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Coronavirus Updates

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new disease that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person to person. People of all ages can be infected. Older adults and people with pre-existing medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease may be more likely to become severely ill if infected. Many details about this disease are still unknown, such as treatment options, how the virus works, and the total impact of the illness. 

COVID-19 Resources

Please visit our webpages for information on COVID-19 specific services and relief programs, including resources in your area. You can also find tips to help you and your family stay healthy, stay connected and create positive new habits during this time.

COVID-19 Vaccine: What You Need to Know

Currently, there are three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the United States. The COVID-19 vaccine helps your body develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without getting the illness. Some COVID-19 vaccines will have two doses a few weeks in between each shot. You will get a COVID-19 Vaccination Reminder Card that will help you keep track of which vaccine you receive and when to get a second dose, if needed. If you receive a vaccine that requires two doses, it is important to get both doses Getting vaccinated will give you the best chance of protecting yourself and loved ones from getting COVID-19 in the future.

There is a limited supply of vaccines, but more vaccines coming each week. People who live in Texas and qualify for Phase 1A and 1B can get the vaccine now. Phase 1A and 1B includes:

  • Healthcare staff.
  • People 65 years of age and older.
  • People 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, such as but not limited to:
    • Cancer
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
    • Heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
    • Solid organ transplantation
    • Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher
    • Pregnancy
    • Sickle cell disease
    • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Additional phases are being developed by federal and state governments.

You must make an appointment or register to receive the vaccine. There are three ways to find out how to get the vaccine:

  • If you are in Phase 1A or 1B and eligible to receive the vaccine, check the COVID‑19 Vaccination Hub Providers page to find a hub near you and learn how to register.
  • If you are in Phase 1A or 1B and eligible to receive the vaccine, check the websites of vaccine providers listed on the Texas COVID‑19 Vaccine Availability map to see if they have enough vaccine supply at this time.
  • Call your doctor with any questions and ask when you can make an appointment with them or at your local pharmacy.

Please keep these tips in mind when trying to find out how to get the vaccine:

  • Do not show up at a hospital or clinic looking for vaccine.
  • Instead, check their website for information about vaccine availability.
  • Call only if the website doesn’t answer your questions.

If you are not in Phase 1A or 1B, do not worry. The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as enough vaccines are available.

 

The vaccine is being administered to different populations in a tiered approach. When you are able to get the vaccine, call your doctor with any questions and ask when you can make an appointment with them or at your local pharmacy. You can also visit vaccinefinder.org or https://getthevaccine.dshs.texas.gov/s/ to find out where to get your vaccine.

Depending on the specific vaccine you get, a second shot 3-4 weeks after your first shot is needed. While you have to get the second dose of the same version of the vaccine, you do not need to go back to the same location for your second dose. For example, if you go to your local pharmacy for dose one and the doctor for dose two, that is fine. It is very important you get both doses in order for it to be fully effective and protect you from coronavirus, so make sure to remain socially distant and continue to wear a mask, especially in between doses.

A COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card is a small and handy paper card that will be given to you when you receive your first COVID-19 vaccine. This will help you keep track of when you received your first dose and when you are supposed to get your second dose, if applicable. It’s an easy way to help you keep track of your vaccines. 

If you lose your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card call the administering facility/provider you received your first dose from to ask about your vaccine information and verify your second appointment/location. 

The provider should have scheduled a second appointment with you at the same facility when you received the first dose. However, you can receive your second dose from another provider/facility and you should present your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.

While it is not a requirement, getting your COVID vaccine will give you the best chance of protecting yourself and your loved ones from getting COVID in the future.

The safety of the COVID-19 vaccine is a top priority. The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully reviews all safety data from clinical trials and authorizes emergency vaccine use only when the expected benefits outweigh potential risks.

  • COVID-19 vaccines were tested in large clinical trials to make sure they meet safety standards.
  • Even though no safety issues were found, the CDC and other federal partners will continue to monitor the COVID-19 vaccines.
  • The U.S. vaccine safety system is already strong, and new safety systems have been added for COVID-19 vaccines.

Learn how federal partners are working together to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.

According to the CDC, people who are pregnant and part of a group to receive the COVID-19 vaccine may choose to be vaccinated. If you have questions about getting the vaccine, it is recommended to discuss with your doctor to make an informed decision.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines and pregnancy, visit the Vaccination Considerations for People who are Pregnant or Breastfeeding section of the CDC website.

Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is recommended for people ages 16 and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are currently recommended for those ages 18 and older.

Even if you have already had COVID-19, you should still get the vaccine. It may be possible to be infected more than once so getting the vaccine is a safe choice.

Some common side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine include:

  • Pain and/or swelling on the arm where you got the shot
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Headache

You may run a fever after you get the vaccine. This is normal as your body builds immunity and fights off future COVID-19 exposures. You may feel sick after getting vaccinated. You could develop a fever, headache or body aches. This is your body reacting to the vaccine, which is a normal response. It is important to know that it is impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The vaccines currently in use and others being developed do not contain a live virus.

In most cases, these side effects go away in a few days. If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and think you might be having a severe allergic reaction, call 911.

No. COVID-19 vaccines cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

There is not definitive evidence that the vaccine can prevent asymptomatic infection, or prevent spreading COVID-19 if you are asymptomatic. Even with a vaccine, there is a possibility that you could become infected, but not have symptoms. This could get loved ones around you sick.

It will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic. It will take time for your body to build immunity after the vaccine.  Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19. 

The CDC announced on March 8 that fully vaccinated Americans can discontinue masking and social distancing with other fully vaccinated people indoors in small groups. Or, visiting with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors.

Fully vaccinated is considered two weeks past final dose, meaning the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer mRNA vaccine, or, two weeks past the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

It is important to continue to social distance, wear a mask, and continue proper handwashing when visiting unvaccinated people from multiple households. Or, when visiting unvaccinated people at increased risk for severe COVID-19.

It is also important to wear a mask and practice social distancing when in public places, such as the gym or a restaurant, as the chance of transmission is higher with multiple non-vaccinated persons.

If you are fully vaccinated and have a known exposure to someone with COVID-19, the CDC says that you may refrain from quarantine and testing if you are asymptomatic. It is recommended to continue to monitor for symptoms for 14 days.

The COVID-19 vaccine is available at no cost to all Texans. Just make sure you schedule an appointment to receive both doses (when applicable) within the designated amount of time. The COVID-19 vaccine will be at no cost to you.

Yes. Transportation services may be available. Contact Member Services for more information. You may also be able to receive transportation by contacting United Way-211 to access local community resources for transportation, which may include the Lyft Vaccine Alliance Program. 

You do not need to get a prior authorization for your vaccine.

Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that is caused by a new virus called a coronavirus, which has become a public health emergency. The number of cases continue to increase nationally and globally. COVID-19 can be contagious before a person begins showing symptoms. The symptoms of coronavirus include mild to severe respiratory symptoms. COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

 

The symptoms of coronavirus include mild to severe respiratory symptoms. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, and lower respiratory illness. COVID-19 can be contagious before a person begins showing symptoms.

Influenza (the flu), a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza viruses (Type A and Type B), has high activity in the United States in the Fall/Winter months. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine annually. Additionally, the common cold can have similar signs and symptoms (see chart below).

DSHS: COVID-19 Symptoms vs. Flu and Cold (JPEG)

If you have been exposed or begin showing symptoms of the virus or flu, contact your healthcare provider or health department immediately.

If you are unsure if you have been exposed to or at-risk of being infected with COVID-19 (coronavirus), scheduling a virtual care visit with a provider is a good option for non-urgent care to limit potential exposure in a physician’s office or other healthcare facility. Due to a high demand for virtual health visits at this time, please anticipate that there may be longer than usual wait times.

You may also reference the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for how to protect yourself and what to do if you are sick.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

What You Can Do

You can keep yourself and others healthy with simple actions that help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. There are steps you can take to prevent the spread of coronavirus and stay healthy.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizing rub (must contain at least 60 percent alcohol).
  • Wear a face covering/mask when in public and/or around others who do not live in your home.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze by coughing/sneezing into your elbow.
  • Promptly dispose of tissues in a wastebasket after use.
  • Clean public surfaces thoroughly.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Get a flu vaccine annually.

Worry and anxiety can rise about the spread of COVID-19. Concern for friends and family who live in places where COVID-19 is spreading or the progression of the disease is natural.

  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate.
  • Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships and a sense of hope and positive thinking.
  • Share the facts about COVID-19 and the actual risk to others. People who have returned from areas of ongoing spread more than 14 days ago and do not have symptoms of COVID-19 do not put others at risk.
  • For more information, see the CDC’s suggestions for mental health and coping during COVID-19

Telehealth Services

Superior members can get medical advice, a diagnosis or a prescription by video or phone.

Superior members can get medical advice, a diagnosis or a prescription by video or phone. Receive 24/7 telehealth access to doctors on-demand by phone or video for non-emergency medical issues by calling Teladoc at 1-800-835-2362. Telehealth services are also available at GuruMD.net. Ambetter members who reside in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis or Williamson Counties can also use eMD Access.

For any questions or help scheduling a telehealth visit, contact Member Services from 8:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday:

  • STAR or CHIP:                       1-800-783-5386
  • STAR Kids:                             1-844-590-4883
  • STAR Health (Foster Care):   1-866-912-6283
  • STAR+PLUS:                          1-877-277-9772
  • TTY (Relay Texas):                 1-800-735-2989

You do not have to leave your home to visit with a doctor. There are no co-pays or cost sharing for telehealth visits and COVID-19 testing.

Tests and Screenings

We all have a role to play in protecting our communities and families from the spread of coronavirus. It is similar to other communicable viruses. If you have been exposed or begin showing symptoms of the coronavirus or flu, contact your healthcare provider or health department immediately.

Medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment and the associated physician’s visit will be covered when ordered, referred and/or performed in the following In-Network locations:

  • Physician’s/Practitioner’s Office
  • Independent Laboratory/Diagnostic Facility   
  • Urgent Care Facility
  • Emergency Department Facility

Are you unsure if you have been exposed to or at-risk of being infected with COVID-19? Schedule a virtual care visit with a provider. It is a good option for non-urgent care to limit potential exposure in a physician’s office or other healthcare facility. 

Yes. When medically necessary diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment is ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider, we will cover the cost of medically necessary COVID-19 tests, screenings, associated physician’s visit(s) and/or treatment for most members. If applicable, your plan’s copayment, coinsurance and/or deductible cost-sharing will be waived for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment.

No. We will not require prior authorization, prior certification, prior notification and/or step therapy protocols for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services, and/or treatment when medically necessary services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider.

If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, you should take steps to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community. 

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. 

If you are recovering from COVID-19, you should be careful so you do not pass the infection on to others. Please find helpful tips for keeping yourself, your loved ones and your neighbors’ health. 

Read our COVID-19 Discharge Instructions (PDF).

Coverage and Costs

Superior is committed to the health of our members. We will cover medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing and/or medical screening services at no charge to you.

Yes. When medically necessary diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment is ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider, we will cover the cost of medically necessary COVID-19 tests, screenings, associated physician’s visit(s) and/or treatment for most members. If applicable, your plan’s copayment, coinsurance and/or deductible cost-sharing will be waived for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment.

No. We will cover medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment at no charge to you, when such services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider. If applicable, your plan’s copayment, coinsurance and/or deductible cost-sharing will be waived for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing, medical screening services and/or treatment, along with the associated physician’s visit.

Any medically necessary treatment related to COVID-19 would be considered a covered benefit. We are committed to ensuring access to COVID-19 treatment services in accordance with federal and state law.

Yes, members will be able to refill prescriptions prior to the refill date.

Additional Information

For COVID-19 health-related resources from Superior HealthPlan and other organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) please visit our COVID-19 Member Resources webpage. You will also find information on travel advisories and specific services in your area, such as unemployment, food, and housing assistance. Find tips on how you can create positive new habits and keep your family healthy and grounded.

How to Get Help

  • Call Superior HealthPlan’s COVID-19 Informational Hotline at 1-877-259-1144.
  • Call the 24-hour nurse advice line or Member Services at the number on the back of your Superior member ID card to get answers to health questions.
  • Receive 24/7 telehealth access to doctors on-demand by phone or video for non-emergency medical issues by calling Teladoc at 1-800-835-2362, visiting Teladoc.com/Superior, or using GuruMD.net. Ambetter members who reside in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis or Williamson Counties can also use eMD Access.
  • Call the Texas Health and Human Services COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, toll-free at 1-833-986-1919. This line offers support for all Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.