Get the Health Information and Support You Need
Together, we’re getting through this
As we ease into our new routines, while still keeping an eye on COVID-19, we’re here with trusted health information and resources you need to help you and your family stay safe.
Stay Informed: COVID-19 vaccine availability
The vaccine is critical in helping us fight COVID-19. It’s equally as critical for our safe return to normal activities with family, friends and coworkers. Learn more about the vaccine and get answers to common questions.
Adjusting to our "new normal"
Top things to do:
- Wear a cloth face covering and continue social distancing if you're not fully vaccinated when you're in public or at work.
- Connect with your doctor through a virtual or in-person visit to get care you may have been putting off. Now is the time to schedule your visit and put the focus back on your health and well-being.
- Call our neighborhood nurses, community specialists and service specialists for questions about COVID-19, testing site locations, community resources, or ways to stay safe as you return to “normal.” Call us if we can help in any way: 1-877-352-5830, TTY 711.
- Talk to someone. It’s stressful. We all feel it. But you don’t have to go it alone. Speak with a specially trained behavioral health counselor about the stress you may be feeling during this time by calling the toll-free help line 24/7 at 1-833-848-1762.
Attend our webinars to learn about the COVID-19 vaccines and more
We’re hosting free live webinars with Dr. Kelli Tice, Dr. Elizabeth Malko, and Dr. Nick Dewan, if you’re interested in learning about the COVID-19 vaccines and more. Dr. Kelli is the senior medical director of medical affairs at Florida Blue, Dr. Malko is Florida Blue Medicare’s chief medical officer, and Dr. Dewan is the vice president of behavioral health for Florida Blue.
- COVID-19: On From Omicron – Listen to this discussion on how to get on with your life during the third year of the pandemic. Dr. Kelli Tice provides an update on the latest COVID-19 developments and reviews travel guidance as we look toward spring and vacation season. She also reviews safe behaviors to follow to continue protecting ourselves and our loved ones in "COVID-19: On From Omicron." Click Here to listen to the March 1 webinar.
- Dr. Kelli discusses what’s changed as we head into year three of the pandemic, providing an update on vaccine booster shots, the Omicron variant, and reviews guidelines for self-testing and quarantining in COVID-19: Is There a New Normal? Click here to listen to the Jan. 26 webinar.
It’s a good idea to call the testing location first to make an appointment (if necessary) so you have a guaranteed test waiting when you arrive. You may need to contact several locations due to the current high demand for testing. You can also check to see if there’s a cost.
If it’s not an emergency, your best option is one of the choices above, rather than going to a hospital ER for a COVID-19 test. Many hospitals are overwhelmed with treating those who are seriously ill due to COVID-19 and other emergencies. In a true emergency, always go to the nearest ER.
The Federal government has launched a website where you can order four free at-home tests that will be delivered to your home. For more information and to order your free at-home tests, visit COVIDTests.gov.
Your local pharmacy may also have certain FDA-approved tests available that you take and read the results at home, with no lab or doctor involved. If you are one of our members, these at-home tests are covered under your pharmacy benefit* when you use our preferred pharmacy network (For your prescription medications, use your regular pharmacy network). We will cover FDA-authorized over-the-counter diagnostic at-home tests purchased on or after Jan. 15, 2022, up to 8 tests every 30 days per person on your health plan (most tests come in kits of two). Note: This coverage does not apply to Medicare members or short-term plans. Also, at-home tests are not covered for employer-required testing.
Your pharmacy should be able to bill your insurance company. If they aren’t able to do that, just save your receipt and UPC code and submit them for reimbursement using this form. Details to come on using our Prime home delivery for mail order at-home tests.
What if I go to a pharmacy not on the list? If you purchase a test from a pharmacy or other business who is not on the list or purchase online, you can submit a claim for reimbursement and we’ll cover up to $12 of your cost per test. Use this form to submit your reimbursement and include your receipt and UPC from the test.
Should I Get Tested?
Testing is most important if you have been exposed to COVID-19 and have symptoms or you are older and/or have certain medical conditions, like diabetes, that can put you at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
The Florida Department of Health recently issued updated guidance and recommendations to maximize the benefits of COVID-19 testing in our state.
*If you have pharmacy coverage through your employer with someone other than Prime Therapeutics, check with them to see how at-home tests are covered.
Stop the spread
The best way to protect yourself is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Here are some prevention tips:
- Wear a face mask where it's difficult to maintain social distancing (like a grocery store, pharmacy or at work). Cloth masks can stop more than 90% of the droplets that transmit the virus.
- Practice social distancing when possible. Further than six feet away is recommended. Watch Dr. Kelli Tice, Florida Blue’s senior director of medical affairs, speak about social distancing.
- The World Health Organization has recommended avoiding crowded places with many people nearby and confined places with poor ventilation. If you do decide to gather with others, studies suggest that it's safer to do so wearing a mask and staying outdoors.
- If you must go out, try to go at off-hours and not linger. And try to only make one stop while you're out, instead of a series of errands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, before eating or preparing food and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Also, wash them after you touch things in public (elevator buttons, doorknobs, etc.). See Dr. Kelli Tice speak about hand washing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick and stay home when you are sick. Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Follow government travel restrictions.
What is my risk?
Your risk is low if you’ve been vaccinated, practice social distancing and have stayed away from people who have tested positive for COVID-19. Your risk could be higher if you’ve recently traveled or have been around large groups of people. Most people who get COVID-19 get better in a matter of days, often at home, according to health officials. Symptoms can be more serious for older adults and people with existing health conditions such as asthma, COPD or other lung diseases, heart disease, poorly controlled diabetes, severe obesity, or a weakened immune system because of conditions such as HIV or common treatments for cancer. Have an existing health condition? Watch Dr. Kelli Tice’ guidance on reducing your COVID risk.
What are the symptoms?
Call your doctor if you experience a sudden loss of smell or taste, muscle aches, headaches, or mental fog or confusion. New evidence shows that these COVID-19 symptoms can appear before more common respiratory symptoms and often result in more severe outcomes. The more common symptoms include a mild to severe cough or difficulty breathing, or you may have a combination of at least two of the following: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, and sore throat. These symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure. Call your doctor if you experience any of these so they can determine next best steps.
How is the virus spread?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus is mainly spread person-to-person, particularly when they are within six feet of each other. Primarily, this occurs when an infected person sneezes or coughs and their droplets land on a nearby person’s mouth or nose or are inhaled into their lungs. It can also spread when a person touches a surface where the virus is, then touches his or her own mouth, nose or eyes.
If you have questions about COVID-19, have symptoms and need help finding a provider to do a COVID-19 test, or you have any other concerns, call us at the number on the back of your member ID card so we can help. We also encourage you to talk with one of our local Florida Blue Center nurses at 1-877-352-5830.
Additionally, here are several websites you can use to find the latest details:
- Florida Department of Health / Florida Department of Health Vaccine Locator – FDOH also has a pre-registration site where you can schedule your COVID-19 vaccination.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updates or email them at COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org
- Travel restrictions