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.
UniCare 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. The COVID-19 vaccine is free. You do not need an ID or insurance to get the vaccine.
COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility
Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the best and safest ways to protect yourself and everyone around you. Three COVID-19 vaccines are authorized or approved for use in the United States to prevent COVID-19. To learn more about available vaccines, visit cdc.gov.
Everyone ages 5 years and older is now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination in Massachusetts. People ages 5-17 can get the Pfizer vaccine. People age 18+ can get any vaccine.
COVID-19 Booster Eligibility
Everyone age 16+ who are fully vaccinated and live, work, or study in Massachusetts are eligible to get a COVID-19 booster. Individuals aged 16-17 can only get the Pfizer booster. For more information on boosters, visit mass.gov.
Where to get COVID-19 vaccines and boosters:
- Visit vaxfinder.mass.gov to find COVID-19 vaccines and boosters near you.
- Mobile vaccination clinics.
- In-home Vaccinations: Call 833-983-0485
- More vaccination options in Massachusetts.
- For those outside of Massachusetts, visit vaccines.gov.
Still have questions about the vaccine in Massachusetts? Visit the state’s frequently asked questions page to learn more.
If you’d like to learn more about the vaccine and boosters, visit the CDC’s website.
A big part of our commitment to you includes making sure you won't have to worry about paying for treatment for this disease. As a result, you won't have to pay for COVID‑19 treatment and testing.
UniCare covers COVID‑19 testing with no out-of-pocket costs. Find a COVID‑19 testing location near you by using the test facility finder.
Over-the-Counter (OTC) COVID-19 testing coverage will be administered through the GIC’s pharmacy benefits: Express Scripts for non-Medicare plan members, and CVS SilverScript for our Medicare members. [Click here for more information from the GIC.]
Testing is covered in the following circumstances:
- For all symptomatic individuals as identified by a healthcare provider, even those with mild symptoms
- For all individuals identified as a close contact of confirmed or clinically diagnosed COVID-19 cases by a local Board of Health, Department of Public Health, the Community Tracking Collaborative, or a healthcare provider
- For any individual upon admission to a healthcare facility, including but not limited to a hospital operated or licensed by the Department of Public Health or Mental Health, long-term acute care hospital, or skilled nursing facility
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
Researchers have studied vaccine reactions and potential side effects throughout the large clinical trials used to authorize each of the three vaccines. The FDA, CDC, and vaccine manufacturers are continuously monitoring vaccine safety and quality. At this point, real-world data on more than 200 million* Americans and counting supports use of these vaccines.
*As of October 22, 2021
UniCare typically follows CDC recommendations for vaccinations. The CDC recommends that most people eventually become vaccinated. Illness from this virus can be severe in some people, leading to hospitalization and potentially, death.
A safe and effective vaccine may help to reduce the spread of the virus, help conserve healthcare resources and help a return to more normal day-to-day activities, including work and school. Many thousands of people of varying age, race, ethnicity, and different medical conditions have participated in the trials to see how effective and safe they are.
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.
Use telehealth to help minimize your risk of COVID-19.
Telehealth lets you visit a healthcare professional for both medical and behavioral healthcare through live chat or video on your phone, tablet, or computer. Your doctor may be able to see you using a telehealth option, or you can use LiveHealth Online. Get the LiveHealth Online App. For COVID visits there is no cost share but the standard office visit copay will apply for non-COVID related services.
Take advantage of emotional and mental health support.
It's important to take care of your emotional and social needs. That's why we've added resources for dealing with the challenges you may be facing right now.
- Navigate COVID-19 challenges like social isolation and job loss with a free mental health resource hub powered by Psych Hub.
- Access additional mental health resources through Beacon Health Options’ member resources page.
For Medicare Extension Members
Medicare covers virtual check-ins so you can connect with your doctor by phone, video, or an online patient portal to see whether you need to come in for a visit. For more information on telehealth-related services, visit Medicare’s Coronavirus webpage.
Check the CDC website for up-to-date information about COVID‑19, especially if you're thinking about traveling.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coronavirus Webpage
- Department of State Travel Advisories
- World Health Organization, Coronavirus
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.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID‑19
- U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory
- World Health Organization (WHO), Coronavirus
- Administration for Community Living, Coronavirus
- LiveHealth Online
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: About 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) (January 28, 2020): www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‑19) Situation Summary (March 3, 2020): www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html
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
- Muscle tension
- Sleep problems
- Rapid heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
If you're feeling anxious, try these steps to help you get through it:
- 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)
- 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.
- Stay informed by learning the facts. Be sure to get your information from credible sources, such as the CDC and the WHO.
- 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.
- 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.