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What to know about COVID-19

As the COVID-19 status changes, we want to make sure you get the care you need, when you need it. Learn more about the virus, the vaccine and other ways to stay as healthy as possible. See this notice to our members (PDF) about COVID-19.

Get your vaccine 


You’ll want to get the vaccine even if you:



Questions about the vaccine? You can visit the state’s Department of Human Services for more info.


You can also talk with your primary care provider (PCP) if you have concerns. Remember to keep:


  • Wearing your mask
  • Practicing social distancing
  • Washing your hands


Get your vaccine

Vaccine questions and answers


Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe? 


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved or authorized four COVID-19 vaccines. These have been shown to be safe and effective.


Am I covered for the COVID-19 vaccine?


Yes. You can get the vaccine at no extra cost.


How do I get the COVID-19 vaccine?


You can visit the state website to find out where you can get the vaccine. Once you find a place, make an appointment.


Should my young child get the COVID-19 vaccine?


The vaccine is now approved for kids under age five. Learn how the vaccine can help protect your child from COVID-19.


Get the vaccine

COVID-19 questions and answers

Here are some common questions and answers about COVID-19. 


We rely on info from the:


This info doesn’t replace your provider’s advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always talk with your PCP or other health care provider about your questions.

A coronavirus causes COVID-19, an illness that affects the lungs. You can visit the CDC to learn more.  

The symptoms of COVID-19 may include:


  • Shortness of breath

  • Fever 

  • Cough

  • Trouble breathing 


More severe cases of the virus can cause:


  • Pneumonia

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome

  • Kidney failure 


You have a higher risk of getting the virus if you:


  • Have heart or lung disease

  • Have a weakened immune system

  • Are an infant or older adult

It can spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also spreads through close contact, from person to person. 


In some cases, a person may get COVID-19 by touching a surface that has the virus on it. Then, they touch their own eyes, nose or mouth with their hands.


Learn more about how COVID-19 spreads

You can lower your risk of getting the virus. Here are some tips:


  • Get the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Keep 6 feet away from people who don’t live in your home.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick or have cold-like symptoms.
  • Clean your workstation and phone at work before and after using them, especially if you share with other employees.

Most people with symptoms that aren’t severe get better on their own. These tips can help ease the symptoms if you’re mildly sick:


  • Take pain and fever medicine. Ask your pharmacist how this may affect other medicines you take.
  • Use a room humidifier or take a hot shower.
  • Drink plenty of liquids.
  • Stay home and rest.


Caution: The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advise not giving aspirin to children.

No, these shots don’t lower your risk of getting COVID-19. Only the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters have been shown to work at lowering your risk for that. You’ll still want to get shots for other lung infections, like flu, pneumonia and whooping cough. You should do this if you have:


  • A weakened immune system

  • A more serious illness

  • A history of getting shots that help prevent illness

Getting your other shots doesn’t just improve your health. It also lowers the burden on health care providers. This lets them focus on COVID-19.

The CDC recommends testing anyone who:


Get testing for COVID-19

Yes, you’re covered for COVID-19 testing. There are no copays and you don’t need PA to get tested. 

You can get COVID-19 testing at community testing sites. If you aren’t showing symptoms, just contact your provider first. People at high risk for the virus should get testing before anyone else. This includes:


  • Health care workers

  • First responders

  • People living in group settings

  • Older adults 

  • Anyone who has been in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19

Each testing site works on a schedule and has certain rules. Be sure to check with the site before visiting, as you may be turned away.


Get testing for COVID-19

Extra support


We know you may have a lot of questions. Here are some other ways you can get support during COVID-19. 

Take steps to avoid COVID-19 scams. Don’t respond if you get a call, text or email about “free” COVID-19 testing. And never give out your member ID number or personal info. To report any scams, you can:


Using telehealth services, you can get care from the comfort and safety of home. Meet with a provider via video chat or phone with no copay. If your provider doesn’t offer these services, we can help find you one that does. Just call us at 1-800-822-2447 (TTY: 711).


You can still get routine care during COVID-19. Here’s how: 


  • Call before visiting a provider’s office.

    You’ll want to call your PCP or other health care provider before you go there. They’ll share info about how they’re treating patients during COVID-19. You can also check with your provider to see if they offer telehealth services.

  • Get answers to your questions anytime. 

    Need a quick answer to a health question? Or can’t wait to see your provider? The 24-Hour Nurse Line is here for you. Just call 1-800-822-2447 (TTY: 711) anytime. We’ll connect you with a nurse. 

  • Get help with a dental emergency.
    If your provider’s office is closed or you don’t have a provider, you can call SkyGen at 1-800-508-2086 (TTY: 711).


    They’ll help you find a provider. If you’re out of town and need emergency dental care, you can see any dentist for care. You don’t need a referral or prior approval to get emergency dental care.

  • Know when to go to the emergency room (ER) versus urgent care.

    If you’re having an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.
    If it’s not an emergency, but you need medical advice, call our 24-Hour Nurse Line at 1-800-822-2447 (TTY: 711). Then, choose the nurse line option. We’re here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

A nurse can help you decide if you need to go to the ER or urgent care. You can learn more about getting the right care at the right time.

You should be able to meet your health care needs, even during COVID-19. To help make it easier, you can: 


  • Get up to 90 days of supplies to treat your health needs
  • Get care from your home through telehealth services with video chat or phone
  • Connect with a care manager to help you get services and update your care plan as needed

Also of interest: