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Coronavirus Update: Florida Blue Increasing Access to Health Care Services for Members to Aid in Treatment

Posted on Mar 13th 2020 by Florida Blue

We’re here for you

If you have questions about the coronavirus, have symptoms and need help finding a provider to do a COVID-19 test, or any other concerns, please call us at the number on the back of your member ID card so we can help. You can also call the Florida Department of Health’s 24/7 COVID-19 Call Center at (866) 779-6121 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We have made several adjustments to make it easier for members to get tested and treated for COVID-19 and increasing access to other health care services, including:

Waiving copays and deductibles related to medical testing for the virus for members who are part of our commercial insurance plans.

Waiving the cost of the medical test for the virus for members who are part of our commercial insurance plans, including Affordable Care Act (ACA)/Individual and Medicare Advantage health plans. Members should consult their health care provider if they are experiencing symptoms linked to the coronavirus, such as mild to severe respiratory symptoms, like a cough and difficulty breathing, and a fever. If the doctor determines a test is needed, he or she will perform it and send it to the laboratory.

Having access to necessary medications. Florida Blue will increase access to prescription medications by waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications (consistent with member’s benefit plan) and/or encouraging members to use 90-day mail order benefit. 

Offering counseling for members feeling stress related to coronavirus. In partnership with New Directions Behavioral Health, you can talk to specially trained behavioral health counselors at no cost, even if you aren't a member. You can talk with a counselor 24/7 about stress you may be feeling by calling the toll-free help line at 833-848-1762.

Strongly encouraging members to take advantage of virtual care options in their plans for less serious medical issues. Seeking in-person care may lead to further spreading of the coronavirus. Those with conditions, such as common colds or other mild illnesses, can visit floridablue.com to learn more about virtual care options.

Pat Geraghty, president and CEO of Florida Blue, said the company will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and make policy adjustments, as necessary. “As the impact of COVID-19 spreads, we want to ensure our members that we will do all we can to make health care treatment and services readily available,” he said.

Members should take precautions to protect themselves from getting the virus, including frequently washing their hands with soap and water and avoiding people who are sick. (See more tips below.) If you have questions about your plan or benefits, please call the number on the back of your member ID card.

We are hosting a free live webinar on March 19th for anyone interested in learning more about coronavirus.

Click here to register.

What is the Risk of Contracting COVID-19

The risk of contracting COVID-19 in Florida is low. Most of the people who contract COVID-19 recover in a matter of days, oftentimes at home, according to health officials. Symptoms can be more serious for older adults and people with underlying health conditions.

What Are the Symptoms?

Patients typically have mild to severe respiratory symptoms, such as a cough and difficulty breathing, as well as a fever. As with other viruses, people who are elderly and/or have underlying health conditions are more at risk. Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure.

How is the Virus Spread?

According to the CDC, the virus is mainly spread person-to-person, particularly when they are within six feet of each other. The primary way is when an infected person sneezes or coughs and their droplets land on a nearby person’s mouth or nose or are inhaled into their lungs. Another way is when a person touches a surface where the virus is, then touching his or her own mouth, nose or eyes. Click here for more information on how the virus can be spread.

How Can You Protect Yourself and Your Family?

There is no vaccine to prevent infection from COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Here are some prevention tips:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Also, wash your hands when you touch things in public like elevator buttons, door knobs and office telephones.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.
  • Surgical masks should be reserved for caregivers, health care personnel and people with symptoms and under suspicion for COVID-19. As of now, masks are not covered by Florida Blue health plans.
  • Make sure you have enough nonperishable food for a week or so in case you get sick, just as you would if you had the flu.
  • Follow government travel restrictions

Resources

Here are several websites you can use to find the latest details:

Individual and Family Health Insurance
 

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Saturday, 11 July 2020

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