What are the symptoms of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Coughing 
  • Chills or repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Symptoms often develop 2-14 days after exposure, though it may take longer.

Call 911 if you develop emergency warning signs* for COVID-19, such as:

  • Trouble breathing 
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptom that is severe or concerning.
 

Who is most at risk from COVID-19?

Most people can contract or transmit the virus and have few symptoms or recover quickly. Those most at-risk for severe symptoms are:

  • Healthcare workers
  • Older adults
  • People with poor immune systems
  • People with underlying health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or lung disease

Children and pregnant women do not appear to be at risk for severe symptoms of COVID-19.
 

What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?

If you have a fever, cough, and feel short of breath, we suggest using a virtual care option such as Teladoc® or NurseHelp 24/7SM before seeking in-person care. This will help reduce the risk of spreading the virus. For members who usually have Teladoc copays or coinsurance, we are waiving these costs for all Teladoc virtual care visits through May 31, including visits that aren’t related to COVID-19. NurseHelp 24/7SM is always available at no additional cost.

Protect yourself and reduce the spread of COVID-19 with these virtual care options. Access to these benefits depends on your plan.

VIRTUAL CARE
Description
OUT-OF-POCKET COST
AVERAGE TIME TO CARE

Teladoc®
Board-certified doctors are available 24/7 by phone or video. 

NurseHelp 24/7SM
or Nurse Advice Line
Get health advice 24/7 from a registered nurse over the phone.
$0


Not all plans have access to these services. Log in to your online account to see what benefits your plan covers.

Login to get care
 

What in-person care options are available?

Please call your primary care physician (PCP) or urgent care facility before going in person. They can give you advice on what to do and where to get tested. Calling ahead will protect you and reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus.

Call 911 if you develop emergency warning signs* for COVID-19, such as:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptom that is severe or concerning.

Blue Shield offers many care options. Access to these benefits depends on your plan.
 

IN-PERSON CARE
Description
AVERAGE OUT-OF-POCKET COST
AVERAGE TIME TO CARE

HealTM
Some plans offer HealTM physician remote screenings and home visits in select cities. You can talk to or see a licensed physician in your own home.
Learn more about Heal

Your doctor/primary care physician (PCP)
Call your doctor or PCP before going in. This way, you can take precautions to reduce spreading the virus.
Log in to find a doctor

Urgent care
If you need in-person medical treatment and your doctor isn’t available, go to an urgent care center.
Log in to find an urgent care center

Emergency room (ER)
The ER is for true emergencies. Go to the ER or call 911 if you are experiencing severe symptoms of COVID-19 or your doctor tells you to go.
Call 911 or go to the closest ER.


What if I need treatment for COVID-19?

There are no prior approvals needed for COVID-19 treatment. Blue Shield and Blue Shield Promise will waive copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for COVID-19 treatments received between March 1 - May 31, 2020. This applies to the following plan types:  

  • Plans purchased through Blue Shield of California directly
  • Plans purchased through Covered California
  • Medicare Advantage plans 
  • Medicare Supplement plans
  • Fully-insured employer-sponsored plans 
  • Self-insured and flex-funded employer-sponsored plans where the plan sponsor has elected to pay for copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for COVID-19 treatment (These plans are not required to cover these costs)

To find out which plan you have, call the customer service number on your member ID card. 

Medi-Cal members have no out-of-pocket costs for treatments. 

Check your coverage
 

Are there vaccines or medicines for COVID-19?

At the moment, there is no vaccine or medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19. The current treatment for COVID-19 is prevention, treatment of symptoms, and supportive care. If there are any updates, Blue Shield will let you know. 
 

Can I continue seeing my mental health care provider?

If you already have a mental healthcare provider, remember you can see them over the phone or by video. Your standard coverage and out-of-pocket costs apply.

I don’t have a mental healthcare provider. How can I find one?

I have a Blue Shield plan

Most Blue Shield members can schedule a virtual appointment with a mental healthcare provider. Teladoc is available for $0 copay through May 31. Log in to your online account to see if you have Teladoc. 

Blue Shield HMOs and PPOs usually provide mental health services through the Mental Health Services Administrator (MHSA) network. Check the back of your Blue Shield member ID card for a mental health customer service number. You can also search the MHSA network here.  Click “Provider Search Telebehavioral” on the left to find specialists who can provide virtual care. Your standard office visit copay applies to both virtual and in-person appointments.

For Blue Shield PPOs which do not use the MHSA network, log in to your Blue Shield online account and use Find a Doctor to search for a mental healthcare provider in the Blue Shield PPO network. Please call ahead to find out if the provider sees patients over the phone or online. The standard office visit copay also applies to both virtual and in-person appointments with these providers.

If you have a Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plan, call the Member Services number on the back of your member ID card for assistance and details in accessing your mental health benefits. You can reach them at (800) 776-4466 [TTY: 711].

I have a Blue Shield Promise plan

Blue Shield Promise members can schedule a virtual appointment with a Teladoc mental healthcare provider through May 31. To make an appointment, call 1-(800)-Teladoc (835-2362) [TTY: 711] 24/7 or visit the Blue Shield Promise Teladoc website

In addition to Teladoc, Blue Shield Promise Cal MediConnect and Medi-Cal members can receive behavioral telehealth visits through Beacon Health. For more information, call (855) 765-9701 [TTY: 711] during regular business hours.

If you have a Blue Shield Promise Medicare Advantage plan, call the Member Services number on the back your member ID card for assistance and details in accessing your mental health benefits. You can reach them at (800) 544-0088 [TTY: 711].

Important: Behavioral telehealth is not right for all conditions. Members in crisis or having suicidal thoughts should seek help immediately. Call 911, going to the nearest emergency room, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255. You can also use the Crisis textline by texting “Home” to 741741.

Do you have any resources to help me manage stress and my health while at home?

Sanvello, a mental and wellness health app in our Wellvolution® program network that helps members manage stress, anxiety, and depression, is providing expanded access and premium programming for members through 7/31/2020. All content – 45 different mindfulness and meditation sessions, coping tools, guided journeys, and community boards – is available at no additional cost during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Most Blue Shield and Blue Shield Promise plan members can use their Blue Shield and Blue Shield Promise account login information to access Sanvello at Wellvolution.com. In addition to Sanvello’s mental health resources, our virtual Wellvolution programs also provide nutrition and fitness support to help you eat better, move more, and even treat chronic conditions like diabetes.

Please note: Some self-funded employer-sponsored and Medi-Cal plans do not have access to Wellvolution. Please check your evidence of coverage (EOC)/member handbook for more eligibility information.
 

Additional questions?

Call the number on your member ID card.