Important COVID-19 Update About Your Healthcare CoverageMarch 31, 2020
COVID-19 or novel coronavirus affects the respiratory track and is symptomatic 2-14 days after exposure. These symptoms include, but are not limited to, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Anyone who has had exposure to an infected person and/or experiences any of these symptoms should be tested and then quarantined for 14 days. If you have trouble breathing, persistent pain and pressure in your chest, confusion, inability to sit or stand, or blue lips, you should seek medical attention immediately by contacting your provider or a telemedicine provider. If you have any symptoms, you must stay home, contact your provider, and be quarantined for 14 days.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced a new directive by the State Department of Financial Services requiring New York health insurers to waive cost sharing associated with testing for novel coronavirus, including: emergency room, urgent care, and office visits. These actions will help ensure that cost does not serve as a barrier to COVID-19 testing for any New Yorker.
Please note if you require testing:
- Health insurers may not impose cost-sharing on an in-network provider office visit or urgent care center when the purpose of the visit is to be tested for COVID-19
- Health insurers may not impose cost-sharing on an emergency room visit when the purpose of the visit is to be tested for COVID-19
- Health insurers are required or advised to offer, where possible, telehealth medical advice and treatment; and to cover costs if a COVID-19 immunization should come available
At the moment, tests for Covid-19 can take up to a week or more to produce results. A new test, faster than those currently available on the market, is scheduled to be released by Abbott later this week. This test will tell you if you are positive within 5 minutes and negative within 13 minutes. There is no FDA approved treatment for the virus and the best way to combat infection is to treat the patient’s symptoms. To avoid infection, do the following:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water, this should be done frequently and for at least 20 seconds, or the frequent use of a hand sanitizer with a greater than 60% alcohol content
- Avoid touching your face, eyes and nose, as these are entry ways for the virus to get into your system.
- Make sure not to touch others
- Cover your sneeze or cough with your sleeve to help prevent transmission
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others whenever possible
Telemedicine providers and information can be accessed through Emblem Health’s Teladoc system. By using Teledoc, you can talk with a doctor within minutes rather than days or hours. Teladoc doctors can diagnose, treat, and prescribe medication (when medically necessary) for non-emergency medications. This includes treatments for the flu, sore throat, allergies, stomach aches, eye infections, bronchitis, and much more. The copay is $10 per consultation. All Teledoc visits that are COVID-19 related will have a $0 copay.
To set up your account now so you can talk with one of Teladoc’s board-certified doctors anytime when you don’t feel well, call 1-800-Teladoc (1-800-835-2362) or visit http://Teladoc.com/emblemhealth
All of our healthcare carriers are open and operational to help you through this pandemic. Make sure you always have at least 15 days-worth of medication on hand in case you are quarantined. Remember, our Benecard mail order benefit covers 90 days-worth of medication if you wish to have a larger amount on hand.
Stay safe and healthy.