Medicare Advantage Plans

Protecting members and reducing the spread of COVID-19

CarePlus has announced a series of steps aimed at protecting our members and reducing the spread of the new coronavirus disease, or COVID-19.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), older adults and people with multiple chronic conditions are at higher risk for more symptomatic disease.

The situation involving the outbreak of COVID-19 is rapidly evolving, and we are implementing the following measures effective immediately:

  • Testing is fully covered. Testing for COVID-19 will be fully covered with no out-of-pocket costs for patients who meet CDC guidelines for testing at approved laboratory locations. This applies to members of CarePlus’ Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan (MAPD).
  • Telemedicine/Telehealth visits for all urgent care needs are fully covered. To help reduce the risk of infection and spread of disease, CarePlus is encouraging members to use telemedicine/telehealth (e.g., video chat) as a first line of defense for all urgent care needs. CarePlus will waive out-of-pocket costs for telemedicine/telehealth visits for urgent care needs for the next 90 days. This will apply to CarePlus’ Medicare Advantage Drug Plan (MAPD), and is limited to in-network providers delivering live video-conferencing. CarePlus is working closely with federal agencies to understand the impacts of both telemedicine and the coronavirus test.
  • Early prescription refills allowed for next 30 days – CarePlus is allowing early refills on prescription medicines so our members can prepare for extended supply needs—an extra 30 or 90-day supply as appropriate.

If you suspect that you have been exposed to coronavirus or are experiencing symptoms, please consult with your health care provider to seek testing recommendations and treatment.

What can you do?

Take precautions as you would with the normal seasonal flu. There is no vaccine for the virus that causes COVID-19 at this time, although, many scientists are working around the clock on this. The CDC recommends washing your hands often to stay healthy, especially during these key times when you are likely to get or spread germs:1,2

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

The following hand washing procedures will help reduce your risk of infection:3

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

If you have flu-like symptoms and suspect COVID-19, you can help protect others:4

  • Seek medical advice – Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office, urgent care, retail clinic, or emergency room. Tell them about your symptoms and any recent travel. If you have life-threatening symptoms, dial 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Stay home while you are sick
  • Avoid close contact with others
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces

If you are well, CDC does not recommend facemasks as protection against COVID-19 or other respiratory diseases. However, CDC recommends facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to reduce the spread of the disease to others.5

Everyone is encouraged to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly, avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home if you are ill, and cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Here is an easy-to-follow illustration(pdf opens in new window), of some steps you can take to help keep you safe and healthy.

More information on how to protect yourself is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(link opens in new window). The CDC offers specific advice for people who are at higher risk(link opens in new window), of serious illness, as well as a guide to steps everyone can take to help keep their home, workplace or school,(link opens in new window) safe.

Sources:

  1. Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2020, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html (link opens in new window)
  2. When and How To Wash Your Hands (2019, October 3). Retrieved March 6, 2020, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html (link opens in new window)
  3. When and How To Wash Your Hands (2019, October 3). Retrieved March 6, 2020, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html (link opens in new window)
  4. Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2020, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html (link opens in new window)
  5. Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2020, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html (link opens in new window)