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Updated December 15, 2020
These are unprecedented times. As the news of COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, continues to evolve, you may have questions about your coverage or what to do if you feel sick. We’ve pulled together some information and resources that can help.
For information and updates on COVID-19 vaccines, please visit the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) website at www.scdhec.gov or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov.
If you think you may be getting sick, use a symptom checker and get more information to help guide your health care decisions.
See a doctor without leaving home. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you can consult with a health care professional by phone or video chat. Check out your options.
Prevent the spread of germs. Frequent handwashing and limiting contact with others can help limit the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. Learn more about how to avoid germs.
Keep Up to Date on the Latest Information
The news on COVID-19 is changing rapidly. And there's a lot of misinformation out there. For the latest information on COVID-19, we recommend that you turn to trusted public health organizations such as:
Our chief medical officer, Dr. Matthew Bartels, shares answers to the most common questions and clinical guidance related to COVID-19.
Frequently Asked Questions
Members can call the customer service number on the back of their ID cards for benefit-related questions.
- What is the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that may cause illness in people. The name of this new respiratory disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19.
- What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may also include chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or sense of smell. These symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider about any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
- How dangerous is this virus?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention* (CDC), COVID-19 can affect anyone and can cause symptoms ranging from mild to very severe. People with high risk factors and underlying health conditions — such as heart disease, lung disease and diabetes — may be more likely to need hospitalization if they have COVID-19.
- How is the virus passed from one person to another?
Someone who is actively infected with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others even if he or she has no symptoms.
The virus spreads from one person to another through respiratory droplets. These droplets are produced when someone with the illness coughs, sneezes or talks. The droplets can be inhaled, land in the mouths or noses of people nearby and can persist for up to a couple of days on some surfaces. It generally takes close (less than 6 feet away) contact to become infected.
- How can I prevent the spread of the coronavirus or other respiratory viruses?
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. To limit virus exposure, the CDC recommends that you:
- Maintain good social distance (at least 6 feet) from others and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when around others.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, after going to the bathroom; before eating or preparing food ; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Helpful How To Flyers:
Hand Sanitizing Flyer | Spanish: Usar Desinfectante de Manos
Hand Washing Flyer | Spanish: Lavarse las Manos
Social Distancing Flyer
- What should I do if I may have been exposed to or think I am sick with COVID-19?
If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as a cough or difficulty breathing, or if you have been in close contact with a person sick with COVID-19, contact your doctor before you attempt to see anyone in person. You can tell your health care provider your symptoms and he or she can give you instructions on how to get your medical needs addressed while minimizing the risk of exposure to yourself and others.
There currently is no cure for this virus, so managing mild symptoms at home may be your best option to prevent further spread of the disease. Of course, should you have life-threatening symptoms such as trouble breathing, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. If possible, put on a face mask before seeking emergency medical care.
- Could my prescription be impacted? Can I buy more than my usual refill limit to get them filled early?
BlueChoice is closely monitoring any potential medication access issues to make sure our members get the medications they need in a timely manner.
BlueChoice members who have mail-order pharmacy benefits are encouraged to consider using them. For members who have concerns about running out of medications we recommend they first contact their doctor or pharmacist. Members can call the customer service number on the back of their ID cards for benefit-related questions.
- Are the coronavirus test and treatment covered under my insurance?
If you have COVID-19 symptoms or if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus, your doctor can order a medically necessary test at no cost to our members.
Any coronavirus testing not ordered by your doctor or that is not medically necessary will not be covered under your insurance. Public health and employment return to work testing are not considered medically necessary and will not be covered.
BlueChoice has waived all out-of-pocket costs for in-network COVID-19 medical treatment for members.
- Are there any prior authorizations required for COVID-19 treatment?
BlueChoice has waived prior authorization for diagnostic tests and related services for members diagnosed with COVID-19. These tests and services must follow CDC guidelines.