Medicare Member Support
Just because things are opening back up, it doesn’t mean life is back to normal. It’s OK to go at your own pace and do what feels right to you as you ease into new routines. However, if COVID-19 concerns have put your care needs on hold, now’s the time to start prioritizing your health.
Coverage for COVID-19 testing and treatment
Consult with your doctor over the phone so they can determine next best steps if you’re experiencing mild to severe cough or difficulty breathing, or if you have a combination of at least two of the following: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.
The COVID-19 test is $0 for all members. Three COVID-19 vaccines are authorized or approved for use in the United States to help protect people from COVID-19. Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna are COVID-19 mRNA vaccines and are preferred. The CDC advises that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may be considered in some situations. These are available at no cost to you. Members are responsible for their normal cost share for all covered services for the treatment of COVID-19.
Where to Get a COVID-19 Test
Keeping yourself and others safe is the top priority during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re concerned that you may have COVID-19, there are several options to consider for getting tested.
Those with Medicare Part B, including those enrolled in a Florida Blue Medicare Advantage plan, have access to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 tests at no additional cost. Medicare beneficiaries can get up to eight tests per calendar month per beneficiary from participating pharmacies and health care providers through the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
A list of participating pharmacies is available here. For more information, please refer to this Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Fact Sheet as well as these Frequently Asked Questions.
In addition to this federal initiative, there are other options for you to get a COVID-19 test, including:
- Your primary care doctor (they can help direct you to a testing site if they’re unable to provide a test)
- Urgent Care Centers
- Contact the nearest health center or health department to find availability and locations for COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. Medicare members can visit findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/ to find the nearest location.
- Contact local community health centers and Medicare-certified health clinics for distribution at no cost to patients and community members. A list of community-based testing sites can be found here.
- Florida Blue Medicare offers coverage of the approved OTC home testing kits directly from the following suppliers:
- If you are a member of the BlueMedicare Complete DSNP plan and reside in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties, you can order tests from Solutran at healthybenefitsplus.com/BlueMCOTC, which is the BlueMedicare member entry site for a Walmart.com account.
- All Florida Blue Medicare members and BlueMedicare Complete DSNP members living outside Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties can order tests from NationsOTC. Tests can be ordered at nationsotc.com/FloridaBlueMedicare or by calling 1-877-270-4569 (TTY: 711).
- GuideWell Emergency Doctors, an in-network provider under many Florida Blue plans, with locations in Greater Orlando (Winter Park, Orlando, Ocoee and Kissimmee) and Tampa Bay (West Tampa, University Area, North Tampa, Palm Harbor, Largo and St. Petersburg) is available to offer testing.
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 they arrive. 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. Hospital ERs are focused on treating those who are seriously ill and other emergencies. In a true emergency, always go to the nearest ER.
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 earlier this year issued updated guidance and recommendations to maximize the benefits of COVID-19 testing in our state.
Helping you get the care you need
Get in touch with your doctor for the care you need, for both routine checkups or health concerns. Now is the time to contact them and make a plan together, centered on your continued care. It’s very important and nothing should stop you from getting the care you need.
- If COVID-19 concerns have put your care needs on hold, now’s the time to start prioritizing your health. This is especially critical if you or a family member have ongoing health conditions or have put off a medical procedure.
- Our Florida Blue doctors and health care providers have continued to provide care during COVID-19 by doing virtual visits with our members. A lot of people have now tried virtual visits for the first time and liked the experience. You can still take advantage of virtual visits (same cost share as a regular office visit). Talk to your doctor about it.
- And for non-emergency health concerns when your doctor isn’t available, you can continue to use Teladoc for 24/7 virtual care via phone, video or mobile app at your normal member cost share.
Call your doctor’s office first before you go to see them, so you know the precautions they’re asking their patients to follow.
- Is your doctor’s office open and do they have limited hours?
- Do you need to call when you get there? Be sure to wear your cloth face mask to your doctor’s visit.
Feeling worried? Help is just a phone call away.
Our Florida Blue Center nurses, community specialists and service specialists are just a phone call away. Our team can still answer questions about COVID-19 or testing site locations, community resources, navigating the health care system, plus connect you to valuable community services and solutions right in your neighborhood to help fill gaps, whether you’re a member or not, with finding food, utility and rent assistance, and many other types of relief programs. Call us if we can help: 1-877-352-5830, TTY 711, or click here to learn more.
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, please 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 1-877-352-5832. Additionally, here are several websites you can use to find the latest details:
Additionally, here are several websites you can use to find the latest details:
- Florida Department of Health updates or call their 24/7 COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updates or email them at COVIDemail@example.com
- Travel restrictions
Florida Blue and Florida Blue Medicare are Independent Licensees of the BlueCross and Blue Shield Association. We comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or gender. ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-800-352-2583 (TTY: 1-877-955-8773). ATANSYON: Si w pale Kreyòl Ayisyen, gen sèvis èd pou lang ki disponib gratis pou ou. Rele 1-800-352-2583 (TTY: 1-800-955-8770).
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