Information on COVID-19
Updated March 22, 2020:
MVP Health Care® continues to monitor the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation carefully. We are taking proactive measures to protect the health and safety of MVP members, employees, and providers. We are working in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We’re also working with both New York and Vermont state departments overseeing the needs of the communities we serve.
Are You At Risk?
Screening Questions for COVID-19 (coronavirus)
Do you have the following symptoms:
- Fever or feel feverish
- Shortness of breath
If you answered yes:
- 1. Have you been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19?
- 2. Have you recently traveled from an area with ongoing community spread of COVID-19?
- 3. Have you tested negative for other respiratory diseases?
If you answered yes, you may be at risk for COVID-19. The current public health guidance is for you to isolate at home, avoid public places, and call your doctor to discuss your symptoms and next steps. You may also use MVP’s myERnowSM virtual emergency room telehealth service to connect with a team of experts, 24/7, at no cost.
You may be asked to be seen for medical evaluation, or you might be asked to stay home and monitor yourself for symptoms. If you do have symptoms and are told by the doctor’s office to go to a facility, call that facility first and wear a mask before going into the doctor’s office or clinical facility. Again, if you are concerned that you may be experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, using MVP’s new myERnow service provides the expert advice you need, from the comfort and safety of your home.
There is no cost for COVID-19 testing or associated office visits. These are covered with no copay or cost-share* to MVP members.
If you answered no to all the questions above, but are still feeling sick or need medical attention, you are likely at low risk for COVID-19. Consider myVisitNow® as a good alternative for your health visit needs. This is available to MVP members.
Learn more about COVID-19
The CDC believes symptoms appear in as few as two (2) days or as long as 14 days after direct exposure to the virus. A health care provider can make the determination if your symptoms are consistent with COVID-19.
Symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
There are currently no vaccines available to protect against COVID-19. To reduce your risk of infection:
- Practice social distancing – which means to stay out of places where many people gather, avoiding gatherings of 10 people or more, and maintaining a distance of six feet away from other people whenever possible to limit the ability of the virus to spread.
- 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.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Follow the CDC’s recommendation for using a facemask:
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Free/No Cost Access to COVID-19 Testing
The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) and Vermont Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) require private health insurers in New York and Vermont to make COVID-19 testing free for patients by waiving any out-of-pocket costs. This means COVID-19 screening and testing is free for all MVP members. You will not be responsible for any co-payments, other cost-share, or fees associated with:
- An emergency room visit or visit to an in-network health care provider for the purpose of getting tested for COVID-19
- Drive-thru specimen collection sites
- Telemedicine services, like MVP’s myERnow virtual emergency room and myVisitNow online doctor visits
We continue to monitor additional changes at the state and federal government levels to understand and assess implications for MVP and its members.
The FDA has also seen unauthorized fraudulent test kits for COVID-19 being sold online. The FDA has not authorized any test that is available to purchase for testing yourself at home for COVID-19. Currently, the only way to be tested for COVID-19 is to talk to your health care provider.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus, practice social distancing, and follow good hygiene habits.
Several therapeutics (treatments) are currently in clinical trials in China and more than 20 vaccines are in development for COVID-19.
There are reports of companies selling unproven and illegally marketed products that make false claims, such as being effective against the coronavirus. The use of these unapproved, unproven, treatments could in themselves cause harm. They could also cause people to delay or discontinue appropriate medical treatment, which could also lead to serious harm.
The FDA advises consumers to be cautious of websites and stores selling products that claim to prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19. There are no FDA-approved products to prevent COVID-19. Products marketed for veterinary use, or “for research use only,” or otherwise “not for human consumption”, have not been evaluated for safety and should never be used by humans.
In contrast, antivirals and vaccines are available for influenza (flu). While the influenza vaccine is not effective against COVID-19, it is highly recommended to get vaccinated each year to prevent influenza infection.
Early Refill on Supplies of Maintenance Prescription Medications
MVP members can obtain an early refill on a 30-day supply of maintenance medications at an in-network pharmacy. Medicaid members who are quarantined or whose provider suggests self-quarantine may contact CVS to request a 90-day supply of maintenance medications during the COVID-19 crisis. MVP Medicare members may request a 90-day supply of medications at an in-network pharmacy. Speak to your pharmacist and ask them to enter the applicable emergency supply override code into their dispensing systems to trigger the early refill override.
Controlled substances and specialty medications will be exempt from this early refill override process. Please remember that most specialty medications may be obtained from the CVS Specialty Pharmacy, which already mails prescriptions to homes.
Consider MVP’s Mail Order Pharmacy
For people isolating at home, you may be able to take advantage of MVP’s mail order pharmacy benefits.
If your coverage allows, medications that are taken on a regular basis, including contraceptives, thyroid medications, cholesterol and blood pressure medications, and many more, are available by mail order. CVS Caremark® is MVP’s contracted Pharmacy Benefit Manager and our mail order pharmacy vendor.
Using the mail order pharmacy lets you buy MVP-approved maintenance drugs in larger quantities and, at the same time, save trips to the pharmacy because prescriptions are delivered right to your door. Your co-pay for a 90-day supply of medication will generally be less than going to a retail pharmacy for the same amount of medication. You can refer to the MVP Formulary to identify which medications are available through your mail order benefit.
To start using mail-order services, sign in to your online member account and select Pharmacy to connect to the CVS Caremark website. Then select Prescriptions and Start Mail Services. You can also call the MVP Customer Care Center at the phone number listed on the back of your MVP Member ID card or talk to your pharmacist to see if you have the benefit.
Important Public Resources
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- New York State Department of Health
- Vermont Department of Health
- New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH)
myVisitNow from MVP Health Care is powered by American Well. Regulatory restrictions may apply.