Frequently Asked Questions on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find answers about cost, coverage and support for members affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As more COVID-19 cases are being reported, UnitedHealthcare is responding to member needs and concerns. Review the information below to find answers to common questions about COVID-19. 

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. As with any potential illness, like the flu, it is important to follow good prevention practices, including:

  • Hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Try to stay away from people who might be sick.
  • Do not share cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect often touched surfaces.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • While a flu shot does not stop COVID-19, it’s still good to protect yourself against the flu. Contact your primary care provider and schedule your flu shot. 

Stay informed on the latest advice:

Your health, safety, and welfare in the face of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is our highest priority. According to the CDC, those are at risk include older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease seem to be a higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness. Older people also may be twice as likely to have serious COVID-19 illness. This means that most people with Medicare are at higher risk.

View Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for Medicare members.  

Call your primary care provider right away if you believe you might have been exposed to COVID-19. Your provider will have special procedures for you to follow. UnitedHealthcare members can find a network provider by visiting a secure website

 If your primary care provider or medical professional thinks you may have COVID-19, they will contact the CDC or your local public health department for steps to follow on testing. Right now, the only test available in the United States is the one supplied by the CDC and some state public health departments at no charge. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to approve testing at designated labs around the country. 

Costs are covered for COVID-19 tests and test-related visits

UnitedHealthcare is waiving costs for COVID-19 testing provided at approved locations in accordance with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. And we are waiving copays, coinsurance and deductibles for visits associated with COVID-19 testing through October 22, 2020, whether the care is received in a health care provider’s office, an urgent care center or an emergency department.

This coverage applies to Medicare Advantage and Medicaid members.  

Optum, part of UnitedHealth Group, is opening its Emotional-Support Help Line. Professionally trained, mental health staff are there to support people who may be suffering from fear or stress from COVID-19. Optum’s Emotional-Support Help Line number is 1-866-342-6892 and will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is free of charge and open to anyone. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced new guidance, allowing some laboratories to carry out new COVID-19 testing under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments or CLIA. Any new COVID-19 tests that meet the required standards will be covered in accordance with CDC guidelines and use. UnitedHealthcare intends to provide coverage for laboratory tests when approved by the FDA. We are working with our national laboratory providers to offer coverage as soon as new tests become available. We advise following CDC guidelines about prevention methods, screening, diagnosis and testing for COVID-19.

We have a process in place to reduce any type of service disruption, if this situation rises. In addition, we are told by our supply chain partners that they believe the impact of COVID-19 on the drug supply chain, for example, will be small. UnitedHealthcare is monitoring this situation and will provide information and updates as new information comes to us.

We are closely watching COVID-19 and have a team of experts working around the clock. We are doing everything possible to support the health of those we are privileged to serve. Our top priority is the health and wellbeing of our members and patients, and the safety of the health care professionals who deliver care.

UnitedHealthcare has waived member costs for approved diagnostic testing for COVID-19 for all commercial insured, Medicaid and Medicare members who may be affected by COVID-19.

UnitedHealthcare will also work to support self-insured customers who choose to implement similar actions.

We are following all guidance and protocols issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local public health departments to support our members’ needs. 

UnitedHealthcare has processes in place to react to both local epidemics and pandemic types of situations. That said, each event is unique. We rely on state public health departments, the CDC, and the World Health Organization to provide specific guidance about detection, diagnosis and treatment. While the details of COVID-19 may be different, our approach is similar.

Optum, part of UnitedHealth Group, has opened its Emotional-Support Help Line. Professionally trained, mental health staff are available to provide support to people who may be suffering from fear or stress as a result of COIVD-19. Optum’s Emotional-Support Help Line number is 866-342-6892 and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is free of charge and open to anyone.

The COVID-19 situation continues to evolve and change, and so we will continue to evaluate the need for new policies or procedures for COVID-19 to support our members.

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.