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Coronavirus:
Your Health Is Our Priority

COVID-19, Vaccines & Your Benefits

Your benefits are here to protect you.

Information for providers

COVID-19, Vaccines and Your Benefits

We have solutions that connect you to a doctor who can evaluate symptoms, help you understand whether you're at risk for COVID-19, find COVID-19 services and vaccines in your community, and let you know whether you need to visit a local health care provider in person. Review these options and talk to your doctor about whether they offer telehealth.

Three Things to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the best and safest ways to protect yourself and everyone around you. Learn how UniCare covers the vaccine and your vaccination and how health authorities are ensuring vaccine safety.

  1. UniCare members will receive the COVID-19 vaccination at no cost.
    Members won't have out-of-pocket costs for the vaccine during this national public health emergency. This applies to all members, regardless of the type of health plan they have, or which doctor or healthcare professional they choose to visit for COVID-19 vaccination.
  2. The FDA has approved the vaccine.
    Researchers have studied vaccine reactions and potential side effects throughout the large clinical trials used to authorize each of the three vaccines. The FDA and outside experts carefully reviewed all of the clinical trial data when weighing authorization of each vaccine. The FDA, CDC, and vaccine manufacturers are continuously monitoring vaccine safety and quality. At this point, real-world data supports use of these vaccines in over 150 million* Americans and counting.
  3. As of May 10, 2021 everyone in the U.S. aged 12 years or older is eligible for the vaccine.
    Visit https://vaxfinder.mass.gov to find COVID-19 vaccines near you in Massachusetts. For those outside of Massachusetts, visit vaccines.gov. If you’d like to learn more about the vaccine, visit the CDC’s website.

*As of July 26, 2021

Emergency Services in Your Community

Aunt Bertha, a social care network, can help you find free and reduced-cost programs to help with food, transportation, health, housing, job training, and more.

Find services near you

COVID-19 Test Facility Finder

Share your location to quickly find a COVID-19 testing facility near you.

Find a COVID-19 test facility

Mental Health Resource Hub

Taking care of your mental health is more important than ever. This free online digital resource site, powered by Psych Hub, can help you navigate social isolation, job loss, and other COVID-19 challenges.

Visit Psych Hub

Symptom Assessment

Find out what your symptoms may mean by answering five quick questions. This tool uses guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Begin the assessment

LiveHealth Online

Use LiveHealth Online to visit with a doctor 24/7 through live video. You can use the LiveHealth Online app on your mobile device or use your computer's camera to have your telehealth visit.

Get the LiveHealth online mobile app

EAP for Extra Support

Members in the Basic, PLUS and Community Choice plans have benefits through the GIC's Mass4YOU Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Mass4YOU, administered by Optum, can help with issues such as mental health and assistance with personal, family and work issues.

Go to the Optum website (access code: Mass4You)

Stay Informed About the COVID-19 Vaccine and More

People ages 12 and older are currently eligible to receive the vaccine in Massachusetts.

Visit vaxfinder.mass.gov to find a vaccination location close to you in Massachusetts and schedule an appointment. For those outside of Massachusetts, visit vaccines.gov. The COVID-19 vaccine is free. You don’t need an ID or insurance to get the vaccine.

If you can’t find a location that works for you, there are other options to get your vaccine.

If you would like assistance with the scheduling process, some resources may be able to assist you like following local organizations:

Still have questions about the vaccine rollout in Massachusetts? Visit the state’s frequently asked questions page to learn more.

COVID-19 vaccination is safe and highly effective at preventing COVID-19. Here are common myths and facts about the vaccines. Fact sheets are available in 10 different languages below.

No. Members won't have out-of-pocket costs for the vaccine during this national public health emergency. This applies to all members, regardless of the type of health plan they have or which doctor or healthcare professional they choose to visit for COVID-19 vaccination.

Researchers have studied vaccine reactions and potential side effects throughout the large clinical trials used to authorize each of the three vaccines. The FDA and outside experts carefully reviewed all of the clinical trial data when weighing authorization of each vaccine. The FDA, CDC, and vaccine manufacturers are continuously monitoring vaccine safety and quality. At this point, real-world data supports use of these vaccines in over 150 million* Americans and counting.

*As of July 26, 2021

Yes, individuals can get the vaccine if they've already had the infection. Because some evidence suggests that people previously infected can be re-infected, they may benefit from vaccination. For this reason, vaccination should be offered to people regardless of history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID-19 infection.

Check the CDC website for up-to-date information about COVID‑19, especially if you're thinking about 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.

How can I protect myself and others?

The best way to prevent infection is to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA has authorized three vaccines that have proven to be up to 95% effective in protecting against 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. CDC information for household members and caregivers can be found at this CDC webpage.

Are there any prescription drugs that can be used to treat COVID-19?

Several drugs have been approved or authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use to treat COVID-19.

Visit the CDC website to learn more about medicines and treatment guidelines for COVID-19. Please discuss additional questions about COVID-19 treatments and medicines with your doctor.

Why Social Distancing is Worth the Effort

A large number of people contracting the virus all at once looks a lot different than if those same people contract the virus over many months. If the number of infections rises too sharply, health care utilization will exceed hospital capacity for beds, ventilators, workers and other resources — and not just for COVID‑19 cases. All patients, whether they have a broken bone or a heart attack, would feel the effects of these shortages.

By staying apart from each other, individual people can reduce the all-at-once, exponential spread of COVID‑19. If the rate of new infections can be slowed — "flattening the curve" — health care utilization may be prevented from exceeding hospital capacity, and everyone will have the best chance to get timely care.

Additional Resources

Sources

All the talk around coronavirus (COVID‑19) may have you feeling anxious or stressed. And because anxiety doesn't simply stop, it's important to manage it well to safeguard your well-being. Simply follow these guidelines to control the things you can.

Symptoms of Anxiety

  • Intense worry
  • Fatigue
  • Panic
  • Obsession
  • Nightmares
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Sleep problems
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Sweating

If you're feeling anxious, try these steps to help you get through it:

  1. Take control of the situation. There are steps you can take to limit your risks of getting COVID‑19. Wash your hands often. Don't touch your eyes, nose and mouth. And disinfect your home and work area regularly. For more suggestions, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) 
  2. Take care of yourself. Eat nutritious food, exercise, limit alcohol consumption and make sleep a priority. Stay connected with family and friends online or by phone so you're not lonely.
  3. Stay informed by learning the facts. Be sure to get your information from credible sources, such as the CDC and the WHO.
  4. Think about the impact you have on others. Take preventive measures seriously. Talking with family and friends about the positive steps you're taking to stay safe will encourage them to do the same.
  5. Limit your media exposure to COVID‑19 news. Today's news cycle is 24/7, and the exposure can add to the stress. Unplug and give yourself some down time.

Other Ways to Get the Help You Need

  • Talk with your primary care doctor.
  • Telehealth resources — offered online, via phone, and through mobile apps — focused on mental health and emotional wellness.
  • 1-800-985-5990, a confidential national hotline for crisis counseling from the Disaster Distress Helpline. It's toll-free and available 24/7.