What you need to know about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Continue to check this page often, we will be updating the information as it becomes available.
How your benefits will work
If you are a HealthLink State of Illinois health plan member: COVID-19 diagnostic test and exam: Covered at 100%; no member cost share. COVID-19 treatment: if you are diagnosed with COVID-19, your treatment will be covered at 100%, with no member cost share. You can also visit a doctor from home: Telemedicine Program from HealthLink: Covered at 100%; no member cost share. Members can call 855-717-6800 to speak to a doctor anytime. Telehealth services: through electronic or telephonic methods. This includes medical consults, psychiatry, mental health treatment, substance use disorder treatment and related services.
- In-network providers - Covered at 100%, no member cost share
- Out-of-network providers - subject to the same plan benefits as if they were rendered in an office setting; members will be responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses.
All other members: HealthLink provides access to a network of doctors, hospitals and other healthcare facilities as part of a members' health plan. We do not make benefit and coverage decisions for the plan. Members should contact their employer or benefit administrator with questions regarding coverage.
How will you ensure that the doctors in my plan can still provide care?
HealthLink is committed to making sure you can get the care you need. We're working closely with the doctors and other health care professionals in our plans to prepare for more calls and visits. If your doctor isn't available for some reason, we'll help you find alternate care. You can use the Find a Doctor tool on HealthLink.com or call 800-624-2356 to find a doctor near you.
Emotional and Mental Health Support for All Members
As part of your benefits, you have access to the myStrength website for emotional well-being support while dealing with recent life changes from COVID-19. Go to myStrength to access the resources including:
- Managing overwhelming thoughts & emotions
- Juggling work and family responsibilities
- Mindfulness & meditation
- Staying connected with others
HealthLink members also have access to a free web-based resource to support your mental health needs. Psych Hub offers a range of resources to help you and your family deal with pandemic-related stress such as social isolation, job loss and other mental health issues. Visit Psych Hub to take advantage of these free resources.
Here's some information you can use to help protect yourself and the people you care about. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is asking everyone to help reduce the risk of infections spreading. Check the CDC website for up-to-date information, especially if traveling.
What is coronavirus and COVID-19?
Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes respiratory illness - an infection of the airways and lungs. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. It's part of the same family of coronaviruses that includes the common cold.
What are the symptoms?
The most common early symptoms appear between 2 and 14 days after being infected. Symptoms can be mild to severe. They include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
How does the virus spread?
Right now, medical experts think that COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person through a cough, sneeze or kiss. However, since COVID-19 is a new disease, scientists around the globe are racing to learn more about it.
Prevention and treatment
How can I help protect myself?
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. Check the CDC website for up-to-date information. If you're traveling, you'll want to visit the CDC travel page for their most current travel guidelines.
Good health habits can also help prevent and fight COVID-19. You should:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when sick. This includes staying home from work, school, errands, and travel for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone.
- Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces like phones, keyboards, and doorknobs.
- Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, drink lots of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
Do I need to wear a face mask?
It's best to follow the CDC's recommendations for using a facemask.
- If you're not sick, the CDC does not recommend wearing a facemask to protect yourself from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- If you're sick with COVID-19, or being evaluated for COVID-19, you should wear a facemask when you are around other people to help prevent spreading the disease to others.
- If you're taking care of someone who has COVID-19, you should wear a facemask to protect yourself when you are in close contact with a person who is sick with COVID-19, or being evaluated for COVID-19. CDC information for household members and caregivers can be found here.
What if I have symptoms?
Call your doctor if you develop a fever, have a cough, or have difficulty breathing. And let them know if you've been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area where the virus has spread. You can also check with your employer or benefit administrator to see if your plan offers telehealth benefits to see a doctor online. If you think you're infected, using telehealth helps to prevent spreading a virus.
Are there any prescription drugs that can be used to treat COVID-19?
Right now, there are no prescription drugs that are approved to treat this virus. Scientists are working quickly to develop treatment, so we are closely monitoring CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) guidance for updates on the best treatments.
Are there any vaccines available to prevent COVID-19?
Not yet. Several vaccines are being tested, but they're still in the very early stages of development. After that, they'll need to go through clinical trials to be sure they are both safe and effective before they'd be ready for the public.
For more information, check the CDC website for up-to-date details and recommendations about COVID-19.
- U.S. Department of State China Travel Advisory
- World Health Organization, Coronavirus
- Workplace, School and Home Guidance
- People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID-19