What you need to know about COVID-19


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a 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.

For more information, please follow our COVID-19 FAQ resources below or visit health.ny.gov


COVID-19 Benefits

Plan-by-plan list of COVID-19 related benefit coverage as of August 1, 2023.

COVID-19 Vaccines

These FAQs provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on COVID-19 vaccines.

What is the COVID-19 vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine gives you the best chance of protecting yourself and your loved ones from getting COVID-19 in the future. Talk to your healthcare provider about the vaccine.

Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Check with your doctor and ask if 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.

Am I required to get my COVID-19 vaccine?
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.
I already had COVID-19. Should I still get the vaccine?
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.
Can my child get the vaccine?

CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older, if eligible.

Is the vaccine safe?
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.
Will there be any side effects when I get the vaccine?
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:
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Body aches

This is your body reacting to the vaccine. It 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. 

Do I have to pay for my vaccine? Or get prior authorization?

No. The COVID-19 vaccine will be at no cost to you. You do not need to get a prior authorization for your vaccine.

I lost my COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. What should I do now?
Please call the administering facility/provider you received your first dose from to ask about your vaccine information and verify your second appointment/location.
I’m pregnant. Should I still get the COVID-19 vaccine?

According to the CDC, people who are pregnant 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.

What do we know about breakthrough cases for those fully vaccinated?

A small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated will still get COVID-19 if they are exposed to the virus that causes it. These are called “vaccine breakthrough cases.” This means that while people who have been vaccinated are much less likely to get sick, it will still happen in some cases. It’s also possible that some fully vaccinated people might have infections, but not have symptoms (asymptomatic infections). Experts continue to study how common these cases are.

If you get COVID-19 after vaccination, your symptoms might be less severe.

Fully vaccinated people are much less likely to be hospitalized or die than people with similar risk factors who are not vaccinated.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs

Get answers to common questions about symptoms, diagnosis, risk, prevention, testing, and treatment for COVID-19.
What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease and a type of virus called a coronavirus.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) include:
  • Mild to severe respiratory symptoms
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lower respiratory illness

COVID-19 can be contagious before a person begins showing symptoms.

Where do I go if I have symptoms?

Contact your provider if you develop a fever, have a cough, or have difficulty breathing. Let your provider know if you’ve been in close contact with a person known to have Coronavirus.

If exposed, what should I do?

• If you think you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, call your provider’s office for guidance on next steps.

• Call ahead before going in person to any doctor’s office.

• Don’t go to your local emergency room for COVID-19 testing. The ER is only for those who need the most critical care.

How do I protect myself and my community?

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:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, you should wear a facemask when around other people.
  • 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).
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze by coughing/sneezing into your elbow.
  • Wear a face covering/mask when in public and/or around others who do not live in your home if you are not fully vaccinated
  • Clean public surfaces thoroughly.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
What else causes similar symptoms to COVID-19?
Influenza (the flu), acontagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza viruses (Type A and TypeB), has high activity in the United States at this time. Everyone 6 months ofage and older should get a flu vaccine.
Where may I receive COVID-19 testing/screening/treatment services under my plan coverage?

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

Depending on your plan, you may be responsible for your copayment, coinsurance, and/or deductible.

Will I be responsible for any out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing & screening services?

We will cover medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing and medical screening services, when such services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed in-network health care provider. Depending on your plan, you may be responsible for your copayment, coinsurance, and/or deductible.

If I need treatment for coronavirus, is that covered by my plan?

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.

Depending on your plan, you may be responsible for your copayment, coinsurance, and/or deductible.

Does my plan cover COVID-19 testing/screening/treatment services?

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, and screenings.

Depending on your plan, you may be responsible for your copayment, coinsurance, and/or deductible.

Health Resources

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