What You Need To Know About COVID-19
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new disease that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person to person. People of all ages can be infected. Older adults and people with pre-existing medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease may be more likely to become severely ill if infected. Many details about this disease are still unknown, such as treatment options, how the virus works, and the total impact of the illness.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that is caused by a new virus called a coronavirus, which has become a public health emergency. The number of cases continue to increase nationally and globally.
The symptoms of coronavirus include mild to severe respiratory symptoms. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. COVID-19 can be contagious before a person begins showing symptoms.
Human coronaviruses are usually spread from an infected person through the air by coughing and sneezing. It is also spread through close personal contact.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
To learn more about the spread of COVID-19, please see the CDC website.
Right now, there is limited information about the risk of COVID-19 to pregnant women. Pregnant women go through changes that might increase their risk for severe illness with COVID-19. Because of this, pregnant women are considered at-risk for adverse outcomes.
Prevention is especially important.
Influenza (the flu), a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza viruses (Type A and Type B), has high activity in the United States at this time. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine.
Older adults and people with underlying chronic medical conditions seem to be at higher risk for developing serious complications with COVID-19.
If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have it, or if you have been exposed or begin showing symptoms of the virus or flu, contact your healthcare provider or health department immediately.
The CDC recommends that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, returning from a CDC-designated “Level 2” or “Level 3” advisory area, or who has been in contact with someone who is suspected or confirmed of having the coronavirus within the last 14 days should be tested.
Patients who have concerns that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 or may have symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their provider to see if they need a test. The tests will likely be nasal or pharyngeal swabs that are sent to a lab.
Telehealth is a convenient way for IlliniCare Health members to obtain 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 IllinCare Health Telehealth services, please visit www.illinicare.com or call 866-329-4701.
Your doctor is the best person to advise if testing is needed based on your symptoms. Providers are using a strict set of guidelines to decide when testing is appropriate.
If your symptoms change, contact your doctor again.
We all have a role to play in protecting our communities and families from the spread of coronavirus. It is similar to other communicable viruses. You can also follow these tips to prevent infection:
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizing rub (must contain at least 60 percent alcohol).
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze by coughing/sneezing into your elbow.
- Promptly dispose of tissues in a wastebasket after use.
- Clean public surfaces thoroughly.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid shaking hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Get a flu vaccine.
Most people with common human coronavirus illness will get better on their own. There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses. But you can do the following to help relieve symptoms if you are mildly sick:
- Take pain and fever medications. Ask your pharmacist how they may interact with any medications you are taking. Caution: The CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend not giving aspirin to children.
- Use a humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough.
- Drink plenty of liquids.
- Stay home and rest.
Yes. When medically necessary diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment is ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider, we will cover the cost of medically necessary COVID-19 tests, screenings, associated physician’s visit(s) and/or treatment. If applicable, your plan’s copayment, coinsurance and/or deductible cost-sharing will be waived for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment.
No. We will not require prior authorization, prior certification, prior notification and/or step therapy protocols for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services, and/or treatment when medically necessary services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider.
Medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment and the associated physician’s visit will be covered when ordered, referred and/or performed in the following In-Network locations:
- Physician’s/Practitioner’s Office
- Independent Laboratory/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 option for non-urgent care to limit potential exposure in a physician’s office or other healthcare facility.
No. We will cover medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or 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, medical screening services and/or treatment, along with the associated physician’s visit.
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.
Yes, members will be able to refill prescriptions prior to the refill date.
Worry and anxiety can rise about the spread of COVID-19. Concern for friends and family who live in places where COVID-19 is spreading or the progression of the disease is natural.
- 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. Maintain healthy relationships and a sense of hope and positive thinking.
- Share the facts about COVID-19 and the actual 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 information, see the CDC’s suggestions for mental health and coping during COVID-19
No, but since there is no treatment for COVID-19, getting immunized for the flu, pneumonia and whooping cough, is important, especially for those who have weakened immune systems or who may have a more serious illness. In addition, while COVID-19 is spreading, getting these vaccines will help lessen the burden on health care systems.
Tip #1: Clean your phone right now
Drop what you’re doing! Clean your phone and case right now! You can use disinfecting wipes or sprays.
Why is this important?
It’s easy to say “I can always clean my phone later”. If you do it right now, you won’t forget! We’ve also told you how so you don’t have to figure that out on your own.
Tip #2: Use an alarm
Set a phone alarm called “clean phone.” Set an alarm on your phone called “clean phone” once per day. When it goes off, clean your phone right then and there!
Why is this important?
Even if you just cleaned your phone right now, you’re going to forget later! That’s why reminders are so important. You’ll have to clean.
For more information about cleaning and disinfecting visit the CDC Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Home page.
At this time, the WHO and CDC have stated that the likelihood of novel coronavirus contaminating cardboard or other shipping containers is low. Our shipping carriers follow CDC guidelines to protect their employees and recipients of our orders. Our shipping suppliers have largely relaxed the requirement for a signature for orders. We are sourcing more personal protective equipment for our staff. Staff are being trained on its proper and effective use. We regularly sanitize the bins that transport orders throughout pharmacy processes. To learn more, please check the CDC website.