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Coverage, Resources and Treatment for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Understanding COVID-19 testing and treatment coverage

At UnitedHealthcare, we're here to help you understand what's covered and how to access care. We want to help answer your questions and connect you to the resources that may help support you during this time.

Remember to visit network providers and always show your UnitedHealthcare member ID card for COVID-19-related testing, visits or treatment. Also, keep your primary care provider (PCP) informed of any COVID-19 testing results or care you might receive. 

Many people start a new health plan with the new year. With this, copays, coinsurance or deductibles may start anew. Sign in to your online UnitedHealthcare account or review your plan materials for details on your benefit plan.


Virus/antigen detection and antibody testing

UnitedHealthcare strongly supports the need for reliable testing and encourages health care providers to use reliable FDA-authorized tests. A virus/antigen detection (diagnostic) test determines if a person is currently infected with COVID-19. An antibody (serology) test may determine if a person has been exposed to COVID-19, and according to the FDA, this test should not be used to diagnose a current infection.

During the national public health emergency period, currently scheduled to end October 12, 2022, you will have $0 cost-share (copayment, coinsurance or deductible) for medically appropriate COVID-19 testing when ordered by a physician or health care professional for purposes of diagnosis or treatment. Tests must be FDA-authorized to be covered without cost-sharing.

This coverage applies to in-network and out-of-of-network tests for Medicare Advantage, Exchange, Individual and Employer-sponsored health plans. For individuals enrolled in UnitedHealthcare Community Plans, state variations and regulations may apply during this time. Benefits will be otherwise reviewed in accordance with your health plan.

If COVID-19 testing is needed for your employment, education, public health or surveillance (monitoring) purposes, UnitedHealthcare will cover the testing when required by applicable law. Benefits will be processed according to your health benefit plan, and health benefit plans generally do not cover testing for surveillance or public health purposes. We continue to monitor regulatory developments during emergency periods.

Testing is important to slowing the spread of COVID-19. We encourage you—our members—and health care providers to use FDA-authorized tests. There are two types of COVID-19 tests:

  • Diagnostic tests determine if you are currently infected with COVID-19.
  • Antibody tests may determine if you might have been infected with the virus. According to the FDA, antibody tests should not be used to diagnose a current infection.

You will have $0 cost-share (copayment, coinsurance or deductible) on medically appropriate COVID-19 testing during the national public health emergency period, currently scheduled to end October 12, 2022. Medically appropriate testing is ordered by a physician or health care professional for the purposes of diagnosis or treatment. Tests must be FDA-authorized to be covered without cost-sharing. This coverage applies to in-network and out-of-of-network tests for Medicare Advantage, Exchange, Individual and Employer-sponsored health plans through the national public health emergency period. For individuals enrolled in UnitedHealthcare Community Plans, state variations and regulations may apply during this time.

UnitedHealthcare benefit plans generally do not cover testing for employment, education, travel, public health or surveillance purposes, unless required by law. Benefits will be processed according to your health benefit plan.

If you think you need a COVID-19 test, talk to your health care provider or pick one up. 


COVID-19 treatment

If you get sick with COVID-19, your health care provider may prescribe treatments. For COVID-19 treatment, cost-sharing will be according to the member’s benefit plan. You will be responsible for any copay, coinsurance, deductible or out-of-network costs. This coverage applies to Medicare Advantage, Exchange, Individual and Employer-sponsored health plans. For members enrolled in UnitedHealthcare Community Plans, state provisions and regulations may apply during this time.

If you have questions or need information about your benefits

Call the number on your member ID card or sign in to your health account.

How to get a Coronavirus (COVID-19) test

If you think you might have been exposed to Cornavirus (COVID-19) or have symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing, call your health care provider right away. In many cases, you can talk to a provider using FaceTime, Skype or Zoom, which is called telehealth (virtual visit). If your health care provider agrees you should be tested, they will coordinate where you will get tested.

Mobile and drive-up testing may be an option. Use our locator to find a testing center.

The Federal government has launched a national website where each household can receive a one-time shipment of four free OTC at-home Covid-19 tests shipped directly from covidtests.govFor more information on this program go to covidtests.gov.

Support for our highest risk members: Medicare Advantage and Medicaid

The CDC says that older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from Coronavirus (COVID-19). Examples of serious underlying medical conditions are chronic heart or lung conditions, asthma, compromised immune system, diabetes, chronic kidney and liver disease. If you are pregnant, have a disability or experiencing homelessness, you may also be at a higher risk. 

If you fall into a category above, your provider may ask you to stay indoors away from others (self-isolate). UnitedHealthcare is here to help you during that time and to help reduce your potential exposure to the virus. We can help you with how to get medications, supplies, food and care. You can also find out about support programs.

Members, please call the phone number on the member ID card. When you call, let them know your health care provider prescribed self-isolation.

Learn about precautions to take if you're a Medicare Advantage member or at risk.

Additional Resources for Members

UnitedHealthcare expanded access to telehealth so you can stay in the comfort of your home and get the right care. Telehealth (virtual visits) can be used for both Coronavirus (COVID-19) and non-Coronavirus (COVID-19) health care needs.

This can be a stressful time. The resources below are free and available 24/7. 

Substance Use Helpline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-855-780-5955

1-800-799-7233           
1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

1-800-273-8255           
1-800-799-4889 (TTY)

If you feel that you or a loved one are experiencing signs of addiction, call the confidential helpline to get 24/7 support and guidance on treatment options and coverage. Call for crisis intervention, information and referrals to local services for victims of domestic violence. If you or someone you know is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, get emergency help right away. Contact the lifeline for 24/7, free and confidential support and crisis intervention.

You can call the number on your member ID card and talk to a nurse if you need help figuring out your risk or are looking for clinical advice and support related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). You can also call to ask a nurse about general health care concerns.

Pharmacy delivery is available through Optum Home Delivery by signing into your health plan account. Simply select Optum Home Delivery. Pharmacy delivery is also available through several retail pharmacies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Call your health care provider right away if you believe you might have been exposed to Coronavirus (COVID-19) or have symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing. 

You can find a network health care provider by signing in to your health plan account or by speaking with an advocate by calling the phone number on your UnitedHealthcare member ID card.

According to the CDC, the most effective way to prevent serious illness from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. Other treatments authorized for COVID-19 treatment are monoclonal antibody treatments. Talk to your doctor to learn more.

The Federal government has launched a national website where each household can receive three (3) shipments of four free OTC at-home COVID-19 tests shipped directly from covidtests.gov

 For more information on this program go to covidtests.gov.

For UnitedHealthcare Community Plan members, coverage of COVID-19 testing is determined by each State Medicaid program, and specifics regarding coverage vary by state. 

For those that are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare, the administrator of their Medicaid benefits should provide guidance on their coverage. Members should call the number on the back of their card if they have questions. 

Disclaimer

The benefits described on this website describe federal requirements and UnitedHealthcare national policy, additional benefits may be available in some states and under some plans.

This page describes benefits we offer to all members in all states. They also include federal requirements. More benefits may be available in some states and under some plans. We have created rules and practices that may apply to some of our products at this time. The information is a summary and is subject to change. For more information, contact your account representative  or call the number on your member ID card.