Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

EHP is tracking the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely. We want to make sure you have up-to-date information, know what to expect, and know how to care for your own and your family’s health.

Please visit coronavirus.jhu.edu for the latest COVID-19 news, health and safety guidelines, and easy instructions for how to protect yourself.

Maryland is under a state of emergency in response to the spread of COVID-19. To stay updated on the changing situation in Maryland, please visit coronavirus.maryland.gov.

Coronavirus and Your Benefits

It is critical to EHP that our members have appropriate access and coverage to testing and treatment for coronavirus. EHP has updated all benefit plans with the following coverage:

COVID-19 Vaccine

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccine will help protect you from getting COVID-19. These vaccines are a critical step in slowing the spread of the disease. Initial doses of the vaccines are being made available to priority groups. As greater supplies become available, the vaccine will be offered to more of the public.

COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage

Johns Hopkins EHP will cover an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine at a $0 cost share for members. There will be no copay, co-insurance or deductible when members receive an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine from an in-network or out-of-network provider during the public health emergency. This coverage extends to both required doses of the vaccine.

Questions We Can Answer Now

We’re learning everything we can about the vaccines and their availability. The CDC, FDA and state health departments are the best sources of information, but here are some common questions we can answer for you.

What COVID-19 vaccines have been approved?

The FDA has approved two COVID-19 vaccines and a third vaccine is in trials.

  • Pfizer
    • Approved and in use
    • Two required doses, three weeks apart
    • Pfizer reports vaccine is approximately 95% effective at preventing both mild and severe symptoms of COVID-19
  • Moderna
    • Approved and in use
    • Two required doses, four weeks apart
    • Moderna reports vaccine is approximately 95% effective at preventing both mild and severe symptoms of COVID-19

Learn more about the approved vaccines.

When will I be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

States are prioritizing the vaccines by risk level based on CDC guidance.

Level 1A

  • Health care workers
  • Residents and staff of long-term care facilities
  • First responders

Level 1B

  • People at significantly higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness

Level 2

  • People in critical, essential infrastructure roles
  • People at moderately higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness

Level 3

  • General Population

Additional supplies of the vaccines may be more available by spring or summer. Please talk to your health care provider or pharmacy about when you may be able to receive the vaccine. When the vaccine is available to you, make sure to follow all instructions you receive, including timing of a second dose, as required.

Read about the CDC’s guidance on vaccine priority.

Where will I be able to get the vaccine?

Once production of the vaccine increases, the plan is for health care providers, retail pharmacies, hospitals, health departments, and more to have the vaccine. EHP members can receive the COVID-19 vaccine from an in-network or out-of-network provider at a $0 cost share during the public health emergency. Benefits may vary for COVID-19 vaccines received at pharmacies—check with your Pharmacy Benefit Manager.

Is the vaccine safe?

Vaccines approved by the FDA have to pass the vaccine safety system, which includes clinical trials. Learn more about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Are there any side effects from the vaccine?

Some people have experienced side effects after getting the vaccine, including:

  • Injection-site pain, fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain, headaches, chills

These side effects are normal and means that your body is building protection. Side effects may impact your day-to-day activities, but should go away in a few days. Learn more about the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Will I still need to wear a mask and maintain physical distance after I get vaccinated?

Until—and even after—you receive the vaccine, you should continue to practice all recommended and required measures to stay safe and slow the spread of the disease. These steps include wearing a facemask, maintaining a distance of six feet from others, and washing your hands frequently. Experts still need to understand more about the vaccine, including any limitations on how long protection may last, before these safety measures can be altered.

Read the CDC’s answer to this question and more.

 COVID-19 Testing

  • Testing for COVID-19 is covered effective Feb. 4, 2020 with an in-network or out-of-network provider.
  • Members will have no cost-sharing (copayments, coinsurance and deductibles) for COVID-19 testing or visits that result in COVID-19 testing, items and services provided during an office visit (including in office or telehealth provider office visits, urgent care and emergency department visits) that results in the administration of a COVID-19 test or an order for such test, but only to the extent that the items and services relate to the COVID-19 test.
  • Prior authorizations waived for COVID-19 testing and the associated visit.

Prescriptions

  • To increase access to prescription medications, EHP is waiving the early medication refill limits for supplies of at least 30 days (for EHP members with pharmacy benefits through CVS/caremark).

Members can also consider getting a 90-day supply of maintenance medications you take on a regular basis. Visit COVID-19 – Frequently Asked Pharmacy Questions or our pharmacy page to learn more about your prescription coverage.

Telemedicine

  • Telemedicine is covered; originating site can be patient’s home. Services for diagnosis, consultation and treatment provided through telemedicine must meet all requirements of face-to-face visits between a licensed health care provider and patient consistent with the provider’s scope of practice.
  • Additional covered telemedicine services includes preventative visits, additional behavioral health, and PT/OT/ST codes.
  • There is no restriction on place of service (POS) of rendered services.
  • Same authorization requirements apply for telemedicine as for face-to-face visits
  • Telemedicine provided by out-of-network providers is covered and payable under member’s out-of-network benefits, if applicable.
  • Telephonic consultation is covered.

Getting Back to Care Amid COVID-19

Concerns about COVID-19 have caused many people to avoid seeking important health care during the pandemic. Preventive and routine care is still critical for your overall health. Health care providers are seeing more patients in person again. If you have been delaying care or have not been able to see your primary care provider (PCP) in a while, you should call to set up an appointment. Ask what preventive care you may be due for. Or set up a well-visit to discuss any screenings or routine care that you need.

Provider offices are taking extra precautions to ensure that offices are clean and patients and staff are safe. If you do not feel comfortable having an in-person appointment, you should consider using telehealth. With audio and video calls, you can still have many services. See the information on this page about how EHP covers telehealth.

Prevention

There is no vaccine for the coronavirus at this time, but you can take steps to help keep yourself and others safe. Follow these tips to prevent infection:

Social and Physical Distancing:

  • Avoid hugs, handshakes, and crowds.
  • If you feel sick, stay home.
  • If your children are sick, keep them at home.
  • If someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19, keep everyone in the house at home.
  • If you are an older person, stay home and away from other people.
  • If you are at higher risk of severe illness, stay home and away from other people.

As with any illness, call your provider if you are feeling unwell. You should also call your provider if you experience symptoms of coronavirus—fever, cough and trouble breathing—or if you think you may have been exposed to the virus.

Proper Handwashing:

Clean hands save lives! This simple step is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially:
    • Before eating
    • After going to the bathroom
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • When you can’t get to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If someone is sick at home, wash your hands before and after caring for them.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Our priority remains to ensure that you have access to the health care you need. We will continue to update our website with information that can help you stay healthy, or – in case you get sick – help you get the right care.

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