Coverage and Resources 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 April 20, 2021, 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.

COVID-19 testing-related visits

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 April 20, 2021. 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. 

COVID-19 treatment

If you get sick with COVID-19, your health care provider may prescribe treatments. A summary of coverage is below. If you have questions about your benefits, sign in to your health plan account or call the number on your member ID card.

  • Exchange, Individual and Fully Insured Employer-sponsored plans: For COVID-19 treatment, cost-sharing will be according to the member’s benefit plan. You will responsible for any copay, coinsurance or deductible. Coverage for out-of-network services will be determined by your benefit plan. State variations may apply.
  • Medicare Advantage health plans: For COVID-19 treatment, cost-sharing will be according to the member’s benefit plan. You will responsible for any copay, coinsurance or deductible. UnitedHealthcare temporarily waived cost-share on COVID-19 treatment through March 31, 2021.
  • For members enrolled in UnitedHealthcare Community Plans: State provisions and regulations may apply during this time.

If you have questions about your benefits, sign in to your health plan account or call the number on your member ID card.

Outpatient monoclonal antibody treatment

The FDA has issued emergency use authorization for 2 monoclonal antibody treatments. According to the CDC, monoclonal antibody treatments may be recommended by your provider if you test positive for COVID-19, and are at risk to get very sick or to be admitted to the hospital. This treatment can help the body respond more effectively to the virus.

A summary of coverage for monoclonal antibody treatment is below. Sign in to your member account  for more details.

  • Exchange, Individual and Fully Insured Employer-sponsored plans:  For monoclonal antibody treatment with network providers, cost-sharing will be according to the member’s benefit plan. You will responsible for any copay, coinsurance or deductible. Coverage for out-of-network services will be determined by your benefit plan. UnitedHealthcare temporarily waived cost-share on monoclonal antibody treatment with network providers in outpatient settings through March 31, 2021.

Some employer-insured health plans1 have different coverage benefits; if you have questions, please check with your human resources benefits team. Coverage for out-of-network services will be determined by your benefit plan.

  • Medicare Advantage plans: For monoclonal antibody treatments, you will have $0 cost-share with in-network and out-of-network providers in outpatient settings through 2021. You might need your red, white and blue Medicare card, because Medicare is paying for this treatment in 2021. 

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. You will still require a medical provider order for the test, unless otherwise directed by your respective government agency. If your provider orders a COVID-19 diagnostic test for you, use our locator to find a testing center.

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.

In a stressful time, it can be hard to cope. Talking to someone may help you feel better. Our free 24/7 emotional support line is here for you to call any time at 866-342-6892. This Optum Help Line is staffed by professionally trained mental health experts. It is free of charge and open to anyone.

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.

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.

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.

Drive-up and mobile testing may be an option.  You will still require a medical provider order for the test, unless otherwise directed by your respective government agency. Your health care provider or government agency will help coordinate where you can be tested.

We do not want you to worry. Talk to your provider. Your provider does not have to do special paper work (called a prior authorization) with UnitedHealthcare through October 22, 2020. As long as you are a member and moving to a different post-acute care setting this is an option. (Examples of post-acute care settings are skilled nursing facility, long-term acute facilities, in-patient rehab or home health care.) The provider who admitted you will simply let us know within 48-hours of your move.  

Learn more about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Learn about the virus, the symptoms to look for and what you can to you don't get sick and to help keep others safe.  

[Gentle background music plays while text introductions appear on the screen]

COVID-19

What are Coronaviruses?

[Narrator:] Coronaviruses are a family of common viruses that can cause illness in both animals and people.

[Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)]

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome are two well-known coronaviruses.

In January of 2020, the World Health Organization announced a new coronavirus, now called COVID-19, which caused an outbreak of respiratory illness in the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei Province.

We’re still learning about how this virus spreads, and rely on the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization for guidance. 

Here’s what we know about COVID-19:
 

How does COVID-19 spread?

Currently, it is thought that it spreads mainly through respiratory droplets that are coughed or sneezed into the air by an infected person.

It may also spread when an individual touches an infected surface and then touches his or her mouth, nose or eyes. 

What are COVID-19 Symptoms?

COVID-19 symptoms may be similar to a respiratory infection.

Primary symptoms may include: fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Some people, the elderly or the immune-compromised, may experience complications including pneumonia and overwhelming infection, known as sepsis.

How to help protect against COVID-19.
To best protect yourself from this coronavirus:

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces, including your phone and computer.

Cover your nose and mouth with tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash immediately.

For updated information, guidance and travel alerts, visit the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization.

UnitedHealthcare will continue to actively monitor public health resources to ensure we respond appropriately to the needs of our customers and members.

Disclaimer: Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). https://www.cdc.gov/ World Health Organization (WHO). https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

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.