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What You Should Know About the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccine

Protect your health with a Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine

COVID-19 vaccines are an important step in protecting your health and your loved ones, and we encourage you to talk to your doctor about the right time to get your vaccine. We are committed to providing helpful vaccine information and resources to support you, including $0 cost-share on COVID-19 vaccinations through the national public health emergency period.

Schedule your vaccine

COVID-19 vaccines are widely available across vaccination providers, including retail pharmacies, doctors’ offices and other health systems.

Vaccine protection and safety

FDA-authorized and FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe and help prevent serious illness from COVID-19.

$0 vaccine cost-share

You should not receive a bill for your COVID-19 vaccination through the national public health emergency1.

After you get vaccinated

Get the latest on life after you get your vaccine, from how to manage potential side effects to how to access your vaccine record.

Frequently asked questions

The CDC remains the best source for COVID-19 vaccine education. UnitedHealthcare will provide helpful information to our members digitally and through our call centers. Members should monitor updates from the local news, health departments, pharmacies and health care providers, who may have more specific information and resources on local vaccine availability.

There are multiple sections of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help guide people to the right content:

  1. Protection and safety
  2. Distribution and availability
  3. First dose appointment preparation
  4. Getting the second dose
  5. Cost and coverage 
  6. Additional resources 

Protection and safety

The FDA has approved the COVID-19 vaccine for use in preventing serious illness from COVID-19 among people ages 16 and older. COVID-19 vaccines are also emergency-use authorized (EUA), among people age 12 and older to help prevent serious illness from COVID-19, by the FDA. For people who have certain immunocompromised conditions, the FDA authorized an extra dose of the two-dose COVID-19 vaccines to help maximize protection for this population. Details can be found in the chart below.

COVID-19 vaccines

Vaccine manufacturer

Doses

Ages

FDA Information and Fact Sheets

Comirnaty from Pfizer-BioNTech

2 doses4, 21 days apart

  • EUA for 12- to 15-year-olds
  • EUA for certain immunocompromised people4
  • Approved for age 16 and older

Moderna

2-doses4, 1 month apart

  • EUA for age 18 and older
  • EUA for certain immunocompromised people4

Johnson & Johnson's Janssen 

1 dose

18 and older

1 Always follow vaccination instructions from the manufacturer.

2 Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for use among people these ages.

* CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Like the flu vaccine, vaccination providers will administer the COVID-19 vaccine based on availability. Vaccination providers may not have all FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines at their location.

Important reminders on the protection COVID-19 vaccines provide:

  • Like other vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines can take several weeks after vaccination completion for full effectiveness.
  • Fully vaccinated people may carry the virus after exposure, even if they are not showing symptoms. Masks used in indoor and public places help prevent exposure.
  • The duration of protection against COVID-19 is currently unknown and being studied.

Because of this, keep following public health safety guidelines to help protect yourself and others. For the latest information, go to the CDC.

All FDA-authorized and FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious illness from COVID-19, according to the CDC. If you have questions about which vaccine might be right for you, talk to your primary care provider or other health care professional.

Learn more about the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine on the CDC website.  

The safety of vaccines is a top priority, and millions of people have already been safely vaccinated. All FDA-authorized and FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious illness, including hospitalization and death, from COVID-19, according to the CDC. They are key to slowing the pandemic. The U.S. vaccine safety system makes sure all vaccines go through an extensive process to confirm levels of safety. The recently FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines went through this process. Even after emergency use authorization, the FDA continues to review clinical data about the vaccines.

Approval is granted once the FDA determines the vaccine to be safe and effective at preventing serious illness from COVID-19. The FDA goes through a detailed review of clinical data and information, as submitted in the Biologics License Application (BLA)

The CDC website has additional COVID-19 vaccine safety information

As with other vaccines, and according to the CDC, people report some side effects with the FDA-authorized and FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines. The most common side effect is a sore arm. Some other side effects may feel like flu and might even affect members’ ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

If members have side effects that bother them or do not go away, they should report them to their vaccination provider or primary care provider. They should also notify the CDC at 1-800-822-7967, as the CDC and FDA continue to monitor the safety of the FDA-authorized and FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines. Members can also use the CDC’s v-safe mobile app, which will help them monitor side effects and get second dose reminders. 

The FDA has a review process for safety and effectiveness that it completes before granting emergency use authorization (EUA) for the general public. Once the FDA authorizes a vaccine for emergency use, the Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet to vote on recommending the vaccine.

When evaluating an EUA, the FDA carefully balances the potential risks and benefits of the products based on the data currently available. During the national public health emergency period, the FDA continues to monitor both the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.

As more COVID-19 vaccines are authorized for emergency use by the FDA, ACIP will quickly hold public meetings to review all available data about each vaccine and make recommendations for their use in the United States. Learn more about how CDC is making COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.

The FDA approval determined that the vaccine is safe and effective at preventing COVID-19. The FDA goes through a detailed review of clinical data and information, as submitted in the Biologics License Application (BLA). In addition, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the CDC have recommended the FDA-approved vaccine for use among people age 16 and older.

The COVID-19 vaccine with FDA approval is the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, which will be known as Comirnaty. This vaccine was approved for use in preventing COVID-19 among people age 16 and older, and continues to be authorized for emergency use to prevent COVID-19 among people 12 to 15 years old and those with certain immunocompromised conditions, as defined by the CDC.

The current FDA-authorized and FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines are not recommended for people with certain conditions or of different ages. The current vaccines are authorized for use among the following ages:

  • Pfizer is not authorized for people under the age of 12.
  • Moderna is not authorized for people under the age of 18.
  • Johnson & Johnson's Janssen is not authorized for people under the age of 18 and it is not authorized for a second dose.

Per the FDA, women younger than 50 years old should be aware of the rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after Janssen vaccination. Other COVID-19 vaccines, such as Pfizer and Moderna, are available for which this risk has not been seen.

There are other special considerations for when it might not be a good time to get the vaccine:

  • If a person has recently been exposed to COVID-19, see the CDC guidelines for getting the vaccine
  • If a person had monoclonal antibody treatment or received convalescent plasma, the CDC states vaccination should not occur for at least 90 days

Members should talk to their health care provider if they have questions about getting vaccinated for COVID-19. 

According to the CDC, if people have ever had a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine or an injected medicine, they should ask their doctor if they should get the COVID-19 vaccine. A severe reaction is one that requires treatment at a hospital or with medications like an EpiPen (epinephrine). According to the CDC, the likelihood of severe reaction to the FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines is very low.   

The CDC recommends people who have seasonal allergies or allergies to food, pets or oral medications, can still be vaccinated. If members have questions, they should check with their health care provider.

For more information, read the FDA’s patient fact sheets: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen. Health care professionals can also look to the FDA’s health care provider fact sheets available for Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen.

 

COVID-19 vaccination is recommended by the CDC and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for all people age 12 years and older. This includes people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now or might become pregnant in the future. Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can protect you from severe illness from COVID-19.

If you have questions, a conversation with your health care provider about the COVID-19 vaccine may be helpful

According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccination should be offered to people regardless of whether they’ve already had COVID-19 infection. And members do not need an antibody or diagnostic test before or after they are vaccinated to learn if the vaccine worked. Anyone currently infected with COVID-19 should wait to get vaccinated until after their illness has resolved and after they have met the criteria to discontinue isolation. Additionally, current evidence suggests that reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection. People with a recent infection may delay vaccination until the end of that 90-day period.

According to the CDC, if you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

If you or your child has a history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults or children, CDC states you may want to consider delaying vaccination until you or your child have recovered from being sick and for 90 days after the date of diagnosis of MIS-A or MIS-C. Learn more about the clinical considerations people with a history of multisystem MIS-C or MIS-A.

According to the CDC, experts are continuing to study the variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. There are multiple variants of the virus that cause COVID-19 in the United States, and these variants seem to spread more easily than other variants. An increase in cases of COVID-19 can lead to more hospitalizations and potentially more deaths.  

FDA-authorized and FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines help prevent the virus from spreading, which in turn can help decrease the opportunity for virus variants to develop and spread. According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines do help protect against variants, and they continue to be closely investigated with more studies underway.

Vaccines play an essential role in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and protecting people’s health. To help protect the member’s health, they need to follow public health safety practices: wear face masks, physically distance, wash hands regularly and isolate or quarantine when sick. Learn more about the Delta variant here, or visit the CDC website.

The American Academy of Pediatricians and the American Medical Association support face masks as a science-based tool in helping prevent and control COVID-19. Masks help keep your respiratory droplets in, while keeping other people’s droplets out. They are effective in helping slow the spread of COVID-19, especially for 1) both vaccinated and unvaccinated people in highly-impacted areas, and, and 2) people and households who are not yet vaccinated or have an underlying medical condition, according to the CDC.

Make sure your mask works the best it can, according to the CDC:

  • Have two or more layers of washable fabric
  • Completely cover your nose and mouth
  • Fit snugly against the sides of your face without gaps
  • Have a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask

Learn more about when to wear a mask on the CDC site

The CDC says that routine flu vaccination is an important preventive care service for children, adolescents and adults (including pregnant people) that should not be delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local public health agencies determine quarantine recommendations. According to the CDC, quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Exposure is defined as 15 minutes or more of being within 6 feet of an individual who tested positive or had symptoms within 2 days of exposure. By not going in public or staying home, quarantine helps prevent disease spread before a person knows if they have it.

The CDC has identified 2 groups of people who do not need to quarantine when exposed:

  • People who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to quarantine following a direct exposure to someone with COVID-19, unless they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Fully vaccinated people are considered those who have had a dose of the one-dose vaccine or both doses of a two-dose vaccine, and 2 weeks have passed to allow for the vaccine to work. There are additional considerations for people who are fully vaccinated and in health care settings.
  • People who have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months do not need to quarantine.

Learn more on the CDC website

According to the CDC, isolation is used to separate people infected with COVID-19 from those who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. At home, anyone sick or infected should separate from others, staying in a specific “sick room” and using a separate bathroom if possible. The length of isolation period depends on several factors. Review the CDC’s recommendations for when isolation can end based on the situation.

According to the CDC, while most people get over COVID-19 within weeks of illness, some people experience post-COVID-19 conditions that continue 4 weeks or more after infection. Several recent studies show that between 27-33% of patients who get COVID-19 and were not hospitalized developed some lasting symptoms, no matter their age, prior health or severity of their infection. While much is still unknown, the CDC reports these “long-haul” conditions can come to life in a variety of ways, ranging from difficulty breathing, fatigue, joint pain or mood changes to even more serious issues like multi-organ damage or autoimmune conditions. FDA-authorized and FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines play an important role in preventing serious illness from COVID-19. Additional information “long haul” COVID-19 is available on the CDC website.

Distribution and availability

FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines are widely available at retail pharmacies, doctors’ offices, hospitals and federally qualified health centers. Many large retail pharmacies are accepting walk-in patients, and large vaccination events may no longer be requiring appointments.

Find resources about vaccine availability for the member’s area

We are committed to keeping member informed on vaccines and encouraging vaccination to help protect their health and the health of others. Members can find the most recent information on uhc.com/covid-19vaccines and through their online UnitedHealthcare member account. To help members receive timely information, we encourage them to sign in to their online member account and review their preferences.

UnitedHealthcare is also committed to health equity and supporting our vulnerable members. We have programs to support people at high-risk, including those with high-risk conditions and people age 65+. Members can learn more by calling the number on their UnitedHealthcare member ID card.  

According to the CDC, adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. Severe illness from COVID-19 is defined as hospitalization, admission to the ICU, intubation or mechanical ventilation, or death. UnitedHealthcare is committed to helping our members at high risk find vaccination providers and get vaccinated.

UnitedHealthcare may offer support in three ways: 

1) vaccine encouragement via email or telephone, inclusive of our Vaccine Resource Locator to help them find vaccination providers, 

2) notification and clinical support through their care management program, or

 3) notification and scheduling support through our customer service advocates. Through these programs, UnitedHealthcare encourages vaccination, helps the member find vaccination providers through our Vaccine Resource Locator and provides transportation or community resources, as appropriate. Transportation support varies across UnitedHealthcare plans. We encourage members to talk to their health care providers about when to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

Members can also use our Vaccine Resource Locator (uhc.com/vaccinelocator) to find vaccination providers near them. For members age 65+ or in our Dual Complete plans, we have transportation and scheduling programs to support members, helping remove any barriers to vaccination. While we have UnitedHealthcare advocates reaching out, members can call the number on their UnitedHealthcare member ID card to learn more about vaccination appointment scheduling support. 

UnitedHealthcare has specific programs to help remove vaccination barriers to build vaccine confidence and support equitable access among both members and our communities.

  • To build vaccine confidence, we are taking an insights-driven approach focused on empathy training, delivering the right messages and supporting the right messengers.
  • To support equitable vaccine access, data and analytics help us understand our population health dynamic and help guide our member engagement strategies. This includes focus on the right partners and channels for engagement, as well transportation and scheduling programs to support vaccination among the most vulnerable.
  • UnitedHealthcare is also supporting initiatives focused on helping vaccinate the vulnerable and underserved through our STOP COVID-19 program and the health insurance industry’s Vaccine Community Connectors pilot initiative.
  • Health equity in also at the center of how we do business. Our communications and experiences deliver on digital accessibility, health literacy and multi-lingual communications. Our corporate social responsibility program, Empowering Health, provides grant support to local community organizations to aid in health access among the most vulnerable and under-served populations.

See detailed “Vaccine Confidence and Health Equity Talking Points for more details. 

UnitedHealthcare recommends members get the first COVID-19 vaccine that becomes available to them and is recommended by a health care professional.

We also recommend the member keep their doctor informed of their vaccination. The member’s UnitedHealthcare digital vaccination record may be one way a member may choose to share their vaccination with their doctor or other health care providers. The UnitedHealthcare digital record is not yet available for all members, as we work with the government and other vaccination providers to help make sure members’ COVID-19 vaccination data is complete.   

Like the flu vaccine, vaccination providers will administer the COVID-19 based on availability. Vaccination providers may not have all FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines at their location. If members have questions, we encourage them to talk to their health care provider.

First dose appointment preparation

Members should be prepared to show their photo ID, such as a driver’s license, to show proof of identity.

  • Medicare plan members:

They will need their red, white and blue Medicare card    because Medicare is paying for the member’s vaccine in 2021. If the member doesn’t have their Medicare card, they can find it by logging into their Social Security account. More information on their Medicare card can be found on the CMS site.

If the member receives their vaccine at a regular provider visit, they will also need their UnitedHealthcare member ID card.  

  • For people with non-Medicare health plans, they will need to show their UnitedHealthcare member ID card.

Member should wear their face mask and physically distance at their appointment. Additional information on preparing for their vaccination appointment can be found on the CDC website

For many members, UnitedHealthcare pays a fee to the vaccination provider for the administration of the vaccine. In addition, by providing their health insurance card, the member is helping make sure there is a digital record of their COVID-19 vaccination available through their online UnitedHealthcare member account.

If a member receives additional services during their vaccination appointment or get the vaccination during a regular office visit, they may be responsible for copays, deductibles, coinsurance or out-of-network charges, according to their benefits plan. Your vaccination provider should not charge you for the standard observation, which is the 15-30 minutes after receiving the vaccination.

Here are 3 key points from the CDC for members to keep in mind as they prepare for their vaccination appointment:

  1. Members’ vaccination providers will likely monitor them after receiving the vaccine. This is in case of a rare allergic reaction. So, members should plan on the vaccination appointment taking some extra time.
  2. Members should plan ahead for their second dose by scheduling their second vaccine appointment if possible. Members can also sign up for free text messaging through the CDC’s VaxText to a get a reminder about their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  3. Members should receive a vaccination card during their appointment that says which vaccine they received, the date it was received and where it was received. We suggest they keep it in a safe place.

If you are receiving an additional dose, your vaccination card will be updated to reflect those doses at your next appointment. We encourage members to keep their vaccination card with them.

 

Getting the second dose

People will need to get both doses within 3-4 weeks to get the protection indicated by the manufacturer. They should make sure both of the doses received are from the same manufacturer and that the second dose is as close to the recommended timing as possible. Follow the vaccination instructions from the manufacturer:

We strongly encourage members to schedule both doses at the same time to meet these time frames and get protection from COVID-19. The vaccination provider should assist the member with scheduling the second dose when they receive their first dose and help them know when to get the second dose.

They can also sign up for free text messaging through the CDC’s VaxText to a get a reminder about their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

An additional dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine is not yet authorized, nor is there a recommendation to start another vaccine series. The CDC and FDA are actively working to provide guidance on this

The CDC and FDA have authorized an extra dose of COVID-19 vaccines for certain immunocompromised people as defined by CDC.

It is recommended for those eligible for the third shot that people get the third shot a minimum of 28 days after their second dose of the two-dose vaccine, ideally getting the same manufacturer as the first 2 shots. People who are immunocompromised, and those who live with them, should continue to wear face masks, physically distance and wash hands regularly when outside of their household.

An additional dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine is not yet authorized. The CDC and FDA are actively working to provide guidance on this.

The CDC recommends getting the next shot in your series as close to the recommended timing as possible. Follow the vaccination instructions from the manufacturer. If a member misses their vaccination appointment or are outside of the timing, they can still get the second dose and they won’t need to start over with a first dose. And even if the second dose is late, the second dose will still help them get protection from COVID-19. They should schedule their next appointment with their vaccination provider as soon as they can.

They should have received a vaccination card at their first appointment with information on the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer, date of their first vaccination and when their second dose is due. If they cannot find that, their vaccination provider can help them know which vaccine they received.

The member should talk to their health care provider or COVID-19 vaccination provider. They will help the member determine the best next step to completing the COVID-19 vaccination series.

Post vaccination

Side effects from vaccines are normal signs that your body is building protection. As with other vaccines and according to the CDC, people have reported some side effects with the FDA-authorized and FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines. The most common side effect is a sore arm. Some other side effects may feel like flu and might even affect your ability to do daily activities. But they should go away in a few days. Members can learn more on the CDC website.

If the member experiences pain or discomfort after their vaccination, they can talk to their doctor about taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. They can also use a virtual visit to connect with a health care professional to discuss their symptoms.

In the event of an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. 

If members have side effects that bother them or do not go away, they should report them to their vaccination provider or primary care provider. They should also notify the CDC at 1-800-822-7967. This is because the CDC and FDA continue to monitor the safety of the FDA-authorized and FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines. Members can also use the CDC’s v-safe mobile app, which will help them monitor side effects and get second dose reminders.

The CDC guidance changes once a person is fully vaccinated, which means it is 2 weeks after you have received the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or after getting the one-dose Janssen vaccine.

According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can resume many activities that they did prior to the pandemic, without wearing a mask or physically distancing.

However, to help protect fully-vaccinated members and others from COVID-19, including the Delta variant, the CDC and American Medical Association recommend the following:

  • Wear a mask in public indoor places and crowded outdoor spaces in areas with substantial or high COVID-19 infection rates.
  • Wear a mask and follow other public health safety guidelines if you or someone in your household is unvaccinated, has a weakened immune system or has an underlying medical condition.
  • Wear a mask in all indoor schools, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Wear a mask for 14 days, or until you receive a fully negative test result, when in public indoor settings if you were exposed to someone who might have a COVID-19 infection; the first COVID-19 test should be taken between day 3 and 5 after exposure.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also endorses masks for helping prevent and control COVID-19. They recommend face masks be worn by all children 2 years of age and older. 

Continue to follow any mask-wearing requirements based on state, local or business guidance. Refer to the CDC guidance for complete public health safety guidance.

Learn what you need to know about mask-wearing and choosing safer activities

The only extra dose of the COVID-19 vaccine currently authorized for emergency use is for those with certain immunocompromised conditions, as defined by CDC.

A booster shot (or additional dose) of a COVID-19 vaccine is not authorized by the FDA, nor recommended by the CDC. More information is expected in mid to late September. We will update uhc.com and uhcprovider.com as soon as the appropriate recommendation is made publicly available.

We encourage members to keep their vaccination card in a safe place. Members may want to consider taking a picture or scan of the vaccination card as a backup copy. Members should not post a picture of their vaccination card on the internet or via social media, as there may be people who try to use the member’s information as their own.

Your vaccination record, which may be available through their online UnitedHealthcare member account and mobile app, may also be helpful in situations where a member may need to show proof of vaccination. If you currently do not have one showing, you can self-report your vaccination, so you have digital proof of vaccination to use and share as you’d like.

Yes, your COVID-19 vaccine record can be found within your online UnitedHealthcare member account and the UnitedHealthcare mobile app. The record puts the member’s vaccination information at their fingertips, and may be helpful for employment, return to school or doing other activities where a COVID-19 vaccination record may be requested. This digital record is not intended to replace your official CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.

Members may choose to self-report their vaccination using their digital record within their online UnitedHealthcare member account. This record can be printed or shared as you’d like. UnitedHealthcare may use that information to help members get timely information, including booster shot reminders. Should we receive updated vaccination data from the member’s vaccination provider, their self-reported data will be replaced.    

We encourage members to keep their doctor informed of their vaccination. The UnitedHealthcare digital vaccination record is one way the member may choose to share their vaccination information with their doctor or other health care provider.  

At this time, UnitedHealthcare will not have a COVID-19 vaccination record for all members given the many different vaccination sites and resulting incomplete data. UnitedHealthcare continues to work closely with states and other vaccination providers to help make sure members will have access to a reliable digital record of their vaccination.

See Vaccination Record 2.0 talking points for more details.

No, the CDC does not recommend people get COVID-19 antibody or diagnostic testing to understand whether a vaccine worked

According to the CDC, people who are fully vaccinated are not required to quarantine following a direct exposure to someone with COVID-19, unless they are experiencing symptoms. Fully vaccinated people are considered those who have had the one-dose vaccine or both doses of a two-dose vaccine, and a period of 2 weeks has passed to allow for the vaccine to work. There are additional considerations for fully vaccinated patients and residents in health care facility settings.

Cost and coverage

You will have $0 cost-share (copayments, deductibles or coinsurance) on your FDA-authorized or FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination as noted below, no matter where you get the vaccine2 and including when 2 doses are required. For those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, as defined by the CDC, a third COVID-19 vaccination dose is covered at $0 cost-share.

  • Plans through Employers and Individual plans, including Student Resources, Short Term Limited Liability and Exchange plans: Members will have $0 cost-share for the vaccine at both in- and out-of-network providers through the national public health emergency period. UnitedHealthcare pays a fee to the vaccination provider for the administration of the vaccine and the recommended observation. If the member receives care for an adverse reaction, they may be responsible for copays, deductibles, coinsurance or out-of-network charges, according to their benefits plan.
  • For Medicare plans: Members will have $0 cost-share for the vaccine at both in- and out-of-network providers through Dec. 31, 2021. Providers should not ask Medicare members for vaccine payment, upfront or after they receive the vaccine.
  • For Medicaid members in UnitedHealthcare Community Plans: Members will have $0 cost-share for the vaccine at both in- and out-of-network providers through the national public health emergency period. State variations and regulations may apply during this time. Please review the UnitedHealthcare Community Plan website and state’s site for the latest information. If no state-specific guidance is available, UnitedHealthcare plan guidelines will apply.

For those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised as defined by the CDC, a third COVID-19 vaccination dose is covered at $0 cost-share.

If a member receives additional services during their vaccination appointment or get the vaccination during a regular office visit, they may be responsible for copays, deductibles, coinsurance or out-of-network charges, according to their benefits plan.

Members should not receive any bills for their COVID-19 vaccination from their provider or UnitedHealthcare during the national emergency health period. The member’s vaccination provider should not charge them for the standard observation, which is the 15 to 30 minutes after receiving the vaccination. Members who have questions about their coverage or bills can go to their online UnitedHealthcare account or call the number on their health insurance card.

 

If a COVID-19 vaccine is received during an office visit where members talk about other health needs, they may have a cost-share for the office visit. The office visit will then be covered according to benefits plan. This means the member would be responsible for any copay, coinsurance or deductible, according to their benefits plan. The vaccine will have $0 cost-share for the time periods above.

No. Be on alert for fraud. If someone calls, texts, or emails promising access to the vaccine for a fee, personal or financial information should not be shared. Members should not give their credit card, social security number, PayPal® account, Venmo® account or any other payment information to anyone to get access to a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • No one should ask a member to pay to put their name on a list to get the vaccine
  • No one should ask a member to pay to get early access to a vaccine

UnitedHealthcare will only request secure information from members through their password-protected member account.

In addition, members should avoid fraud by not posting any pictures of their vaccination card on the internet and social media. There are scammers who might try to use that photo for their own. 

If a member suspects fraud or is unsure, they have several ways to report it. Visit uhc.com/fraud, to start an online report. Or call one of the following numbers.

  • Call the number on the health insurance member ID card
  • Call 1-844-359-7736 if they're a UnitedHealthcare member 
  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE if they’re a Medicare member

Members can learn more about how to protect themselves from fraud on uhc.com.

How will providers be reimbursed for COVID-19 vaccines?

For COVID-19 vaccine administration billing and reimbursement information, go to uhcprovider.com.

For COVID-19 vaccine administration billing and reimbursement information, go to uhcprovider.com

Additional COVID-19 resources

Stay safe and healthy

It’s important to follow public health guidelines to help you stay healthy, especially if you haven’t yet received the COVID-19 vaccine. Protect yourself and others from COVID-19 by following these simple steps:

  • Wear a face mask
  • Continue to physically distance
  • Avoid crowds
  • Wash your hands

Visit the CDC website for information on life after vaccination

Also, remember to stay on top of your doctor appointments like annual checkups and care for anxiety, depression and loneliness. Most providers also offer telehealth visits to help you get the care you need.

Helpful Resources

Want to learn more? Here are clinical resources from various authorities to help in understanding COVID-19 vaccines.

Vaccine fraud awareness

Be on alert for fraud. If someone calls, texts, or emails you promising access to the vaccine for a fee, don’t share your personal or financial information.

  • No one should ask you to pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine
  • No one should ask you to pay to get early access to a vaccine
UnitedHealthcare will only request secure information from you through your password-protected member account.

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.

1 If you receive additional services during your vaccination appointment, you may be responsible for copays, deductibles, coinsurance or out-of-network charges, according to your benefits plan.

2 Key things to know about COVID-19 vaccines, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, Feb.27, 2021.

3 Always follow vaccination instructions from the manufacturer. 

4 The CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

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.