Know the facts about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Our call centers, including the Nurse Advice line, are currently experiencing high call volumes. You can get many of your coronavirus-related questions answered here.
Symptoms are flu-like, including:
- Shortness of breath
If you think you might have been exposed, contact a provider immediately. You can have a virtual visit with video or audio (telehealth) visit with a provider. Call Meridian Member Services at 1-855-323-4578 for help finding a provider or telehealth services.
For the latest COVID-19 news, visit the CDC.
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. Many details about this disease are still unknown, such as treatment options, how the virus works, and the total impact of the illness.
What is the coronavirus?
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.
What are the symptoms?
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.
What else causes similar 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 at this time. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine.
I may have symptoms. What do I do?
If you have been exposed or begin showing symptoms of the virus or flu, contact your healthcare provider or health department immediately.
How else can I get healthcare services?
Telehealth visits are a useful way for Meridian members to get health services. You can get medical advice, a diagnosis or a prescription by video or phone. For more information, please call Meridian Member Services at 1-855-323-4578.
Protect yourself and your 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:
- 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.
- Promptly dispose of tissues in a wastebasket after use.
- Clean public surfaces thoroughly.
- Stay at home when you are sick.
- Avoid shaking hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Get a flu vaccine.
Does my plan cover COVID-19 testing/screening services?
Yes. When medically necessary diagnostic testing or medical screening services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider, we will cover the cost of medically necessary COVID-19 tests and the associated provider's visit. If applicable, your plan's co-payment, coinsurance and/or deductible cost-sharing will be waived for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing and/or medical screening services.
Is prior authorization required for COVID-19 testing/screening services under my plan coverage?
No. We will not require prior authorization, prior certification, prior notification and/or step therapy protocols for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing and medical screening services, when medically necessary services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed health care provider.
Where may I receive COVID-19 testing/screening services under my plan coverage?
Medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing and/or medical screening services and the associated provider's visit will be covered when ordered, referred and/or performed in the following In-Network locations:
- Provider'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 visit with a provider. It is a good option for non-urgent care to limit potential exposure in a provider's office or other healthcare facility.
Will I be responsible for any out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing/screening services?
No. We will cover medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing and/or medical screening services at no charge to you, when such services are ordered and/or referred by a licensed healthcare provider. If applicable, your plan's copayment, coinsurance and/or deductible cost-sharing will be waived for medically necessary COVID-19 diagnostic testing and/or medical screening services along with the associated physician's visit.
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.
Will I be able to refill my prescriptions before the refill date?
Yes, members will be able to refill prescriptions prior to the refill date.
What is the COVID-19 vaccine?
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. The vaccine will have two doses a few weeks in between each shot. You will get a reminder card so you don't forget your second shot. It is important to get both doses of the vaccine as instructed.
Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
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 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?
Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is recommended for people ages 16 and older. The Moderna vaccine is currently recommended for those ages 18 and older.
When I get the vaccine, can I stop wearing a mask or social distancing?
It will take time for your body to build immunity after the vaccine. It is important to continue to social distance, wear a mask in public and continue handwashing in order to keep from getting sick.
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 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.
Do I have to pay for my vaccine? Or get prior authorization?
No. Both doses of 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 am due for my second dose. I got my first dose from another provider who is not my PCP but I don't have their contact information. What do I do now?
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.
Are there strategies for coping with the COVID-19 outbreak?
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 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
For information on the State of Michigan efforts and resources, visit the State of Michigan Coronavirus page: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus
For information about Michigan's tiered approach to vaccinating Michigan residents, locating available vaccines in your area, and additional details about the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine.
For more information, including travel advisories, please visit cdc.gov.
- MI Medicaid COVID-19 Vaccine Billing Guidelines for Providers (PDF)
- MI MDHHS COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Resources (PDF)
- COVID-19 Vaccine Member Engagement Tips (PDF)
- Mid-Year Medicare Benefit Expansion for COVID-19 (PDF)
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (PDF)
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Provider FAQ (PDF)
- MI Extension of COVID-19 Emergency Period (PDF)
- Guidance for Providing In-Home Care Services (PDF)
- Guidelines for Field-Based Visits to Provider Offices (PDF)
- MI COVID-19 Billing Guidance (PDF)
- In-Network Specialists for COVID-19 (PDF)
- Centene Announces Provider Support Program to Assist Providers with Grant Writing, Small Business Loan Applications (PDF)