Coronavirus & Your Health Care

  • Vaccine for COVID-19

    Who can get the vaccine?

    All Washington residents age 12 and older are vaccine eligible. Children ages 12-15 can get the Pfizer vaccine. When making an appointment for kids under age 18, check that the provider or site offers the Pfizer vaccine—it is the only vaccine approved for children.

    Find a vaccine location and schedule your appointment

    How much will it cost?

    No cost to you. The government has mandated that everyone in the United States will get the vaccine without out-of-pocket cost. Either your health insurance will cover it or the cost will be waived.

    Need a ride or vaccine at home?

    • Get a ride:Lyft, Uber, Sound Transit, and other organizations now offer free or discounted rides.
    • Home vaccinations: Not able to leave home? Get connected with state or county mobile vaccine teams. Fill out a secure form for home vaccines.
    • WA state hotline: Call 800-525-0127, then press #. Language help is available. Request home vaccine service if needed.

    Watch vaccine videos from CDC and WA Department of Health:

    COVID-19 fact vs. fiction
    What to expect after getting the COVID vaccine

    How COVID-19 tests and treatment are covered

    • Waiving cost shares for COVID-19 treatment ended June 30, 2021. For treatment of COVID-19 July 1 and later, copays, deductibles and coinsurance will apply.
    • LifeWise will waive all costs (copays, deductibles, and coinsurance) for any member requiring FDA-approved or state-approved COVID-19 tests for diagnostic purposes. Cost waived for the related office visit (for in or out-of-network providers) as well as other respiratory, viral tests, and other blood work to determine the need for COVID-19 diagnostic testing. Premera also covers and waives costs for antibody tests that support diagnosis or that support people with COVID-related complications.

    Virtual care options

    If you have COVID-19 symptoms or need care for medical or mental health, please use your virtual care options first to avoid possible exposure. Virtual care services may be able to assist with a review of symptoms and recommendations on next steps, but only in-person clinics or provider visits can diagnose and test for COVID-19.

    • Call your in-network primary care doctor's office.
    • Call the 24-Hour NurseLine at no charge. Just call the number on the back of your member ID card to reach medical professionals.
    • Use 98point6 for text-based primary care via mobile app.
    • Use Doctor On Demand for a video chat with a doctor for medical care and mental health therapy.
    • Talkspace offers virtual access to licensed therapists.
    • Teladoc Health provides high-quality healthcare by phone, or mobile app.
    • Boulder Care is video-based treatment for opioid use disorder
    • Workit Health is video-based treatment for alcohol use disorder
    • Many in-network providers, including local counselors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and facilities, are offering care virtually during this time.

    98point6, Doctor on Demand, Teladoc, Talkspace, Boulder Care, and WorkIt Health are independent companies that provide virtual medical care services on behalf of Premera Blue Cross.

    Important dates

    We follow state and federal law. As such, our coverage policies will change on these dates.

    Date Policy
    Effective July 1, 2020 Antibody tests are covered only when they are for the purpose of diagnosing a COVID-19 related condition.
    Becomes policy April 1, 2021 Certain dental procedures can be handled through teledentistry.
    Ends June 30, 2021
    • Prescription "refill too soon" override ends.
    • Cost share waivers for treatment related to COVID-19 diagnosis end.
    Ends January 16, 2022 Cost share waivers for FDA-approved COVID-19 diagnostic testing and other virus/respiratory testing tied to a COVID-19 diagnosis.

    Additional resources

    How to stay safe at the workplace, schools, and home.
    How to know if you're high-risk and what to do.

    Frequently asked questions

    How do I show proof of vaccination?

    There are many options for showing proof of your COVID-19 vaccination, including carrying your card (or a photocopy of your vaccination card), taking a picture of your card with your phone, or using your state's record. For Washington state residents: Learn how to access your vaccine records through MyIRMobile. For WA state help getting your records, or if you don't have access to the internet or need language assistance, call 1–800–525–0127, then press #.

    Am I eligible for a booster dose?

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that people 65+ and residents of long-term care facilities receive a booster shot of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after the 2nd Pfizer dose. It also includes recommendations for those 50-64 with underlying medical conditions. Those younger than 50 with underlying medical conditions and those at increased risk because of their occupational or institutional setting may also receive a booster at least 6 months after their Pfizer 2nd dose. No out-of-pocket cost for members who meet these criteria.

    I received the Moderna vaccine. Can I get a booster?

    The CDC does not recommend mixing the vaccines. If you received the Moderna as your initial vaccine, you should wait until the Moderna booster is approved. Moderna is currently testing a half-dose as a booster and expects to submit their findings to the FDA in the next few weeks.

    What's the difference between a booster and a 3rd dose?

    A 3rd dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems. This additional "booster" dose is intended to improve immunocompromised people's response to their initial vaccine series. The 3rd dose should be given at least 28 days after a second dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

    What about the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine? Should I get a 2nd shot?

    Currently there isn't a recommendation for a second dose of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine.

    Should I get a flu shot?

    The CDC, and many medical practitioners, are strongly recommending everyone get a flu shot this year. With the flu almost non-existent last year due to the stay-at-home orders, masking and handwashing, many are expecting this flu season to come back strongly. According to the CDC, it is safe to get both your COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine at the same time.

    What's the difference between the flu and COVID?

    Both are contagious respiratory illnesses, but there are differences. Read CDC details on flu and COVID signs and symptoms differences. An easy-to-read flu vs. COVID graph is also available.

    Is personal protective equipment covered as a deductible medical expense?

    Yes. The IRS just issued guidance that personal protective equipment to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (such as face masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes) are deductible medical expenses. You can now get reimbursed for these items under any of these personal funding accounts:

    • Health flexible spending accounts (health FSAs)
    • Archer medical savings accounts (Archer MSAs)
    • Health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs)
    • Health savings accounts (HSAs)

    Is drive-through or home testing covered?

    Yes, your test is covered the same whether you're in the car, at home, or in a lab.

    Is other help available?

    The Washington State Coronavirus Response website includes a list of programs and services for Washingtonians impacted by COVID-19. The site includes information on financial, food, housing, and well-being services, among others.

    Your county may offer additional support in your community. Check your county's website for resources.