Coronavirus Updates

COVID-19 Virus

This article will be updated with new information as it becomes available. Last updated 2/11/22. CarePartners of Connecticut continues to evaluate COVID-19 policies with the state emergency and other regulations in mind. Some policy changes have been reinstated, effective August 7, 2021.

The Latest News and Information About COVID-19

CarePartners of Connecticut activated its Pandemic Planning work group at the start of the Public Health Emergency (PHE) in 2020 to respond to public health issues and crises. The group meets regularly to continuously monitor changing events. The group monitors and follows recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), State Public Health Departments (CT, NH, MA, RI) and other official sources on an ongoing basis.

COVID vaccine distribution continues to be led by the State government. For  detailed information and the most up to date information on vaccine distribution, please visit https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Vaccinations. Members can get the vaccine at any designated location near them at no cost. 

What we are doing to help

CarePartners of Connecticut is committed to making sure you have access to the health care services you need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Benefit changes are subject to regulatory requirements and approval. All changes made due to the COVID-19 pandemic are available until further notice but no later than the end of the public health emergency or 12/31/22, whichever is earlier. 

COVID-19 Testing

While the Biden administration’s recent requirement for Commercial health plans to cover over-the counter At-Home COVID-19 tests does not apply to Medicare Advantage plans, the safety and well-being of our members is a top priority.  CarePartners of Connecticut has made the decision to provide coverage for a maximum of up to eight over-the-counter At-Home COVID-19 tests per member, per month.  Coverage applies to tests that are approved by or granted emergency use authorization by the FDA and are intended for individualized diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19 (not for resale).

See complete details on coverage for COVID-19 at home tests.

Changes Effective August 7, 2021

  • Reinstated cost shares, including copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles, as applicable, for medically necessary coronavirus in-person treatment for all CarePartners of Connecticut members.
  • Reinstated cost shares, including copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles, as applicable, for medically necessary coronavirus telehealth/telemedicine services related to COVID-19.
  • Reinstated prior authorization requirements are being re-instated for non-urgent/emergent new diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 or the risk of COVID-19 contraction, as applicable.

Telehealth/Telemedicine services

Need a doctor's appointment but don’t want to leave home? Telehealth, or, as it is often referred to, “telemedicine,” offers an alternative to in-person visits by using audio or video tools so you can speak to your doctor in real time without leaving home. Copays for telehealth/telemedicine services will be the same as an in-person visit. Effective 1/1/2022 e-visits and virtual check-ins have $0 copay. For out-of-network telehealth/telemedicine services you would need to get a referral from your PCP and office visit copayments apply. Learn more about using telehealth/telemedicine.

Waiving member costs

  • There are no out-of-pocket costs for medically necessary diagnostic and other testing related to the coronavirus. This coverage applies at in-network providers, urgent care centers, emergency rooms and other facilities, and at out-of-network providers in the event a member cannot easily find an in-network provider to provide timely services.* Consistent with Federal and State guidance coronavirus tests will only be covered or reimbursed if they are medically necessary as determined by a health care provider in accordance with current CDC and state public health department guidelines. COVID-19 tests that are not ordered or referred by a provider are not covered benefits. Testing will not be covered solely for general workplace health and safety, public health surveillance or for other purposes not primarily intended for a member’s individual COVID-19 diagnosis or treatment.
  • $0 copay for non-emergency transportation to medically necessary appointments if you are working with or are referred to a Care Manager who requests this service because a safe transportation alternative is not available due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Benefit change does not apply if you receive your benefits from a current or former employer.)
  • $0 copay for extended stays of up to 14 days in skilled nursing facilities for COVID-19-positive members who are not sick enough to require inpatient care, lack necessary in-home support to recover at home, and are referred by their Care Manager, primary care physician, or other qualified provider. (Benefit change does not apply if you receive your benefits from a current or former employer.)

Drug refills

We are making it easier for you to get increased access to the prescription drugs you need:

  • You can refill prescription medication early without waiting to finish your current fill.
  • You can refill up to a 90-day supply, to the extent consistent with clinical guidelines.
  • Controlled substances are excluded from this policy (subject to CMS rules).

Oximeter coverage

If you have lung disease or early signs of COVID-19, having an oximeter that measures your pulse and oxygen level in your blood can provide important information for your doctor. If you have lung disease or early signs of COVID-19, having an oximeter that measures your pulse and oxygen level in your blood can provide important information for your doctor. Your plan covers an oximeter if ordered by your doctor through a plan-approved vendor to monitor you for suspected or diagnosed COVID-19. Coinsurance for durable medical equipment (DME) applies. For DME coinsurance rates, see your  Evidence of Coverage (EOC) booklet. You can also order monitoring devices from most pharmacies online or in the store and pay out of pocket. The plan will not reimburse for items not ordered by your doctor through the plan-approved vendor.

Out of country travel

Members are covered for urgent and/or emergent services only when traveling outside of the United States and its territories. Coronavirus tests are only covered or reimbursed if they are medically necessary. Diagnostic coronavirus testing required as a condition of travel inside or outside of the United States and its territories is not covered.

Taking precautions against coronavirus for older adults

People with chronic medical problems, and those over age 65, are at increased risk of having serious complications from the coronavirus. Preventive action is the best way to avoid contracting the virus, including:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (if soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Staying home if you are feeling sick.
  • Always covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue.

Washing your hands can make a difference

Washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to help prevent illness. Washing your hands is especially important:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food.
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick.
  • After using the bathroom.
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste.

To make sure you are washing your hands correctly, follow these 5 steps:

5 steps to washing your hands correctly

  1. Wet your hands with clean running water, turn off the water, and apply soap.
  2. Rub your hands together with the soap, including the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean running water.
  5. Dry your hands with a clean towel or air dry them.

nonessential travel. If you need to travel, take the precautions listed above.

 

If you feel sick, how can you tell if it's coronavirus?

Coronavirus is related to common cold viruses. Symptoms include sore throat, cough, and fever. Some patients may have vomiting. It can be difficult to tell the difference between coronavirus and more common viruses based on symptoms.

This chart outlines the symptoms of the coronavirus, cold, and flu.

For more information

Healthwise has created a resource center with infographics, articles, and videos on the symptoms, prevention, and treatment of the coronavirus. Click here to access the resource center.

For the latest up-to-date information on the coronavirus, visit the CDC website at cdc.gov/covid19

*Member reimbursement requests for home-testing kits or other tests that are self-ordered by members are not covered.