Member Coronavirus Information
COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Extended by Federal Government
On July 19, 2021, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra renewed the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). This extends flexibilities and funding tied to the PHE to continue for another 90 days, effective July 20, 2021.
With this renewal the various testing, screening, billing, and telehealth coverages that were implemented in response to the COVID-19 PHE will be extended to our members. This extension will continue until the PHE is either terminated or extended again.
Do you have any questions about this extension or the covered benefits impacted by it? Please contact Member Services.
COVID-19 Vaccine Phase Check Assessment Tool
By answering four brief questions you can determine the vaccine phase under which you fall. Simply enter information on your risk level, age, and any underlying health conditions, to get an estimate of when you can expect to receive the vaccine.
Take the assessment here: COVID-19 Vaccine Phase Check
Please remember that the vaccine allocation phases prioritize vaccinating individuals most at risk of severe complications of COVID-19 exposure, including hospitalization and death, to ensure that the most vulnerable populations are vaccinated first.
As always, please visit nh.gov/covid19/ for the most updated information on the COVID-19 pandemic.
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, and lower respiratory illness. COVID-19 can be contagious before a person begins showing symptoms.
Influenza (the flu), a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza viruses (Type A and Type B), has high activity in the United States in the Fall/Winter months. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine annually.
If you have been exposed or begin showing symptoms of the virus or flu, contact your healthcare provider or health department immediately.
Effective immediately until April 21, 2021
- Telemedicine between patient and doctor’s office may be conducted in the home
- Telemedicine interaction may be conducted by telephone
- Telemedicine interaction may be conducted by video streaming applications with some limitations
- Applications that allow for video chats, including Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts video, or Skype.
- Facebook Live, Twitch, TikTok, and similar video communication applications that are public facing
All non-procedural and non-lab services can be conducted via Telemedicine interaction. This includes, but is not limited to, Applied Behavioral Therapy (ABA) and Speech Therapy.
Please work with your doctor’s office on the method of communication for telemedicine that best serves your needs.
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).
- 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 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 annually.
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.
There is now a vaccination available that will give you the best chance of protecting yourself and your loved ones from getting COVID-19 in the future. Some COVID-19 vaccines will have two doses a few weeks in between each shot. You will get a COVID-19 Vaccination Reminder Card that will help you keep track of which vaccine you receive and when to get a second dose, if needed. If you receive a vaccine that requires two doses, it is important to get both doses.
The vaccine is being administered to different populations in a tiered approach. When you are able to get the vaccine, call your doctor with any questions and ask when you can make an appointment with them or at your local pharmacy. Or, find out where to get your vaccine at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines or vaccinefinder.org.
While it is not a requirement, getting your COVID-19 vaccine will give you the best chance of protecting yourself and your loved ones from getting COVID-19 in the future.
Even if you have already had COVID-19, you should still get the vaccine. It may be possible to be infected more than once so getting the vaccine is a safe choice.
Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is recommended for people ages 5 and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are recommended for those ages 18 and older.
The CDC recommends a booster shot of COVID-19 vaccines in certain populations:
- For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after their initial series:
- 65 years and older
- Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
- Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
- Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings
- For the nearly 15 million people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.
- Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.
According to the CDC, people who are pregnant and part of a group to receive the COVID-19 vaccine may choose to be vaccinated. If you have questions about getting the vaccine, it is recommended to discuss with your doctor to make an informed decision.
There is not definitive evidence that the vaccine can prevent asymptomatic infection, or prevent spreading COVID-19 if you are asymptomatic. Even with a vaccine, there is a possibility that you could become infected, but not have symptoms. This could get loved ones around you sick.
The CDC announced on March 8 that fully vaccinated Americans can discontinue masking and social distancing with other fully vaccinated people indoors in small groups. Or, visiting with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors.
Fully vaccinated is considered two weeks past final dose, meaning the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer mRNA vaccine, or, two weeks past the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
It is important to continue to social distance, wear a mask, and continue proper handwashing when visiting unvaccinated people from multiple households. Or, when visiting unvaccinated people at increased risk for severe COVID-19.
It is also important to wear a mask and practice social distancing when in public places, such as the gym or a restaurant, as the chance of transmission is higher with multiple non-vaccinated persons.
If you are fully vaccinated and have a known exposure to someone with COVID-19, the CDC says that you may refrain from quarantine and testing if you are asymptomatic. It is recommended to continue to monitor for symptoms for 14 days.
The safety of the COVID-19 vaccine is a top priority! The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully reviews all safety data from clinical trials and authorizes emergency vaccine use only when the expected benefits outweigh potential risks. COVID-19 vaccines were tested in large clinical trials to make sure they meet safety standards.
You may run a fever after you get the vaccine. This is normal as your body builds immunity and fights off future COVID-19 exposures. You may feel sick after getting vaccinated. You could develop a fever, headache or body aches. This is your body reacting to the vaccine, which is a normal response. It is important to know that it is impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The vaccines currently in use and others being developed do not contain a live virus.
No. The COVID-19 vaccine will be at no cost to you. You do not need to get a prior authorization for your vaccine.
Please call the administering facility/provider you received your first dose from to ask about your vaccine information and verify your second appointment/location.
The provider should have scheduled a second appointment with you at the same facility when you received the first dose. However, you can receive your second dose from another provider/facility and you should present your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.
Yes. Contact Medical Transportation Management, Inc. (MTM) at 1-888-597-1192, for questions contact NH Healthy Families at 1-866-769-3085. You may also be able to receive transportation by contacting United Way-211 to access local community resources for transportation, which may include the Lyft Vaccine Alliance Program. Non-Medicaid NH citizens can get a ride to a COVID vaccine appointment by calling One Call at 1-866-365-4349.
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
For more information, including travel advisories, please visit cdc.gov.