Answers to frequently asked questions on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs for members

There are many questions about seeking care for coronavirus (COVID-19), your benefits as a ConnectiCare member, and more. Find many of the answers here.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms & testing

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I have flu-like symptoms; what should I do? How do I know if I need to get tested?

Call your primary care provider (PCP) and describe your symptoms. Unless it’s an emergency, stay home. Do not go to public places and avoid public transportation. Your PCP will evaluate your symptoms and give you directions on what to do next. If your PCP thinks you should be tested, he or she will arrange for it and direct you where to go.

Times like these point out the importance of having a PCP. If you don’t, make it a priority to find one and establish your relationship. Start your search using “Find a Doctor” on connecticare.com

As always, if you are experiencing severe symptoms, call 911 or go to your local emergency department. Severe symptoms include very high or very low body temperature, shortness of breath, confusion, or feeling like you may pass out. If you decide to go to the emergency department, try to call ahead and let them know you are coming. This will let them safely prepare for your arrival. Additional information is available from the CDC.

What if I want to get tested even though I don’t have any flu-like symptoms?

There’s a lot in the news about testing and its importance in the future in restoring activities like schools and businesses. At this time, however, you still need an order for testing from a medical professional who is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state department of health.

If you are concerned about anything associated with the coronavirus, it’s important to remember the steps you can take to stay safe. For tips to protect you and your family, visit our dedicated coronavirus webpage, which is frequently updated.

If I do need to get tested, how much does the coronavirus test cost?

Your test and visit to diagnose COVID-19 (whether in-person or a virtual telehealth visit) will be covered by your plan. There will be no cost-sharing, including copays, coinsurance, or deductibles. Virtual visits include video and/or phone visits. This policy is in effect during the public emergency.

What if I need to visit the doctor again to be tested for and diagnosed with COVID-19. Will my visit and test be covered?

We know that you may need to see your doctor again to be diagnosed with COVID-19. If you need to see your doctor about COVID-19 and be tested again, your visit and test will be covered by your plan. This includes any doctors outside of our network. There will be no cost-sharing, including copays, coinsurance, or deductibles. This policy is in effect during the public emergency.

Are there any tests that I can purchase to test myself at home for COVID-19?

No, not at this time. You may have read that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency clearance to one in-home test, produced by LabCorp. The first tests are to be made available to health care and emergency workers who may have been exposed to the virus or have symptoms.  And a doctor must still evaluate a patient’s symptoms and decide if the patient should be tested. Please be aware that there are unauthorized fraudulent COVID-19 tests for sale.

UPDATED – If I have access to an antibody test, will my visit and test be covered?

If your doctor or licensed health care professional sends you to get your antibodies checked for COVID-19 because it is clinically indicated, your visit and FDA-authorized test will be covered. There will be no cost-sharing, including copays, coinsurance, or deductibles. Given the high demand for testing and antibody testing reliability, we encourage our members to use Quest Diagnostics for their testing.  Quest is ConnectiCare’s in-network, preferred lab and testing provider. This policy is subject to change as we learn more about antibody testing during this rapidly evolving situation.

ConnectiCare coverage

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What if I don’t want to go to a doctor’s office? Is my virtual visit covered?

We have safe and convenient options for members.

Members can, temporarily, visit their own in-network doctors using telehealth for covered medical and mental health services. There are no copays, deductibles, or coinsurance. Visits are no-cost for any illness or injury – not just COVID-19 – through June 30, 2020. Your doctor’s office can tell you if it’s able to offer you telehealth.

Learn more about covered medical and mental health services on our dedicated coronavirus webpage, which is frequently updated.

We also partner with MDLIVE® (for many group and individual plans, including plans sold through Access Health CT) and Teladoc® (for most Medicare Advantage plans) for virtual visits. Visit MDLIVE online or by calling 1-888-995-0217 (TTY: 1-800-770- 5531). Visit Teladoc online or by calling at 1-800-835-2362.

ConnectiCare Medicare members with Choice Dual (HMO D-SNP) plans can call the 24-hour Nurseline at 1-877-489-0963 (TTY: 711).

NOTE: MDLIVE and Teladoc doctors cannot order lab —  diagnostic, or antibody tests — for COVID-19.

If I use telehealth services for something other than COVID-19 testing and initial diagnosis, will the visit be covered?

Yes. If you visit an in-network doctor using telehealth for something not related to COVID-19, the visit will be covered at no cost to you. There will be no copays, coinsurance, or deductibles. Virtual visits include video and/or phone visits and they must be for a service covered by your plan. These no-cost telemedicine/telehealth visits will continue through June 30, 2020.

If you use an out-of-network telehealth service or have a virtual visit with an out-of-network doctor – for whatever reason – this may NOT be covered by your plan or may be covered under your out of network level of benefits if your plan has them. Unless a plan exception applies, all normal coverage restrictions and cost-sharing charges will apply for care or treatment from out of network providers.

What if I need lab services not related to COVID-19?

Quest Diagnostics’ labs are offering a VIP hour during the first hour of each day to provide vulnerable patients access to non-COVID-19-related lab services. This special hour is for patients 60 years of age and older or those who have conditions that put them at greater risk for COVID-19. You can schedule an appointment or just walk in. To identify a nearby center and the time it opens, please go to: QuestDiagnostics.com/Appointment

Pharmacy

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Can I use my health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA) to pay for over-the-counter medicines?

Yes, the recent CARES Act passed by Congress repealed the prohibition on using health account dollars to pay or reimburse yourself for over-the-counter medicines, such as pain relievers, cold and flu medicines, and more.  And the act added menstrual supplies to the list of items that can be reimbursed from a tax-qualified health account. This was effective Jan. 1, 2020. Check your account administrator’s website (for many ConnectiCare members, that’s HealthEquity) for more information.

Can I get any of my prescriptions delivered during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak?

Yes. To reduce face-to-face contact during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Express Scripts has partnered with CVS and Walgreens to provide, for a limited time, free home delivery of prescriptions covered by ConnectiCare. Delivery is 1-2 days. Same-day delivery is not available.

All CVS and Walgreens retail locations have been notified. Express Scripts will continue to evaluate conditions to decide how long this program will last.

To request delivery of your prescription(s):

CVS: You can request delivery in the following ways:

  • Mobile web: This is accessible through the Order Ready Text message when a prescription is ready for pickup. Simply click the link and request delivery (you are required to enroll in text messages from CVS).
  • CVS mobile app: Like mobile web, but no text messaging is required.
  • Call your local pharmacy: With this option, you may experience longer-than-average wait times; please be patient.

Walgreens: You must be enrolled in Walgreens Express™ delivery program and should opt in to receive text messages. When the prescription is ready for pickup, you will receive a text, which will offer you the delivery option. Learn more.

For information on long-term medicines (maintenance drugs), see our next FAQ on getting a larger supply of prescriptions during the outbreak.

Some employer group plans require the use of Walgreens or Express Scripts for prescriptions. Please check your plan’s benefit summary.

Can I get a larger supply of my prescriptions in case I need to stay home?

ConnectiCare covers 90-day supplies of long-term medications (or maintenance drugs) through Express Scripts mail order. Members can get their medications delivered right to their home if they’re quarantined or concerned about visiting pharmacies during the outbreak. Express Scripts also gives members access to pharmacists 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in case they have questions about their medications.

Sign up online – Visit express-scripts.com and sign in. If you don’t have an account, you can create one in just a few minutes. Have your ConnectiCare member identification (ID) card handy. After you sign in, click “Home” in the Express Scripts window and you will see a list of available prescription refills. Select the items you want to order and follow the instructions to complete your request.

By phone – To start using Express Scripts by phone, have your prescription number ready and call:

  • Medicare – 877-866-5828
  • All other plans – 877-866-5798

Mobile app – Download the app on your mobile device from the App Store, Google Play, or Amazon apps.

By fax: Have your doctor call 888.327.9791 for faxing instructions. (Faxes can only be accepted from a doctor’s office.)

What if I need an early refill of my prescription from my in-network pharmacy?

If you want an early refill for your prescription due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it will help to tell your pharmacist to enter the Submission Clarification Code (SCC) 13. By entering SCC 13, the pharmacist is overriding your standard prescription fill in their system. It will make the process go smoother. Some pharmacies are not as familiar with this new code; that’s why we are telling you about it. If your early refill is rejected even after entering this code, please ask your pharmacist to contact the Express Scripts Pharmacy Help Desk at 1-800-922-1557.

Additional questions

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Should I wear a mask?

Both Connecticut and Massachusetts currently require people to wear a mask or cloth face covering over their nose and mouth when out in public and unable to maintain a safe distance (at least six feet). There are some exceptions for age and health restrictions. But people who can wear a face covering should do so.

A face covering should fit snuggly on your face, be held by ties or ear loops, let you breathe comfortably, and be washable or disposable. A cloth face covering with multiple layers of fabric will help prevent an infected person without symptoms from spreading the disease. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N95 masks. Those are needed by health care workers and first responders.

After each use, carefully remove the mask and wash your hands. You can clean a cloth mask in your washing machine for the next time you need it. Visit the CDC webpage for some ideas on homemade masks. Remember to continue practicing social distancing and washing your hands often to prevent catching or spreading COVID-19.

I have a Passage plan. Do I still need to get my PCP’s referrals to see a specialist?

We are allowing Passage plan members to see specialists without first getting a Passage PCP’s referral through June 30, 2020. This applies to members of group plans and individual plans, those purchased through Access Health CT and SOLO plans. Referrals are not required for members of Medicare Advantage Passage Plan 1 (HMO).

Should I get a flu shot?

The annual flu vaccine does not protect against the coronavirus. We do encourage members to always get their annual flu vaccine because it is the single best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family from various strains of the flu.

I have an elective surgery or medical procedure surgery scheduled. Should I go?

Call your doctor or surgeon to see if it is still scheduled. Some hospitals and facilities are holding off on performing elective surgeries and procedures. It is best for you to check directly with the doctor who is going to perform your surgery or procedure.

Where can I go for the latest information surrounding the coronavirus?

We are monitoring the situation and will be updating our dedicated coronavirus webpage with the latest information you need to know. You can also find information on the CDC website.

More information is available using the links below: