With COVID-19 (or the coronavirus) commanding the news, Highmark understands that this issue is of great concern for our health plan members. In an effort to address the spread of the coronavirus and bring peace of mind to our members, Highmark will cover coronavirus testing, when recommended by a medical professional, for members of our fully-insured group customers, as well as members of our Medicare Advantage and ACA plans.
At their discretion, our self-insured health plan sponsors will be able to opt-out of this program.
Will it cost me anything to get a test?
Highmark will cover Coronavirus, or COVID-19, testing at 100% when recommended by a medical professional. This means copays, deductibles, and coinsurance do not apply for this testing. This applies to most Medicare Advantage, Affordable Care Act, and select employer plans; however, please check with Member Services to see if this applies to your plan. Use the number on the back of your card.
What we do know
- The new Coronavirus, or COVID-19*, was identified in December 2019
- It originated in Wuhan, China and is spreading in the US and internationally
- It is more contagious than the seasonal flu
- It produces flu-like symptoms–fever, cough, shortness of breath
- In about 15% of cases, it can lead to severe respiratory illness, such as pneumonia
- There is no vaccine and no antiviral treatment
- The virus is fatal in about 2% of reported cases–more than the seasonal flu, but less than previous coronavirus outbreaks SARS and MERS
*The World Health Organization has named the disease caused by the virus COVID-19: “CO” stands for corona, “VI” for virus, “D” stands for disease, and “19” for the year it emerged.
“Everyday preventive actions to help avert the spread of respiratory diseases like the coronavirus are key. While it sounds quite simple, washing your hands with soap and water, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and staying home when you are sick are fundamental to avoiding and stopping the spread of illness. If you feel sick, always seek medical advice and call your doctor.”
–Charles DeShazer, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Highmark
How to protect yourself
- People who are sneezing, wheezing, coughing–just avoid them
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (it’s longer than you think–try singing either “Happy Birthday” or recite the Pledge of Allegiance twice).
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) if soap and water are not available
- Apply the “not above the shoulders” rule–avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Commonly used surfaces–clean them, often
- You are actually at greater risk of getting the seasonal flu than this new virus–so get a flu shot
Where to go for help
- For answers on Coronavirus, the flu, or any health-related questions, call your doctor
- If you don’t have a doctor, visit our online Find A Doctor service for help in locating one nearby
- If you are in a medical emergency, call 911 immediately