Member Coronavirus Information
View information on COVID-19 specific services and relief programs, including resources in your area.
What you need to know about COVID-19
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.
Ohio has started distributing safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines statewide to those who choose to be vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine development process included steps comparable with those used to develop previous vaccines, such as the flu or measles vaccine. While vaccine supply is limited, Ohio will follow a phased approach to vaccine administration. In the first vaccination phase, priority will be given to individuals at the highest risk, as well as essential health care workers and personnel caring for COVID-19 patients.
For more information, please refer to the following resources:
- COVID-19 Vaccine: Slow the Spread and Save Lives (PDF)
- COVID-19 Vaccine: Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
- COVID-19 Vaccine Checklist (PDF)
Stay up-to-date on Ohio’s COVID-19 response and vaccine program at: coronavirus.ohio.gov or call Buckeye at 866-246-4358.
On Jan. 7, 2021, HHS Secretary Alex Azar renewed the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). This extends flexibilities and funding tied to the PHE to continue for another 90 days, effective Jan. 21, 2021.
With this renewal the various testing, screening, billing, and telehealth coverages that were implemented in response to the COVID-19 PHE will be extended to our members. This extension will continue until the PHE is either terminated or extended again.
Do you have any questions about this extension or the covered benefits impacted by it? Please contact Member Services at 866-246-4358.
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.
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.
If you have been exposed or begin showing symptoms of the virus or flu, contact your healthcare provider or health department immediately.
Our 24-Hour Nurse Advice Line is a convenient way for Buckeye members to obtain telehealth services. You will receive 24-hour access to in-network healthcare providers for non-emergency medical issues. Get medical advice, a diagnosis or a prescription by video or phone. For more information about Buckeye services, please call 1-866-246-4358.
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. You can also follow these tips to prevent infection:
- 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.
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. 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.
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 (also called telehealth) 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.
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.
There is now a vaccination available that will give you the best chance of protecting yourself and your loved ones from getting COVID-19 in the future. 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.
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. Or, find out where to get your vaccine at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines or vaccinefinder.org.
While it is not a requirement, getting your COVID-19 vaccine will give you the best chance of protecting yourself and your loved ones from getting COVID-19 in the future.
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.
Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is recommended for people ages 16 and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are recommended for those ages 18 and older.
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.
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.
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 safety of the COVID-19 vaccine is a top priority! 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.
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.
No. The COVID-19 vaccine will be at no cost to you. You do not need to get a prior authorization for your vaccine.
Please 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.
Yes. Call 866-531-0615 at least 48 hours in advance to arrange a ride to and from your appointment. You may 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.
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
Tip #1: Clean your phone right now
Drop what you’re doing! Clean your phone and case right now! You can use disinfecting wipes or sprays.
Why is this important?
It’s easy to say “I can always clean my phone later”. If you do it right now, you won’t forget! We’ve also told you how so you don’t have to figure that out on your own.
Tip #2: Use an alarm
Set a phone alarm called “clean phone.” Set an alarm on your phone called “clean phone” once per day. When it goes off, clean your phone right then and there!
Why is this important?
Even if you just cleaned your phone right now, you’re going to forget later! That’s why reminders are so important. You’ll have to clean.
For more information about cleaning and disinfecting visit the CDC Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Home page.
Protect yourself and those around you. Please consider the following before returning to adult day services.
- If you feel sick, stay home.
- Avoid public places.
- Contact your health care provider.
- Practice healthy habits.
- Wash your hands after touching public surfaces.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Sneeze or cough into a tissue. You can also use the inside of your elbow.
- Clean frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.
- Use a face mask while in public.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and frequent hand washing
- Your provider may require a face covering and gloves during a visit. They may also require frequent hand washing.
- Your service plan may be updated based on how you tolerate these changes.
- This has been a stressful time. If it’s affecting your mental health, you may need to speak to someone.
As a Buckeye Health Plan member, you have access to health professionals 24/7. You can call the 24/7 Nurse Advice Line for non-emergencies. For more information about this service, call us at 1-866-246-4358.
It’s important to change how we use public spaces. Consider whether you need to touch certain objects and surfaces. Be sure to wipe public items before and after you touch them.
Things to be aware of while at your adult day center.
We have all had to make changes to reduce the spread of COVID-19. To reopen, we will need to continue these safe practices.
- Social distancing
- Stay 6 feet away from others when going into a shared space.
- Wash your hands.
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available
- Wear a face covering.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when sick.
- Clean frequently touched items and surfaces.
It’s important to follow state and local guidance as we reopen. This will help you to change your plan as situations change.
Make sure your provider has a plan to maintain a safe environment.
When you return home from your adult day center.
We should think about our safety and the safety of others. The following can help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Disinfect “high touch” surfaces and items every day.
- This includes personal devices and electronics.
- Be sure to follow the cleaning product’s instructions.
- Consider changing your clothes before entering your home.
If you cannot return to your adult day center
As a Buckeye Health Plan member, you may have respite hours available for your caregiver. These may be used if you cannot return to your day service program. For more information, call us at 1-866-246-4358.
For more information, including travel advisories, please visit cdc.gov.