how common these cases are.
Even though breakthrough cases can happen, the COVID-19 vaccines should help you from getting very sick. In other words, your symptoms might be less severe. Fully vaccinated people are less likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID even if they have a breakthrough case.
No, the COVID-19 vaccine will be at no cost to you. You do not need to get approval from your health plan. This is sometimes called “prior authorization.” For questions, call the phone number on the back of your member ID card.
You can get your next dose or booster from any provider. Just show them your COVID-19 vaccine card.
Yes. Home State Health members may contact Member Services to arrange transportation.
Lyft and Uber offer free rides to anyone going to a vaccination site to get vaccinated. Using the Lyft or Uber app, you can select a vaccination site near you and follow simple directions to redeem your ride. The ride will take you to and from a nearby vaccination site free of charge. The feature will run until July 4.
Call the pharmacy or provider where you got your vaccine. After answering a few questions, you should be able to get a new copy of your card.