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Updated May 1, 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.

Feeling Sick?

If you think you may be getting sick, use a symptom checker and get more information to help guide your health care decisions.

Staying Healthy

  • 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

  • Feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone. Adjusting to new routines and the endless news cycle can take a toll. Take steps to manage stress

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:

The CDC, NIH, DHEC and WHO are independent organizations that provide health information you may find useful.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the new coronavirus disease (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 is the virus passed from one person to another?

Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. The virus is thought to spread from one person to another through respiratory droplets. These droplets are produced when someone with the illness coughs or sneezes. The droplets can be inhaled, land in the mouths or noses of people nearby and can persist for a short period of time on some surfaces. It generally takes close (fewer than 6 feet away) contact to become infected.

How dangerous is the 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 can I prevent the spread of coronavirus or other respiratory viruses?

There are things you can do to prevent the spread of illness. According to the CDC, you should:

  • 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. Studies show there is no added health benefit to using antibacterial soap compared to plain soap in a non-health care setting.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
    • Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • 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.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a face mask or cloth face covering when you are outside your home.

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.

Are the coronavirus test and treatment covered under my insurance?

BlueCross will work with providers, state health officials and the CDC to make sure COVID-19 testing will be covered at no cost to the patient. BlueCross will also waive all out-of-pocket costs related to in-network COVID-19 medical treatment for members, through June 1. 

Are there any prior authorizations required for COVID-19 treatment?

BlueCross will not require prior authorizations for treatment of COVID-19 related conditions. If a member is admitted into the hospital, the hospital will follow revised notification requirements.

Could my prescription be impacted? Can I buy more than my usual refill limit to get them filled early?

BlueCross is closely monitoring any potential medication access issues to make sure our members get the medications they need in a timely manner.

BlueCross 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.

More from BlueCross

BlueCross, BlueChoice waive cost-sharing for in-network treatmentApril 2, 2020

Telehealth options (COVID-19)March 31, 2020

What should I do if I think I'm sick?March 27, 2020

BlueCross expands benefits for virtual visitsMarch 23, 2020

BlueCross to cover member cost for COVID-19 test — March 11, 2020

Read more on our blog.

* This link leads to a third party site. That organization is solely responsible for the contents and privacy policy of its site.

Watch Now: Our chief medical officer, Dr. Matthew Bartels, shares answers to the most common questions and clinical guidance related to COVID-19.

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