Coronavirus & Your Health Care

  • LifeWise wants to help you get the care you need right now and for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

    How COVID-19 tests and treatment are covered

    • LifeWise will waive all costs (copays, deductibles, and coinsurance) for all COVID-19 related treatment. Applies to in-network and out-of-network providers, inpatient and outpatient services, and medical transportation when necessary. Available to all participating groups.
    • 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.

    Vaccine for COVID-19

    Washington state receives COVID-19 vaccines shipped regularly. For the most up-to-date information, go to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    • Who can get the vaccine? Vaccine availability is changing as more vaccines are being distributed to the states. Each state can vary who is included in each phase. Check your state’s vaccine plan. Washington expects to begin Phase 1b for those 70 and older and for those 50 and older that are part of a multi-generational household by the end of January 2021.Further testing is necessary before children can get the vaccine.

    • How are Washington’s phases and tiers applied?

      Phase 1b Tiers (in order) Groups

      Tier 1

      • All people 70 years and older
      • People 50 years and older in multigenerational households. These individuals would be at risk either due to: A) Vulnerability (e.g., older adult or elder who cannot live independently and is being cared for by a relative or in-home caregiver) B) Risk of exposure (e.g., older adult or elder who is living with someone who works outside the home, older adult or elder taking care of a grandchild) C) Not include an older adult who is able to live independently and is taking care of the individual’s children.

      Tier 2

      • High-risk critical workers 50 years and older who work in certain congregate settings

      Tier 3

      • People 16 years and older with 2 or more co-morbidities or underlying conditions

      Tier 4

      • High risk critical workers under age 50 in certain congregate settings (as noted in Tier 2)
      • People (residents, staff, volunteers) in congregate living settings (e.g., correction facilities, prisons, jails, detention centers; group homes for people with disabilities) and people experiencing homelessness that access services or live in congregate settings (e.g., shelters, temporary housing)

      Find additional WA state guidance

      Get additional phases and tiers in a simple graphic


    • How much will it cost? 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.

    • Do I need a doctor’s prescription to get the vaccine? You might need a doctor to prescribe the vaccine if you are in the high-risk category. You won’t need a prescription when it’s available to the general public.

    • What’s each state’s vaccination plan? Each state’s Department of Health websites tracks vaccines, available doses, provides information on who’s eligible to administer vaccines, and who’s included in each phase. Go to this CDC vaccine page and find the section “What you can do right now” to select your state. Find every state’s vaccine plan.

    Virtual care options

    Get care when and where you need it--and right now that’s at home.

    If you have COVID-19 symptoms or need care for mental health, a cold, allergies, a rash or anything for which you’d usually go to urgent care, please use your virtual care options first to avoid possible exposure.

    • 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 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.

    Only in-person clinics or provider visits can diagnose and test for the COVID-19 virus.

    Virtual care services may be able to assist with a review of symptoms and recommendations on next steps.

    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.

    Medications

    We understand the need to fill your prescriptions without going out. You have options.

    We’ve lifted our refill-too-soon policy to make sure you have necessary medications on hand. Just tell your pharmacist you need more. There are some exceptions to this, so ask your pharmacist.

    Important dates

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

    Effective July 1, 2020

    • Antibody tests are covered only when they are for the purpose of diagnosing a COVID-19 related condition.  

    Ends December 31, 2020

    • Cost share waivers for telehealth/virtual care visits end.

    Ends March 31, 2021

    • Prescription “refill too soon” override ends.
    • Cost share waivers for treatment related to COVID-19 diagnosis end.
    • Certain dental procedures can be handled through teledentistry.

    Ends April 21, 2021

    • 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

    Can I go to a lab to get tested?

    To avoid possible spread, you should not go to a lab for testing without an order from your doctor.

    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.

    Are masks and supplies covered?

    Masks are typically not covered by your health plan nor an eligible expense for your health savings account. They may be flexible spending account or health saving account eligible if you have a letter of medical necessity from your healthcare provider.

    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 wellbeing services, among others.

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