COVID-19 Update

For the latest information on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 infection, please visit www.CDC.gov.

At-Home Testing

Does the Plan cover at-home COVID-19 tests?

The new federal at-home OTC COVID-19 test requirement does not apply to Medicare and Medicaid. Those with Medicaid coverage should contact their state Medicaid office for information regarding the specifics of coverage for at-home, OTC COVID-19 tests, as coverage rules may vary by state. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Medicare only pays for COVID-19 diagnostic tests, with no out-of-pocket costs, when the test is performed by a laboratory and ordered by a physician, or other licensed health care professional.

Medicare beneficiaries can order free at-home COVID-19 tests from the federal government to be delivered to their home. The tests may be ordered from www.covidtests.gov.

You can also find local testing locations and order free at-home COVID-19 tests by visiting https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/community-based-testing-sites/index.html.

Vaccine Status

Anyone over the age of 5 is eligible to receive one of the COVID-19 vaccines, which are highly effective in preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19 infection.

In addition to being fully vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised get an additional (third) dose of the mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech) that they previously received if they are at least 4 weeks from completing their original series. A third does of the Johnson&Johnson/Janssen vaccine is currently not recommended. Check with your doctor about if/when you should get a third dose.

The CDC recommends that most people 12 years of age and older with normal immune systems get a booster shot. People who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or should get a booster if it’s been more than 5 months since your original vaccine series. People who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should get a booster if it’s been more than 2 months since their original shot. The CDC recommends getting a Pfizer or Moderna booster regardless of which vaccine you originally received, although any available vaccine is appropriate.

For information about dominant strains of COVID-19, statistics and other helpful COVID-19-related information, please visit www.CDC.gov.

Addressing Vaccine Myths and Concerns

Rest assured that COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and offer the best chance at staying healthy throughout this pandemic. We understand that myths and concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine can lead to hesitation or resistance. If you know someone with reservations about getting the vaccine, we’re happy to provide some clarity that you can share. Each vaccinated person gets us one step closer to the end of this pandemic.

  1. I’m afraid of the long-term side effects of a rushed vaccine.
    COVID-19 are among the most closely scrutinized and intensely studied interventions in medical history. To date, over 10 billion doses have been administered worldwide and dozens of studies have been published with millions of participants with no evidence of major safety concerns.
  2. I’ve already had COVID-19, so I’m protected.
    Though you develop antibodies from being infected with COVID-19, that doesn’t mean you’ll never become sick with the virus again. It’s currently not known how long you’re protected from getting COVID-19 after you’ve had it. There’s evidence that unvaccinated people who have had COVID-19 are twice as likely to get COVID-19 than people who are fully vaccinated.
  3. I don’t have to worry if I’m not immunocompromised or elderly.
    While it’s true that elderly people and people with underlying health conditions are at greater risk of severe infection from COVID-19, many young and middle-aged adults without pre-existing conditions have had severe infection from COVID-19, and many have died. One in every three unvaccinated people that get infected have symptoms that linger for months—even if they don’t have a severe case. These symptoms can range from long-term loss of taste and smell to disabling effects like blood clots, shortness of breath or fatigue. COVID-NET, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) population-based surveillance system for COVID-19 hospitalizations, lists COVID-19 data by age group, health condition, deaths and many more factors. Visit www.CDC.gov/Coronavirus/2019-ncov/Covid-Data/Covid-net/Purpose-Methods.html to see the growing numbers.
  4. I think the media is making COVID-19 seem worse than it actually is.
    There’s an overwhelming amount of evidence (studies, research, self-reported symptoms, etc.) that prove the seriousness of COVID-19. There are trustworthy sources who report accurate, truthful information and findings. One such source is the CDC. For statistics that are updated weekly, visit www.CDC.gov/Coronavirus/2019-ncov/Covid-Data/CovidView/Index.html. In the media, we see a lot of reports about the COVID-19 death toll, but one thing that isn’t widely reported is that 30 percent of unvaccinated people who get COVID-19 will have long-term symptoms. Vaccination protects you from getting infected, hospitalized and even dying; it also significantly prevents long-term symptoms of COVID infection.
  5. I’m afraid the vaccine will infect me with COVID-19.
    No COVID-19 vaccine contains the live virus. This means that you can’t become infected with COVID-19 from getting the vaccine. You can develop some symptoms from the vaccine, such as fever, body aches and headache, which means your body is building an immune response to help protect against the live virus if you were to come into contact with it.

Where to Get the Vaccine

Missouri/Illinois Residents

COVID-19 vaccines are offered in Missouri and Illinois for anyone age 5 and up and are available at nearly any pharmacy. You could also attend a mass vaccination event. There is no cost for the vaccine.

To see nearby locations and even filter by vaccine manufacturer, visit:

Missouri
Illinois

California Residents

COVID-19 vaccines are offered in California for anyone age 5 and up and are available at nearly any pharmacy. You could also attend a mass vaccination event. There is no cost for the vaccine.

See nearby locations and choose by vaccine manufacturer